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Learning how to let God help!

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I’ve come to realize that crying out to God concerning my problems is not all there is!

   Pouring out our hearts to God does offer some relief from the burdens we carry.  But, if we walk away after depositing our load at Jesus’s feet, then we have left prematurely! And I wonder if it’s not too long before we find ourselves carrying that very same burden again, finding it just as heavy as it was before. 

Ever been there? Then join the club!

   For most of my Christian life, unloading my burdens in prayer was a faithful ritual. The temptation (or fiery dart) of that was in thinking that was all that was required of me. My real problem was I had been doing a lot of talking, but very little listening. 

If I could put into words, here is what I sensed my LORD was saying to me:

  You pour your heart out to me, pretty consistently! That is good! And I listen to you, but I can’t say that you listen to Me.  I want to help you with your problems, but you will have to do less talking and more listening for that to happen. 

    You see I was going to the Source for the answers to my problems but as soon as I got through unloading them on God, I’d say Amen, then go on my way. I would ask God for His help, but I wouldn’t hang around long enough to find out how He planned on helping me!

   You know what? I didn’t really know how to listen to God. Which meant I didn’t know how to let God help me. 

  So, how do we let God help us?

   When we spend time with God as we read and study the Bible, He will lead us to the very verses that addresses our problems. It’s in accepting and applying those truth’s to those problems that will lead to the solutions we are so desperate for. That’s how we listen! That’s how we learn!

 

 

 

 

 

Listening with the intent to understand!

    I think guys, especially husbands, are convinced that it is impossible for them to understand their wives. (I know you know what I would call that!!!!) Therefore, husbands throw up their hands at the thought of trying to understand their wives, because the enemy has convinced them it’s impossible. 

     Ah, but God, has something quite different to say to husbands about understanding their wives in 1 Peter 3:7,

In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate partner. . . ISV

     I am quite sure that the reason this fiery dart has infiltrated the thinking of husbands is because our Enemy, Satan, knows full well the blessed effect this will have on the relationship between a husband and wife. So, he cuts them off from these blessings by lying to husbands and convincing them that understanding their wives is all but impossible. 

A personal testimony to the power of understanding

I can remember vividly a time when my son was about to leave to serve as a missionary in South America! We were driving around doing some shopping to prepare for his hiking of the AT and the night before he revealed to me his plan to go to South America.

I was overwhelmed! With great effort I had finally come to the point where I could release him to solo hike the AT and the night before, he had sprung this news on me! I remember privately crying out to God, “Really, God, couldn’t this news have waited a bit? I’m not at all sure I can do this!” 

As we drove around the next day, I labored under the burden of deep sadness, trying all the while to keep it from my son! Then my son said this, “Mom, I understand that this is going to be harder on you than anyone else.” Well, the floodgates opened and the tears flowed like a river. But they were not tears of heartbreak that my son was leaving me! No, indeed, they were tears of relief because he understood my pain. From those precious words of understanding, I drew the strength that would empower me to do this hard thing. It was all I needed to move forward.

     Now, I realize this isn’t a husband/wife scenario but it is a scenario that husbands can draw from to grasp the power of understanding your wife.

     Everyone, especially wives, have a deep desire to be understood by at least one person and the person of preference is their husbands. Their husband’s understanding is the source of their strength to deal with hard things. If they don’t feel they have their husband’s understanding they become all the more vulnerable to Satan’s fiery darts of self loathing, depression, taking personally all the negative things that you and others say about them, and wounding their hearts more deeply than you can imagine.

     Husbands, don’t allow the enemy to convince you that you can’t understand your wife. The Truth Thought is that God has mandated that you do. And when you commit to this, then God will show you how it’s done. Therefore, listen to your wife with the intent to understand, not to judge or criticize! The rest of verse 7 points out why understanding your wife is so important. 

Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere with your prayers.

After writing this post, I had a thought I want to share. It’s a good thing husband’s to praise your wives, but timing is everything. During a difficult or stressful moment an understanding word may be what’s required rather than praises! For your praises will ring hollow if they feel you lack understanding of their need during that moment.