Have you ever experienced favor from the Lord? No, not in a way in which you subscribe to false humility by secretly acknowledging that a certain result was by your own merit. I mean that moment when you knew, without a doubt, that you didn’t deserve that grade, that observation, that evaluation report, that bonus, or that grace from a coworker, friend, or boss. Of course this is a conundrum of a question, because when do we ever really “deserve” anything except death? But you know what I mean...right?
I experienced the favor of the Lord on my job when recently pregnant. There were sooooooo many times in which I didn't have a lesson prepared (I'm a teacher), and somehow on days such as that, I taught the best lesson of my life. Another example included a time when I needed to create a project for students to do, and through limited time, I did so in a very rushed manner. Later, students told me how that project changed their life (what, really?!). It was during these times in which I knew that there was nothing at all for me to accredit my success to except by the favor of the Lord. He literally had His hand on me.
And yet, there have been several instances in my life in which I’ve not asked for the favor of the Lord.
Why? Ummm.... because I secretly think that I don’t need it (insert *gasp).
What do I mean? I think to myself the following thoughts: "I got this. I can do this on my own. I’ll ask for favor only on things that I know that I can’t do." I know it sounds silly, but these are my true thoughts.
But if I were to really look to the root as to why I think these thoughts, it's due to these two points:
If I can be honest, I want to secretly bask in my own glory when things go well. I want to pride myself in my own capabilities when things go exactly according to plan. Subsequently, I end up judging others by secretly thinking..,“well things didn’t go well for them because they didn’t do “xyz.” What pride. Yes, what pride :(.
Secondly, I succumb to these thoughts because (don’t judge me), I think that my own capabilities are more reliable than relying on or even seeking the favor of the Lord. Instead of running to the Lord and asking Him to grace me in my shortcomings, I seek ways for me to actively fix my shortcomings. The former requires faith. The latter allows pride to fester when things go well; but it also allows for feelings of inferiority to seep in when things don’t go well. My pursuit of the Lord's favor and my responsibility to improve upon my shortcomings shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Instead, both should be beautifully coupled together. Unfortunately, I tend to lean more towards the "fixing."
In short, when I experience the favor of the Lord, there is no room for glory. There are no doors for pride to be opened. I am left only to praise Him for His goodness, His willingness, His grace, and His mercy; while also being acutely aware of my own misgivings when left without His favor.
PonderedThought: I encourage you to pray for the favor of the Lord in every aspect of your life. His favor is not limited! If married, ask for favor in yall’s marriage. If working, ask for favor with your boss and in your work. If a mother, ask for supernatural favor to obtain more sleep, to keep the house in order, and to not be driven to insanity when looking at "organized" chaos (you can tell I’m a new mom, huh?) In short, we need the favor of the Lord. Don’t be ashamed or prideful to begin asking for it. And when you do, be reminded of whom you ought to praise when things go well.
Favor is never fair. Simply except it and praise God for HIs grace.