How was your week?
Oh, mine was fine, just fine…y’know, despite the cockroaches in my apartment. There’s only the occasional one every three or so days… Oh, and the wasps…and some of our ceiling fell in the kitchen due to water damage…and a suspicious moldy-pee smell whenever it rains…and the rat droppings under the sink. Oh, but I’m fine—really!
Okay, it really could have been a better week. But often, it’s in these hard moments, when our circumstances cause stress and anxiety, that’s when God moves, right? Maybe… But maybe it’s only in the hard moments we’re actually paying attention to what He’s teaching.
God Taught Object Lessons
As a kid, did you ever have to do something (like a craft) before you could understand the deeper lesson? When I was a kid, I used to build a house with Lego’s, then my family would shake the table to test the structural integrity. I learned so much more by doing it myself and seeing my wall fall and break, than I would have if my parents had just told me about the wall would fall.
Sometimes, I find in my faith, God will use an Object lesson to teach me something important. When he teaches me like this, those lessons impact me deeply, and I tend to remember them better than if he were to just outright tell me what it is he wanted me to know.
Difficult Circumstances are Object Lessons in Disguise
What do you know, God used the wasps invading my apartment the past two or so weeks as one of the best object lessons of all.
Let me set the scene: We’ve had many wasps somehow getting inside our apartment since Tuesday. The first evening, I’d already killed five.
I, of course, hate wasps. By the second day of the invasion, I was ready to call it quits and burn the place to the ground. However, it’s neither a responsible nor legal choice, so I turned to prayer instead. That night, I prayed for safety and protection, and specifically told the wasps they were not allowed to enter the apartment.
The next day we didn’t have a single wasp. I was thrilled! So thrilled, in fact, that I sent a quick ‘thanks bro’ up to God and went about my day. The forth day came around—more wasps. I prayed again and, again, the next day there were none. This cycle continued for a couple more days – pray, no wasps, thank God and move on, more wasps.
1. Authority and The Power of Words
As Christians, we have Christ-Given Authority. Sometimes I think about prayer like this. We ask God for something and wait with bated breath to see if He’ll move.
Our words, however, have an inherent power in them. By physically telling the wasps they were not welcome in the apartment, I was acting in that authority. When I stopped praying, I stepped out of that authority. God wanted to teach me that it was because I prayed, He moved and stopped the wasps.
If the wasps had just left forever, I wouldn’t understand the seriousness of my authority and the power in my words.
2. The God Genie
How often do I pray only when things are going badly?
I can pray for hours when my circumstances are difficult. But the moment the issue with the wasps cleared up I spent maybe five seconds to thank God, then I moved onto whatever it was that felt so important that day.
When life is going well, and our circumstances are fine, we forget to rely just as heavily on the one who guides and protects us.
I needed that reminder. That God isn’t just there for me in the bad times. He wants to me part of my entire life, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
How are you inviting God into your life today?
I definitely needed to practice joy this past week… Good thing I had this super DOPE email devotional, right?