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Praying when suffering! What does that sound like? Or what petition, besides deliverance and healing, should be at the very top of our lists? I wonder have you ever asked that question. What prayer do we pray, for instance, this side of Gillian’s passing, when we feel her loss so keenly and wonder what God was doing in taking someone so gifted to be with Himself? Or what do we pray when some unexpected and unwanted trial wanders right in to the middle of our lives?

Given it’s possible that you are in this place as we speak or will be before you know it, I thought I’d share with you a discovery our young folks made last Saturday in Motiv8 from Romans 8. I wasn’t there but Sarah was, and the following day she divulged it to myself and all of the kids. It goes like this…

In Romans 8:28 Paul reminds us that God is going to work every eventuality in our lives for our spiritual good. Think about that! That includes redundancy, failure, cancer, pain, bereavement, stress, depression, Gillian’s death…totally everything! Then, in verse 29, he reveals to us what the ‘good’ is that God has in mind so we’re not left on our own to figure it out. In other words, on the heels of Gillian’s passing we’re not crassly quoting to each other that God will work it for our good but sadly we’ve no idea what that might be. No! He tells us. He makes it plain. The ultimate good that our Father will bring to pass is, verse 29, ‘conforming me to the likeness of Jesus Christ.’ Did you get that? Have you ever noticed how those two verses are joined? That my God has promised to work at, mould, send, and be involved in every detail of my life so that ultimate goodness is the result and I become like His Son! Wow!

This then becomes our prayer. You should pray it this month. ‘Heavenly Father, I have no idea why you took Gillian when you did, but what I do know is that you reshaped her in her last days and you will do the same with me through her loss and my trials. Please do that Father. Speed that process! Make me long for Heaven…like Jesus did. Help me to pray more…like Jesus did. Teach me to treasure you more than things…like Jesus did. Change me so that my losses show me that all I truly have is You.’

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