If we were perfect in God’s eyes, would we have need for Him in our lives? I think not. If we had all our physical needs met daily, would we call out to Him for help? I think not. If all our emotional relationships were running smoothly, would we be crying on God’s shoulder? I think not.
Whether we like to believe it or not, God allows certain situations into our lives in order to cause us to continue seeking Him. Why? Does He get some kind of joy out of seeing us battling through our lives? Not at all. Those of us who are parents understand that we always want the best for our children. The saying, “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind” springs to mind. As best as we can, we strive to engineer circumstances so that our children turn out to be the best they can be. God is the same with us. He knows each one of us intimately and therefore knows exactly what situations are needed in our lives in order to keep us on a path where we will end up with Him when we leave this earth.
We all have situations in our lives that we don’t really want to face. These situations I call ‘sour balls’ because they are similar to the sour ball sweets we can buy at sweet shops. They are situations that normally start off very favorably in our lives and then begin to get worse as time goes by. Eventually, like the sweet, if we don’t take action the ‘sourness’ will remain. What we really need to understand is that God has allowed them into our lives. “Why would He bring hardship to me”, you might ask?
Firstly, as mentioned, He allows these things as a process of refining us. Paul the Apostle talks about us “working out our salvation. Therefore, almost daily we have challenges to overcome which turn us towards God. Secondly, if we are not walking in God’s principles, then we are very likely reaping what we have sown. God, in His infinite wisdom, will still use these situations to our benefit and teach us the error of our ways. What a wonderful caring Father we have! Some examples of ‘sour balls’ can be found in relationships, challenges in the work place and outstanding debt.
Remember, each sour ball will simply sit and get sourer as time goes by if we don’t act on them. In my line of business, I provide products to my customers, which are not manufactured by us. Therefore, very often one of my sour balls is to explain to the client that their goods are going to be delayed because of a manufacturing ‘glitch’. These problems are not caused by us, but by the manufacturer. So it is with a lot of anxiety that I have to approach my client after having committed to a delivery date given by my supplier! Not wanting to speak to the customer, I would often leave it and hope that the challenge would simply disappear. It never did disappear, in fact got worse (more sour) as time went by.
One day, I heard a colleague of mine say, “MAKE THAT CALL”! It was then I accepted that sitting on the challenge was not going to resolve it. The sourness would continue to stay with me until I dealt with it. I also realized that it was fear of the unknown that kept me from dealing with it.
I saw the Lord in this and understood that through the situation, He was going to teach me to overcome this fear. I had to learn to trust Him for the outcome of the call. I did. Now each morning when I go to work, I make a list of all the ‘sour balls’ I need to deal with, starting with the most difficult. Before calling the client, I pray and ask Father for His will to be done and to help me trust Him for words to speak and to receive His outcome peacefully. Feeling uncomfortable, I ‘MAKE THAT CALL’. It is amazing how the Lord undertakes in these circumstances and sovereignly sorts them out. The sour ball has been removed! With the sour ball gone, peace returns and we have grown that little bit closer to the Lord.
If you have any sour balls in your life, don’t delay. Ask the Lord to help you face them – as David faced Goliath – He will help you overcome the fear. Don’t feel alone, we all have ‘giants’ to face. Remember its part of a process God has intended, to help us become more like Him and to learn to trust Him more.
From: “time with the Master…”
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