I have. As recently as yesterday, probably even today, but that one may not hit me until tomorrow.
Many times when I pray I ask for what I want. I ask God to fix things, and I often ask him to fix people. Then I throw in those famous words, you know the ones, if it be Your will, or Your will be done, or according to Your will. As if by saying that I have made my prayers holy.
Life delivered me a devastating blow in 2004. There are no words, and never will be, to describe the pain and despair. I feel like I must go on to make you totally understand how torn and shattered my world was. But like I said, there are no words.
Some days now, six years later, I feel that I will never move past it, and I know this side of heaven I will never understand it. God did not fix it - not to my satisfaction. But He got me through it.
In ways He fixed me through that hurt and pain and grief and despair. He taught me a lesson that I still sometimes forget, but one that I have tried hard to remember and consider and change myself through. It is not people or situations that I need Him to fix - it is me I need Him to fix. It is my love that needs to grow and be shared. It is me that needs to be understanding. It is my heart that needs to change.
My prayers were not centered on God but they were centered on me and what I wanted. I was not always covering the people or situation in prayer, I was often seeking something for myself.
The things I prayed for were good things, but I cared more for myself than I did about His timing or what He was seeking to accomplish.
Any - I said any - circumstance I find myself in can be used for God's glory. I can be changed through it - changed for the better, I can become more Christ-like. I can feel deeper and love stronger and understand more - as Christ would - if I let Him change my heart. Not someone else's.
Spiritual warfare bombards my life. Satan and his demons hover over me, seeking to crush me here and there and everywhere. And sometimes they win.
And then I remember, and God rescues me and soothes me and restores me. He is good and understanding and forgiving. But, He is demanding. He is demanding that I learn. He is demanding that I grow. He is demanding that I work to let Him change my heart and my desires and to center and focus myself on Him.
I need to love stronger when there is reason to not love at all. I need to stomp out bitterness, believe I do not know the whole story, and change myself.
Bottom line, I need God. Only He can give me victory over Satan. I need to walk beside God instead of running ahead of Him.
You know that victory I gave Satan yesterday? And probaby today? It's only temporary. All of his victories are. They are as fleeting as an echo in the wind.
That pain and grief and despair? It haunts me ever so often. It still influences my life. But it is also fleeting, as all pain is. For one day I shall stand on the shores of Glory and realize, once and for all, His perfect timing and His perfect ways.
And then I shall understand it all.