“Do not be terrified by them for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The Lord, your God, will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the Lord your God will deliver them once over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.” Deuteronomy 7:21-24
God is miraculous. He can heal instantly or keep someone safe from harm. Most of the time, we end up enduring some kind of test, physical or emotional pain, to learn a valuable lesson. For me, a stressful situation results in physical pain or anxiety.
In one month, I volunteered for many school activities for my daughter, traveled, had a lot of unexpected bills, construction in our complex, and applied for a full-time job. My skin had eczema, and my stomach and gallbladder seemed to be on fire. I would wake up in the middle of the night due to my abdominal pain. I could barely eat without wanting to throw up. Finally, I went to the doctor. She ordered blood work and tests. Praise God, everything was normal. She told me that I need to try to do less because my stomach can’t handle the stress anymore. If I don’t slow things down, ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues will follow.
I changed my diet for good, by embracing being gluten free, as much as I fought it. I prayed and meditated. For a few weeks, I did well. Then, I encountered more stress. The pain began to come back, and I couldn’t eat much without feeling sick. I went to the grocery store before church. It was the trip that broke me.
Here is what happened. I entered the parking lot of the grocery store and nearly hit by a distracted driver. The store did not have a few items. The grocery clerk did not load some of my groceries, and I smashed my fingers trying to put them in the cart. As I left the store, to cross the parking lot, I a speeding driver almost hit me. Then a large, raised truck parked so close to me, I had to climb into the passenger side to get into the driver seat. Then I saw a car pull up. The man opens his car door, with empty beer cans spilling out onto the ground and he wobbled into the store. God tested my patience at that grocery store on Sunday morning. That trip broke me.
I was seething mad. I wanted to go off on the world for being so inconsiderate and selfish. But these were strangers, no one I knew. How can I bring people to Christ, when I can’t let go of people’s dangerous actions or habits? How can God trust me with big things when I lose it over small things?
A few weeks went by, and I went to a small group gathering. There was a Bishop and his wife, who came to preach. They prayed over some people and had words of knowledge for others. The wife came over to me and asked me, “if you ate a whole apple pie, what would happen to you?” I said, “I would get sick.” She said, “so you eat one piece at a time, and you will be fine?” I said, “of course.” She continued and said, “God can give you everything He has for you at once. He can perform a miracle or answer all of your prayers. But you won’t be able to handle it. Usually, you need to do things, step by step. We let fear keep us from starting something, or we do well and start doing it on our power instead of His power.”
The Israelites journey to the promised land was only supposed to be 11 days. Instead, it took 40 years! They sinned, complained, and were disobedient. They would go back to their old ways after they promised to change. Towards the end of their journey, they had to defeat many of enemies. God told them He would help them, but one enemy at a time. God had the power to destroy them all, but instead, He had them fighting one battle at a time. They needed to grow and have the spiritual maturity to be trusted by God.
Our faith cannot lack when we are following His will. If we see all the problems, we lose our trust and get hurt, physically and emotionally. Let us increase our faith and trust in the Almighty God.
Lesson Learned: Let our daily surrender be to God. May our faith and patience increase. And take the difficulties one step at a time.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your covering and protection over me. May I trust in you and my faith grow every day. When trouble surrounds me, let me see your guiding hands. Remind me what is true and all that you have done already in my life. Forgive me for not trusting in you Lord. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”