1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV): Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
I know that God has blessed me. There is no doubt. I’ve been married to Debbie for almost 39 years. I have 4 wonderful children and 6 amazing grandchildren. I live on 51 acres with a 2 ½ acre pond that has fish. My home is very comfortable. Truly, I know God’s blessings.
I also experience challenges. I have experienced extreme physical pain when I broke my pelvic ring. I have experienced extreme emotional pain through the loss of my youngest daughter. I have my ups and downs. I just returned from seeing a doctor about chronic wrist pain.
The prayer of Jabez as recorded in 1 Chronicles has been embraced by some as a formula for everyone to experience God’s blessings, without any pain. That is what Jabez prayed for and “God granted his request.” The prayer is a good prayer. God is a good God who answers prayer. I must therefore ask, “Why not me? Why have I experienced pain in my life?”
I find the answer in my understanding of the Bible as a whole. I cannot depend on only one verse. Jabez was blessed in his unique situation. I believe that Paul the Apostle was also blessed by God, yet he experienced pain continually in his life. God allows what brings glory to Him. I choose to depend on God’s goodness and sovereignty. I can therefore accept God’s blessings and not question Him when I experience pain. God is God. I am not. I am His creation and exist to bring Him glory however He chooses. My life is not about me. It is about God.
Prayer: Father, I confess that sometimes I want You to do what I want you to do. Yet I know that I have submitted myself to You. I therefore let go and let You be in charge. Take my houses and my lands, take my health and all my plans. I place them all in Your hands.