You Could Be On Your Third Set of Jars
by Anita Howell 5/23/2011 / Devotionals
Why does God let things get worse before they get better? Will they ever really get better? When things get worse is God mad at me? Have I failed? Is there hope? When I face obstacles does it mean God loves me less than those who "seem" to have unlimited favor? Maybe an answer to a bigger question resolves all of the "why" questions. Are increasing obstacles a really a sign of decreasing potential or could they just be a countdown to a move of God?
1 Kings 18: 33 35 NIV
".Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." "Do it again," he said and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered and they did it the third time. The water ran down and around the altar and even filled the trench."
God lets things get worse so that there is no doubt that He is God. It is the modern day Mount Carmel challenge. "If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is god, follow him." All of those jars of water left no doubt that with man, Baal, and any other false god, a fire was impossible. Baal wasn't even able to ignite the drought dried wood on his altar. Only with The One True God was this possible.
One of the differences in our modern day Mt Carmel moments might be that we aren't as in touch with what God is doing. So, we become distracted by our need for "fairness", especially when the odds seem to be stacked against us. Elijah was so in touch with God that he actively took part in tipping the scales of fairness in Baal's favor. He himself ordered the jars of water added onto his altar.
His confidence in God has me now thinking of negative medical comments as a good thing. Yes, finally the third set of jars that completely eliminates the world's ability to take credit for God's work in our seven-year-old son's battle with cerebral palsy. Now the empty checking account, broken head gasket, $50,000 price tag for a van with a lift are all good indicators that we are entering our third set of jars season. I fully recognize and admit that our needs are well beyond our own ability to meet, medically and financially.
Though we are still seeing the third set of jars poured out in our lives, like Elijah, I can hear the sound of rain and even see the small cloud, "the size of a man's hand" in the distance. It brings a sense of relief because I know that the battle is not mine but the Lord's. Whew!! I was tired of fighting and it is exciting to know that the best is yet to come.
1 Kings 18: 38 39
"Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all of the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried,
'The Lord He is God! The Lord He is God!' "
Anita has been married to Wes for 23 years and has two children; Emily, 17 and Ryan, 7. Her hope is to encourage others, particularly those with special needs children. Her blog focuses on her faith in Jesus Christ and advocating for those with disabilities. http://anita-whyibelieve.blogspot.com/