Last week, I learned something about myself. I struggle to give God the little stuff in my life.
These past few months, I’ve had a lot of knee pain. Particularly in my left knee. I had a scope last year, which helped for a little while. But after starting back into my normal activities the pain came back.
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Karate, which I love, has become very painful and almost impossible to do. Sometimes, just walking can be a problem. So I finally broke down and went to see my knee surgeon again.
Well after doing everything they told me to do; medicine, rest, exercises to strengthen my quads… blah, blah, blah… It never got better. And to make matters worse, the doctor said there is nothing to do at this time.
To say I was disappointed is a huge understatement! Being told that you’re just going to have to deal with continued pain is hard. I know it’s only my knee, and could be much more serious, but I was still crushed.
I called my oldest on the way home and totally unloaded on her. She listened and then we started on a plan of action. Where to go from here. It made me feel better to talk it out.
After we hung up, I started praying about my knee. And while praying, I realized that I had not prayed about it up until now. It was probably the first time I took my knee problems to God, at least in this last year. I did pray about my knee before my scope over a year ago, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t taken the time to give God my knee worries since my recovery. Wow…
I Thought I Was Good
Most of the time, I feel like I have a strong relationship with God. I make a point to pray and read my bible every morning. And on those rare occasions when I wake up late or get busy and forget, I can TOTALLY tell!
I am good about being thankful and asking God for the big stuff. When I had cancer, I prayed almost constantly! There was no way I could handle something that insanely huge by myself. If someone else is sick or has a major need, I pray for them as soon as I can, even immediately. I can pray for my church consistently, and I’m also good at praying for my family.
But at that moment, when I was driving home from the doctor, and I finally told God about my knee problems, I realized something about myself. I do not give God the little stuff. In fact, I am seriously BAD at it!
And I don’t really know why I do it. I will worry myself sick until I’m desperate and crying and have nowhere else to turn, and then I’ll pray about the small stuff. It’s kind of like I’m saying, “God, you take care of this (insert big needs), but don’t worry about these (small things). I’ve got them.” When obviously, I don’t “got them”. Not even close!
So how can I do better about praying about the small stuff?
Now that I realize the problem, it’s time for me to take action. There are steps I can take to help me bring all of my worries to give God. Here are four I am putting into place now.
Give God (and Yourself) a Consistent Prayer Time
Scheduling prayer time should be just as important as any other activity I have planned, if not more so. Like I said when writing about my worrying and jealousy, being consistent with my prayer time makes me more in tune with God. It also helps me to be a better person and look for His guidance throughout the day.
I find that beginning the day with Bible reading and prayer works best for me, but it may not work for everyone. Be flexible and find what works for you. The main point is to do it every day!
Write It Down
A few years ago, I kept a running list of prayer requests on my phone. Using this list ensured that I prayed for specific needs more consistently. But after a while, I found myself going into autopilot while praying. I would read through the list without really thinking. It made my prayers feel almost robotic, without feeling. And that’s not good!
Part of the problem was my list was too long, and I was trying to do it all at once. Breaking it down into small chunks will help me to be more focused on specific needs.
So, I will rewrite my list, placing a few items at the top to pray for every day. The remaining items will be broked into groups of five to six needs together. Each day of the week, I will pray for a different group in my list. And if any urgent needs come up, I can pray for that immediately, and make changes as needed. (I’ll keep you updated on how this goes!)
The Daily Grace Co. has awesome journals here!
Minimize Distractions to Give God Your Attention
Yes, I am a technology junkie! The pull of the phone is strong in me. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.
Don’t get me wrong, technology is wonderful! It can help me remember my grocery list and keep me on a schedule. I can also stay in touch with friends from all over the world through technology. And without the interwebs, I would not be able to share this blog post with you.
But it can also be a MAJOR distraction! I find myself pulling out my phone, opening an app, (usually social media) and mindlessly scrolling without even realizing it.
I use the YouVersion Bible app every day. It sends me a reminder to read my devotional and the verse of the day, which helps me be consistent. I also use the app to create my scripture images. It’s an awesome tool that I highly recommend!
Make a Conscious Effort
I need to make a conscious effort to unplug from the phone more often. Especially during my prayer time. So, my new plan is to lock the phone and put it down right after I finish reading the Bible.
And my prayer list will now be on paper. My planner has a section for thoughts and thanks, which makes it the perfect place to put a prayer list. That way, I’m sure to unplug and be focused on talking to God!
Give God Your Trust in His Timing
This one can be difficult too. In today’s society, we want what we want, and we want it now! So trusting God’s timing can be stressful and hard.
But in the end, it will be so worth it. God has perfect timing, and we don’t. As hard as it is, we must remember that.
I was hoping the knee surgeon would say my knee was an easy fix, but he didn’t. Instead, I got a big fat “nothing we can do”, which stinks. However, there is someone, who can do whatever we ask. Maybe God wants me to learn patience. Or He could want me to pursue other avenues and better my overall health. He could also be teaching me to give everything, even the small stuff, to Him. And it could be all three.
The point is, we need to trust Him. Wholey and without question. That’s the only way any of us can ever become the person God is calling us to be.
Make it a great one,