Posted by: karanoel | May 7, 2018

In every circumstance

After I wrote my last post, I remembered something about that wonderful experience at the resort. On our first night there, we slept in a cute and bright, but small room. It was what we had paid for and nothing to complain about – except for the remarkably loud group of people in the neighboring room who partied half the night. We tossed and turned, exhausted from the wedding and travel, but unable to sleep because of the noise. Having just read a book called Prison to Praise about thanking God not just in your troubles but for them, I spoke out a prayer of thanks for our rambunctious neighbors who were robbing our sleep, believing as best I could that God could somehow use it for good.

1 Thess 5-16-18

The next morning, we went to the front desk sharing our concern and asking how long our neighbors would be staying. It was a film crew, the employee conveyed, and they would be there for a week – the entirety of our stay. We probably had a pretty pitiful look in our eyes as we asked if there were other rooms available. After a few minutes on the computer, she said she had found a new room for us, far away from the noise. Our response of relief turned into one of amazement as we saw the room. It was a glorious suite with a sweeping bedroom and bathroom, expansive living area and private deck with a view of palm trees and sea. It was out of our price range, but given at no additional cost. For the rest of that week, my gratitude to those sleep-robbing fiends (but really to God) went from forced to heartfelt.

I realize this sounds like a very shallow, first-world way to apply prayer, but I think God is happy when we practice His ways in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. If we exercise our faith muscles in the small things, like an inconvenient hotel room, they get built up to believe for the big things that really matter. And I understand that we may well have gotten that room without first having thanked God for our troubles, but thanking Him drew my focus to his care for me and His ability to redeem every situation, allowing me a quick escape from the torment of victimhood. I will be the first to acknowledge that the result of this kind of prayer isn’t always an immediate answer akin to a seaside suite, but He will always bring about good if we will trust Him above what we can see.

And holy cow, can I say how much I’ve needed that understanding these past few days? Someone I love more dearly than my own life is struggling with an overwhelming darkness that could significantly alter his. Even though I can’t rescue him, a mix of fear and love has made me want to race in and try. But God keeps speaking to me about the way He uses struggle, redeeming and transforming it into an inexplicably beautiful thing. If He can use the vicious act of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers to save a nation from the devastation of famine, and the brutal slaying of Jesus on the cross to save the whole world from its sin, then He can certainly use the trial of my young friend – as well as my own suffering in seeing his pain – to bring about something of great beauty and redemption, transforming our hearts in the process.

So I’m reminded today that God is not only worthy of my prayer, of which I’m pouring out plenty, but also of my rejoicing. He has this young man in his hands and He is working on his behalf. I believe that at just the right time, there will not only be great relief when we get to see the new space he inhabits, but amazement over how much more glorious and expansive it is than anything our human budgets could allow for or even imagine. I think our only response will be heartfelt rejoicing. And when we see the view from that grace-filled place…. all we will be able to say is, “Wow!!”

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. Genesis 50:20

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name. Hebrews 13:15


Responses

  1. Wonderful story – never heard it! And what an incredible song – thank you for attaching it. Great worship leader. I noticed the enhanced worship with the artists and dancer, looked well done and in place. Thanks. Love to the boys.

    On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 12:43 PM, where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: “After I wrote my last post, I remembered something about > that wonderful experience at the resort. On our first night there, we slept > in a cute and bright, but small room. It was what we had paid for and > nothing to complain about – except for the remarkabl” >

    • Thanks! I had totally forgotten the story until after writing that last honeymoon one. I have listened to that song so many times but only in the background while I’m doing other stuff, so I was really, really hoping the video wasn’t weird 🙂

  2. You always bring such joy to my heart. Never stop writing. Love you kara

    • Thank you Sue! What a lovely thing to say. I love you too. xoxo

  3. […] past couple of weeks since writing this post, I’ve been pretty much transformed. The post vaguely referred to my adult son who is […]


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