This morning I jumped out of bed with the bad dream still on my mind. I had tried to wake up from it but it just wasn’t ending. The nightmare got worse and I finally just got up, or rather, God woke me up!
I started praying frantically with so much anger. What was bugging me more is the fact that I prayed before I slept and thus expected a peaceful night. This sort of dream has been recurring for several years now. I have had intense prayers over them and even gone for further intervention from people who understand spiritual warfare better than I do. In that state of discouragement, I wondered why God doesn’t simply remove those dreams once and for all! Hasn’t He yet noted how I have suffered for so long? Haven’t my prayers reached Him all this time? Am I not praying enough. I was mad, agitated and angry at the same time.
Then again, I cannot stay mad at God because I don’t owe Him. I then embarked on my morning devotion and quiet time. My reading was from Psalm 102, Lamentations 3, Proverbs 30 and Hebrews 1.
So my first reading was:
Psalm 102 1 Hear my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
I pondered on this potion, the writer clearly felt like me, he wanted God to hear his prayers. He felt God had hidden His face and wasn’t helping. This helped me realize that many others feel unheard by God, it didn’t begin with me!
And then this comes up, I nod in sadness:
23 In the course of my life[b] he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
My thought then became, ‘why Lord should this be the case? Remember my affliction and come to my aid. Surely YOU are stronger than the demons tormenting me’?
I turned to Lamentations 3, with expectation to lament some more. Jeremiah was a great prophet and had a very great relationship with God but he too went through torment, an ounce of which I have never experienced in my life.
[a]I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
I automatically felt sad for Jeremiah. He was once put in a water cistern to die, was jailed in the royal courts, exiled in Egypt and many more. So clearly I had seen nothing. However my pain is my pain, it accost me all day long.
He encourages himself in the Lord by saying;
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young
Few lines further down made me realize that affliction is from the Lord, but there is hope still, because he said,
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
The key words for me is “He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone”
That point made me scratch my head, wondering why then does He cause affliction. The Holy Spirit immediately answered that question. So that when God has finally dealt with me or with the situation, I will never doubt the existence of God over my life ever again. He could have prevented the three Hebrew boys from going into the furnace but He let them see Jesus walk with them in the fire. He could have convicted the King from throwing Daniel in the lions den, but He needed the king to see that God alone is able to close the mouths of lions. Joseph didn’t have to be a slave in Egypt, but God used the famine to show why he went there in the first place. Perhaps if he was asked to migrate to Egypt in search of work, he wouldn have declined because he was loved by his father.
I therefore encouraged myself in this way; One day soon, I will understand why I go through the afflictions and some great testimonies worth shouting are in the near future.
Dear Lord, I know You work everything for good of those who love you and are called by Your name, would you guard my heart and help me to see things the way you see them. Help me to never despair because of the afflictions and troubles. May You always assure me of Your love for me, Your Grace and past troubles You have brought me through.
(Scriptures quoted from NIV Bible)