“Can my son have extra time on the test,” the parent inquired. Her son, a sophomore in AP Calculus, had a B. He had never had a B before. He was always the “smartest in the class.” She reasoned, surely the time restraints were preventing her child from achieving an A.

As teachers, we receive similar requests often. ”Make life easier for my child.” Prevent my child (and me) from experiencing the uncomfortableness of not being the best or getting all A’s.

As American Christians, we have the same expectation of God. Lord, answer my prayer quickly, in my way, in my timing. Why would a good God allow me to experience heartache, church hurt, disappointment, loss, separation. “Lord, can I have extra time.”

Israel’s enemies were never completely destroyed. Why? The same reason, that parent’s request and many of ours are not honored:

“And the Lord had another reason for letting these enemies stay. The Israelites needed to learn how to fight in war, just as their ancestors had done. Each new generation would have to learn by fighting”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭CEV‬‬

Let me remind you, ”We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” I am not advocating a physical fight. But we war against fear, sickness, lack, disunity, injustice. We fight spiritual battles in the heavens.

Her son didn’t need more time. He needed a more conceptual knowledge of calculus.

We may not need the healing as much as a more conceptual knowledge of the Healer. Maybe the fight we are avoiding and crying to be delivered from helps us trust more, love more, empathize more, persevere more, cling to Him more. Maybe the fight is necessary to truly win.

Perhaps this why James had the audacity to say,

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2, 4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, my students and their parents! Count it all joy!

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