As a wheelchair user, I am always scanning the ground everywhere I go. All it takes is for me to hit a crack, a rock, a toy, a tiny lip on the sidewalk, a chunk of gravel, or anything in my way to cause my chair to stop rolling and my body to come flying out of my chair and landing somewhere on my face! I have had enough encounters with the ground to keep a sharp look-out so that I can avoid all possibility of taking a spill. I like obstacle-free rolling.
I like smooth rolling in life also. I don’t like it when my heart is aching, I don’t like it when trust is broken, I don’t like pain and suffering, I don’t like rejection, I don’t like false accusations, I don’t like physical difficulties, I don’t like grieving loss, and I don’t like when I get caught off guard and life throws something my way that I haven’t planned on. I try very hard to keep a look out for all of these things so I can try my best to be prepared. I am a let’s-get-prepared kind of girl. I think I would have made a good boy scout!
Recently, life has brought something along for me that I hadn’t seen coming so quickly. It took me completely off guard and I felt very much like I do when I have just tumbled out of my chair and I am laying there all confused as to how that just happened. I had so many fears flood my heart, so many insecurities that engulfed my mind, and my faith felt very frail and weak. You would think, after all I have been through, that I would at least have faith the size of a mustard seed by now. But I don’t. I asked the Lord to please help me (which is exactly what you need to do when you are spiritually flat on your face again) and spare me from some things. I told Him one by one what my fears were and I asked Him to please spare me from these things.
I did not hear an audible voice, but I will tell you that while I was in the middle of that prayer and begging God to spare me some of these things, I had the most powerful thought hit my mind and I knew it was from God. The Lord impressed upon me that He did not want me to pray to be spared. He wanted me to pray to be prepared. My thoughts immediately turned to the many things that I have been through and how the Lord had prepared me in some way to go through those hard times. The Bible is full of preparation for things and that is where my focus needed to be. He has never left me alone and He never will but if I beg to be spared from that time with him, in the scary places, then I will miss out on some sweet one on one time with Him. However, if I tell Him that I am afraid and to please prepare me for this journey He has for me, then that is exactly where He needs me because I will be clinging to Him for dear life! He really loves that. He likes it when His bride hangs onto Him, and if she does stumble, He is there to swoop her up in His strong arms and carry her on through the scary parts.
Here’s the truth. Bumps happen. Surprises happen. Falls happen. There are a lot of cracks in the sidewalks of life that can just about be enough to scare us away from ever getting outside and enjoying a beautiful walk. I am so thankful that the Lord is patient and merciful to me and gently leads me even when I doubt Him. That is the kind of love that I can trust to prepare me and maneuver me to my final destination.
Lord, I don’t want spared. I want You to prepare me.