THREE FAITH-BOOST­ING LESSONS

Activated - - NEWS - MAR­CUS VERNIER IS A MEM­BER OF THE FAM­ILY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL IN TAIWAN. HE IS A MIS­SION­ARY AS WELL AS AN AS­PIR­ING WATERCOLOR PAINTER AND AU­THOR. ■ BY MAR­CUS VERNIER

IT BE­GAN ONE MORN­ING WHEN I DIS­AGREED WITH SOME­THING MY WIFE SAID. It was dur­ing one of those try­ing patches where you find your­self ir­ri­ta­ble and find­ing fault with ev­ery­one around. I was about to con­trib­ute a sharp re­tort when I caught my­self mid-speech and de­cided to pray if I should go ahead with it. The an­swer was an em­phatic “No!” It all hap­pened so quickly in my mind, but it set off a chain re­ac­tion that ended up bring­ing new in­sight.

The sec­ond les­son took place soon af­ter. I was clos­ing our busi­ness’ monthly re­ports, which can be chal­leng­ing, as they’re quite in­tri­cate and re­quire pa­tience and per­sis­tence. A new de­tail came up that caused a break in my men­tal flow. De­spite the work be­ing timely and im­por­tant, I couldn’t get my head around this new fac­tor.

My spirits sagged, and a few mouse clicks later, I was check­ing the news, then drift­ing into Face­book, and so on. Fi­nally, much dis­cour­aged, I strug­gled to pull my­self to­gether and pray about what to do. As of­ten hap­pens, the so­lu­tion came al­most im­me­di­ately. If I’d done that at the start, I could have saved my­self a lot of time, not to men­tion stress.

God’s Word en­cour­ages you to “give your bur­dens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.” But how 1 can we give God our bur­dens if He’s a block away? Or even sev­eral yards away? We can only give Him our bur­dens if He’s right next to us, or rather in us. The closer we are, the eas­ier it is to trust Him with our cares and bur­dens and to com­mu­ni­cate with Him. “God is our refuge and strength, al­ways ready to help in times of trou­ble.” 2 This re­minds me of when I lived in Hong Kong and I used to take a ferry to the Cen­tral Dis­trict. As it slowed down and neared its moor­ing po­si­tion, it would bob about al­most fran­ti­cally un­til it was tied up and se­cured to the har­bor wall. And therein lies the third les­son: La­bor­ing to en­ter into rest through prayer, as God’s Word en­cour­ages us to do, takes ef­fort. But it’s the way for 3 us to be tied se­curely to the one who has all the an­swers and can help us suc­ceed, even de­spite our­selves.

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