Day 138: It’s Not Punishment, I Am Creating You (May 18)

When we face challenges in life, especially as believers, we can often think we’ve done something wrong and God is punishing us.  But in my experience, I’ve learned that’s not normally the truth.  Actually, I believe He allows certain things to happen, so He can cultivate us and grow our character.

As a parent I have become increasingly aware of the necessity to let my kids walk out challenging situations.  My first response is often to try and “soften the blow”, but many times God has called me out on that and shown me He was planning to use the situation to build their character and draw them into a closer relationship with Him.  I wonder, sometimes, how often we parents knock away the hand of Holy Spirit as He’s trying to do the intimate work within our kids, only to later wonder how our kids got so screwed up.  Never realizing we were partly to blame because of our “loving” interference.

Several times as a parent, I have had to hold one of my kid’s hands as they walk through an unjust situation.  What I’ve learned to do though, is stand far enough away so God has ample room to do His work within them.  Even with my husband I’ve had to learn how to stand out of God’s way as He’s working on and growing Chris.

And then there’s me, I’ve had to learn that just because a situation becomes hard or unpleasant, doesn’t mean I need to escape it.  No, I need to press into the Father so I know when to stay and when to walk away.  Without enduring multiple situations of extreme discomfort, I don’t know if I’d be who I am today.

What am I saying?

The work of creating character within a person is a hard work.  It can be uncomfortable and seem downright unbearable, but that doesn’t make it unnecessary.

Man, the church (universal) needs character now more than ever.  We need to learn how to weather a storm, not just avoid it.  We need to exercise our spiritual muscle, not just wait for God to deliver us.  I mean, God delivers us, but sometimes He puts us in situations that require us to flex a little muscle.

Come on! Let’s get busy growing.  Let character development run its course.  Don’t be afraid of hard things.  Don’t be afraid to let Him move you out of your comfort zone.  Are you ready?

God, please forgive me for anytime I have avoided Your character building hand in my life.  I pray You would make me more aware of how and when You are moving so I can cooperate with You.  Lord, forgive me for anytime I have blocked Your hand from moving in the lives of my loved ones.  I don’t ever want to stand in the way of what You’re doing.  Lord, forgive me for times when I’ve stood in Your way.  I give You freedom to move in me and in those around me, even if it’s uncomfortable.  I trust You.  I know Your plans for me are good.  I love You, in Jesus name, Amen.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us; because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the holy Spirit, Whom He has given us.  Romans 5:3-5

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4