Ezekial 35:4 says, " I will demolish your cities & make you desolate, then you will know that I am the Lord." (NLT version)
Sometimes the extreme must happen for us to see clearly the face of God. A few years ago Mike was broken for a friend. This man was full of pride. I would pray for him but could not bring myself to say three words, "Whatever it takes..." I knew this was to be an important part of my prayer for him and a very necessary part but to pray such words over him felt very hypocritical when I couldn't pray them over one of my own family members. The fear of praying those words for my own led to a season of legalistic prayer and a broken fellowship with my Lord. Finally, I submitted, and after praying "Whatever it takes" for my own, I was free to pray the same for this prideful man who so desperately needed it. Today God is doing a work in this man. I think of Job's words, "And when I am tested, I will come forth as gold". I cannot divulge the trials this man has been through or you would identify him but I can say that I trust God and that I believe that this man will come forth as gold!