Earlier this week, the Lord randomly brought to mind a specific blessing and habit that has become part of our family life that came out of desperate times calling for desperate measures.
Eight years ago, we were in New Delhi, awaiting the arrival of our fifth child. Our daughter, Sarala, who was almost seven years old, was having horrible nightmares, almost every single night. I wrote a blogpost and on FB explaining how hard those nights were and asking for others to please pray with us. Then, about two weeks later, I wrote an update post, sharing how she had not had a single nightmare since we asked others to intercede for and with us!
Prayer is so incredibly powerful. Never underestimate the power of the unseen. Often we want something to show for our work. I can definitely attest that I love productivity! But, I have seen the power of the unseen work the Lord does through prayer, intentionality, relationships, rest, and more!
Furthermore, that season of those nightmares Sarala was having was a very specific marker for when I began praying for, with, and over my kids every single night. We prayed for our kids at bedtime before, but the desperation those nightmares brought a different kind of purposeful and intentional prayer. Though the nightmares eased up and even stopped, the prayers have continued on. For more than 8 years I can say that when I am under the same roof as my kids, I pray intently over them every single night, but now for all kinds of things and not just nightmares.
During those rough months from November 2011 - January 2012, I did NOT see those nightmares, screaming, and fearful nights as blessings. But, years later, I can say those desperate times really instigated one of the best habits and blessings I can give to my kids. I am very thankful the Lord brought this to my mind this week. It gives me great perspective on hard times. They might be bringing about good changes, good habits, a refining, or even a lesson we need to learn.
Here are a very passages from the Bible that encourage me through trials and difficult times:
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7 -- It may be that my faith is being tested or refined which will glorify the Lord!
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:2-5 -- It may be the Lord is working on steadfastness and sanctification. Or calling me to depend on Him and ask Him for wisdom. He gives generously when we ask. He wants us to depend on Him, and I believe sometimes He helps usher us into that through need and desperation.
When we are in the midst of hard times, it is so difficult to understand what the Lord is doing--what kind of fruit He is planting and growing, what kind of refining or sanctification process He is doing, what kind of positive and lasting change He is wanting to make unavoidable in our lives. I hope this little musing of mine might encourage you through trials or desperate times with a different perspective. What is He wanting to do?