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Chess Piece of God's Generosity
By Mike Stickler
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
I prayed once with a woman who was completely distraught about her marriage. She had married a man she deeply loved and was raising two daughters with him. In those years of marriage, she became a Christian, growing more and more in faith. But, in her worldview, her husband was becoming more and more distant from her, her faith and their family as a whole.
At the time, she was working as a church secretary; surrounded by other Christian couples with vibrant marriages. It seemed as if they had so much—and it was her heart’s greatest desire to have a similar relationship with her husband. She would often lament their lack of relational connectedness as husband and wife and that it was beginning to impact their children. As a consequence, the more frustrated she got the more distant he became. His days became consumed with his work and hobbies, which only aggravated the situation the more for her. She became so hopeless within their marriage that she wondered whether she should just divorce him and start over.
Many times she told me how she could not even talk with him as he was never at home. In our times of conversation and prayer, I suggested that her situation was maybe more about her than about her husband. Perhaps, God was trying to teach her to become satisfied and content, trusting Him with all that she had and was most precious, including their marriage.
I prayed with her that God would intervene in their marriage to bring it within the confines of His design. As we prayed, she even asked that the Lord would bring him to the end of himself and resources so they could re-build their marriage.
The very next day, he went motorcycle riding in the desert and, as he came over a blind rise, he encountered millions of locusts. They were so thick that even on the dirt road he could no longer maintain the vertical position of his bike. The road was as slick as ice and, coupled with the high rate of speed, he could not keep the bike under control. He experienced a terrible crash, requiring a helicopter evacuation to the hospital where he received two pins in a bad compound fracture.
Now, he was to be bedridden ... at home ... for weeks …
Rather than being happy with her husband being at home‒the very thing she asked for God to do for her‒she now felt put out at the demands of caring for her bed-bound husband.
Again she asked me to pray that God would relieve her of the difficult situation.
I gently reminded her that she has asked for God to bring her husband to the end of his resources. That’s what God did. And because the two of them were married and one flesh, when one goes through a trial, the other will experience that trial, as well.
She asked if I really thought the motorcycle accident was God’s doing. I said, “Really? Millions of locusts in the desert? I think God has priors in this type of plague.”
Ultimately, through his time at home and her change of attitude, they reconnected as husband and wife and he became more interested in the things of God.
We need to realize in the giant chessboard of life, God uses us sometimes even through trials – or as He did with Lazarus through death – for His glory. And rather than resisting Him, we need to generously submit to the sacrifice He sometimes calls us to.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Have you stopped to realize that sometimes we go through trials and challenges for the benefit of others? ... or that others are sent through such trials and challenges for your benefit? Have you been resistant to those periods of your life? Or have you been generously open to God’s use of you in ANY fashion He so chooses?
Tell us how He has worked in your life in this way. Please share your experiences here.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.