SHINE Daily

From the Bathtub to Babylon: God is Working Through Our Circumstances

What do you get when you add 1 feisty 2-year-old + water + soap?

The answer is – The next installment of Caroline’s bi-evening, tragically slippery saga.

The other day I overheard the wailing of my little sister, Caroline (the 2-year-old), as Dad was giving her a bath. Her usual “how-dare-you-pour-water-on-me” attitude was coming out in cries and screams. Pretty disturbing stuff!

As I listened, though, I heard why she was getting so upset. Caroline was trying to turn the water off as Dad was rinsing her, but was instead turning the handle to make the water hotter. Dad had to keep adjusting it back so that she wouldn’t burn herself.

He kept telling her, “Caroline, you’re the one making the water hot.”

Eventually, she stopped fighting him and was able to dry off – cleaner than before. I’m sure that Caroline’s forgotten all about it by now, but it really stuck with me because the Spirit challenged me through what I heard.

God is our Heavenly Father and I really hate bath times.

I wonder how many times God has been using a situation for the purpose of testing me, strengthening me, refining me, making me holier; but, like Caroline, I’ve been so caught up in myself and the situations around me that I’ve fought Him tooth and nail trying to solve it myself.

Oftentimes, we think we know what the solution is to our problems, but we miss out on what God is actually doing when we trust ourselves to “fix it.” We even make it worse.

In the Old Testament, God addresses these difficult situations by reminding us of who He is and how we are to respond.

The prophet Jeremiah sent a message from God to a group of Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon. They were in a less-than-ideal situation; A testing time that God orchestrated. You can read the entire letter here.

After instructing them on how to conduct themselves while in this foreign land of Babylon, Jeremiah writes:

This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:10-14 (MSG)

God will show up and take care of us as He promised when His timing is right because He knows what’s best. He has not abandoned us.

Just like my Dad forcing Caroline to endure her entire bath until she was entirely clean, God allows the circumstances of life to hit us like that water hit Caroline. It is through the discomfort that we are transformed. Fighting to “fix-it” ourselves will only harm us.

Instead, the passage goes on to explain what our response should be. God says,

“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.

“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.

“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.

No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we should surrender them to God because He is the one that is using them for His glory!

ACTION STEPS

Today, in whatever you find yourself tasked with-

  1. Call on God
    • Talk to Him
    • Invite Him to walk through it with you
  2. Look for God
    • Look for the ways He is working
    • Ask Him to make you more aware of His working
  3. Seek Him “more than anything else”
    • Read the Bible
    • Join a Bible Study
    • Remove distractions and idols that are more important than Him

I pray that God will transform our hearts and minds to see the ways He is working through our circumstances, and for the faith to trust Him when we cannot see!

Guest blogger - Emily Dietz - has shared her story with us. Check out her blog Rhythmic Motions.