Whatever It Takes
Marybeth Whalen

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalm 66:10-12 (NIV)

This school year, my husband and I made some big changes in our house. We took the kids' computer out of the bonus room and gave them use of our two laptop computers in our presence only. We took the extra TV out of the bonus room. We got rid of all the extra channels on our satellite service, leaving the basic few. And we began requiring that our two children who have cell phones turn them in for the night at 8pm.

Why did we implement these seemingly harsh decisions? Because last school year our children made some bad choices… and their grades reflected it. They chose to watch TV in the bonus room instead of going to bed at a decent hour. They chose to play on the computer when they were supposed to be working on assignments. They chose to text their friends instead of focus on their schoolwork.

After repeated lectures and warnings, they still made the same mistakes. This pattern of behavior left us no choice but to come in and remove the things that were a stumbling block. The kids didn't like our decision and to them it seemed unfair. But we stood firm. We knew that we were doing the right thing for our children. We could see a future they could not, and we had to protect that future for them—even if they didn't understand our method for doing so. As their parents, we have to do whatever it takes.

Sometimes God has to do the same for us. At the time His plan may seem harsh and unnecessary. We may not realize that He can see a future we cannot. We are His children, and He will remove all stumbling blocks that keep us from being all that we can be. Even if it hurts. Even when we cry and beg Him not to. Even when we pout and tell Him it's not fair.

It's because I love you, He tells us, that I do this. I am creating something beautiful in you if you will just stop fighting me. I have a place I am trying to get you to. You can't see it, my precious child, but I can.

Is there something God is doing in your life that feels unjust? That has you pouting or crying or wondering why? Maybe you identify with the verses from today. You feel imprisoned, burdened, trampled, burned. Do you trust Him to bring you out of the place where you are to a place of abundance? The most beautiful prayer we can pray is: I trust You, I trust You, I trust You. He is a loving Father who only wants the best for us and He will do whatever it takes to get us there. Instead of fighting Him, let's rest in that Truth.

Dear Lord, I trust You. I trust You. I trust You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Everyday Life encouragement is just a click away!

Becoming A Woman of Influence, CD message by Marybeth Whalen

For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen

When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference by Carolyn Custis James

Visit Marybeth’s blog – Cheaper by the Half Dozen

Application Steps:
Is there a time that God did whatever it took and you later realized it was good for you? Spend time journaling about that today.

Reflections:
How is God doing whatever it takes in your life right now? Are you recognizing it or rebelling against it?

Power Verses:
Psalm 143:7-8, "Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (NIV)

Psalm 18:19, "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post....I remember God removing a friend out of my life I knew it was for the best but it was really hard! God is so awesome, because He can see the bigger picture!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wonder about this post i've had a huge fight with my sister and even though i some what aplogized we still aren't talking. Would God do this also for some future reason?

Anonymous Eve said...

I am curious how this has worked for you, Marybeth. Can you share some of this with us? I am considering doing some similar things at home with my teens.
Thanks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 30 year old son in jail now for making some bad choices in life. He has been in there for 6 months now & may spend time in prison. I prayed that God would give me the right words of encouragement that he needs to hear. I printed a copy of your devotional & will incude it my letter I am writting to him. This was sent by God & thank you for being his lips.

Anonymous Katie R said...

You have no idea how this devotion has spoken to me today. God has been "breaking" me for a couple of months. Normally, I am asking Him to do more, but this morning was a bad morning. I sulked and pouted like a child and told Him I was mad at Him. This was just what I needed, thank you.

Blogger Chrissy said...

I got this devotion in my inbox this morning, and I just have to say THANK YOU! I need to keep repeating "I trust you. I trust you. I trust you." Thanks for helping me to see that! :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's 4am in Australia and yesterday was my birthday and I found out that my 14 week old baby no longer has a heartbeat. Our family are devastated. I'm going into hospital this morning and can't sleep so thought I would check out today's devotion. I immediately felt God's love for me on reading today's passage. I am sad and confused but know God, in his love has willed this for our family.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the anonymous post before me. please know that i am sure everyone who reads your post today and in the days to follow will be praying for you. we went through that too. my heart goes out to you and your family. always remember, you are not alone. Our Father suffered the loss of His Only Son, for all of us. may He cover you and your family with all the love grace and comfort that your heart can hold. know that one day there will be a wonderful reunion. my prayers,... our prayers are with you. your sister in Christ

Blogger lady said...

Thank you for this. I really needed it. A very timely treasure. Praise God.

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

Yes, Marybeth, right now I am feeling that way about an assignment that my husband has to Korea for a year. He was informed of this assignment in March and since then we have been praying that God cancels it and that He keep our family together.

He is scheduled to leave on the first of November. The closer it gets, the more frazzled I get. Your post today and Ms. Glynnis' on yesterday, I know is God comforting me.

I am a complete mess right now and want to yell, "Why haven't You cancelled this assignment yet Lord?"

smooches,
Larie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great devotion...Often times I forget that everything happens for a reason and I forget to just trust that the Lord knows what is best for me and my family...Thank you for helping me remember to just trust my Heavenly Father, he NEVER makes a mistake.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed, I really felt like God was speaking to me. This relates to me as a parent in setting boundaries for my son and being consistent and also as a child of God!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is a GREAT post! Yes, I'm one of those people that has been asking "Why?". I still don't fully understand the reason for all the hurt I've had the past few months,but I am doing my best to trust God!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eve,
I have had to make some "tough love" decisions for my teens and have taken away cell phones at night, facebook until homework is complete, etc. And while it is working for the most part, I do have to listen to a lot of grumbling and complaining that I am not being reasonable (what teen does like limits). They will be leaving home soon (too soon) for college and I prayerfully persevere in those things I believe are important (pick my battles carefully)with the hope that they will be better prepared to leave home and make good choices when Mom and Dad are no longer around to encourage and set limits. I found it helpful for them to know what they needed to do to earn back, fully or with limits, whatever item or privilege was restricted. Hope this is somewhat helpful.

Prayerfully,
Another loving Mom

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! The Lord is so amazing! So good! So gracious! This morning as I was rushing to get ready I was pondering on the fact that it is so difficult for me to wake up in the morning earlier than what i have to. I love God but man it is so hard for me to get up and spend time with Him before I start my day. But He spoke loud and clear to me as I read this daily devotional which I always do read but while at work. I know I am not really devoting any time with Him because of my busy schedule, but that is no excuse. Thank you Jesus for speaking to me this morning through this awesome ministry! I promise You in front of these viewers that I will try each day to wake up earlier and spend some good time with You. I pray for strength and a desire to seek You and Your Word, in Jesus name- Amen!

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