According to Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew 13, I realize my faith was once in a rocky place. Whenever trouble or persecution came my way, I retreated from serving the Lord. My roots were very shallow and I simply didn’t think it was worth all the opposition I encountered.
I had wanted God to prevent my problems or just make them vanish, but it became evident that He had other plans. It was when I developed fibromyalgia that I finally asked Him to help me persevere through my difficulties. Only when my body and mind became significantly weaker did I finally surrender to live life God’s way — in total submission to Him. That’s when He seemed to say, “It’s about time. Now watch what I can do for you.” And I started to experience His help, power, and even miracles.
I thank God for adding fertile soil to my roots before they withered away. Previously fearing Him more than loving Him, I’m grateful that the Lord put me in a situation where I had to learn to depend on Him. Consequently, my personal relationship with Him grew deeper and stronger, and unexpectedly became exciting.
After writing and teaching a Bible study for my church’s ladies’ retreat, I was introduced to the idea of writing for publication by an author in the audience. I laughed and enjoyed her compliment without much more thought. However, this published writer persisted in trying to convince me to pray about writing and attending a Christian writer’s conference. After praying for direction, God immediately opened the door and gave me overwhelming confirmation.
Soon after my decision to give it a try, medical problems emerged. Symptoms appeared from a pinched nerve in my neck and back, and a burning pain traveled through my right arm, hand, hip, leg, and foot. I suddenly needed a cane to walk and was unable to use my right hand.
Frustrated, I wondered if I misinterpreted God’s direction and contemplated abandoning the expensive conference and the call to write. However, God caused me to remember all the confirmation I had been given. I was amazed with the amount of support I received and how I sensed God speaking to me through other people. Then the Lord brought back to mind how I had to recently depend on Him and how faithful He had been to me as I served Him. I concluded that it wasn’t misinterpretation, but opposition to my new venture in serving God.
If you remember all the times the Lord has helped you in your past, you will be encouraged to persevere when you encounter new troubles. The Lord allows problems so you will need Him, ask for His help, and then trust Him.
Paul revealed that the hardships they experienced were allowed so they would not rely on themselves but on God, who is powerful enough to raise the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9). “I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people” (2 Corinthians 12:9). We are more likely to glorify God when we witness His power in action.
Determined not to let adversity get the best of me, I sat at the computer, prayed for pain relief and for the Holy Spirit’s help, and started working. Hours later when I took a break, I became elated. I had thoroughly enjoyed the writing experience and was unaware of any pain. God is so good to exercise His power over my opposition and equip me to serve Him. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
How has the Lord enabled you to overcome spiritual opposition?