Wouldn't that be great? I mean, fast forward through tough times? Oh yeah. Hit the pause button to get a few extra zzzz's? Sounds amazing. Or ... maybe ... um ... turn some people's volume down? Like, wayyyyy down.
Bottom line, if we feel annoyed by people or circumstances, it's not our fault. If only those things would change and then we could go on being the perfect little cherubs we always knew we were, thank you very much, sir. Trust me, I'm right there with you. Which is why these words stabbed at my chest to the extent they did (from page 30):
We'd rather pray for God to change our husbands than to give us patience. We'd rather God give us the first job we apply for than increase our trust. We'd rather have the relationship now than surrender to God's timing. So we pray for our husband to change, for the prospective employer to say yes, for the boy to ask us out. Our way. Our time.
... It isn't surrender when you pray for God to change somebody else. True surrender starts with arms outstretched and an open heart that cries, "Do what you will!"
I tend to fall prey to these ideas all too easily. It's so much more work to do the hard thing - be patient, trust, surrender - than the "quick-fix" of the circumstance. It's also all too easy to shift blame onto whatever or whomever is causing turbulence on our otherwise enjoyable flight.
Those words really caused me to open my eyes to this reality and lately I've been trying to pray for the Lord to show me where to change in areas where I previously thought people and things needed to change. It gets pretty tiring (seriously, Lord? I have to change my attitude about this? again? when will it not be my turn ...??). But it has been so beneficial.
I encourage you to pray for the Lord to open your eyes to these things as well. Instead of praying for change, pray for wisdom and virtues that transcend circumstances and relationships. It likely won't be an easy process, but your soul will find rest.