Monday, January 11, 2010

when prayer is answered

The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:17). We are to trust God with whatever we are dealing with--relationships, jobs, our Christian walk, finances, families-- and not worry about it. Easier said than done, let me tell you.
Actually, I bet I don't need to tell you. You have probably already come across something in your life that you have struggled to give to God completely. Sometimes, it seems I am constantly telling God, "Okay you need to take care of this because I just can't" a la Hezekiah and the scroll (2 Kings 19: 14-16)
. I find it hard to learn my lessons and am often praying and returning control to God for the same things. He, however, is full of grace and love and continues to read the scroll that contains my struggles I put before him. In all of my failings, He never leaves. I was reminded of this fact once again last night.
About four years ago, I was getting ready to graduate high school. My youth group was also in a transition; the search for a new youth pastor was underway. Even though I wouldn't be in the youth group much longer, I felt that it was important that I care about the process and who was picked because it would be my sister and many of my friends that would be affected by the choice made. I wanted them to have a good godly example and to grow in God. That youth group has been through more than a few trials in four years, and is now searching for a place for their growing number. At a church meeting where this issue was discussed, many youth leaders spoke about the good attitudes the youth had about their small meeting space and the spiritual growth in spite of their small space;after this, the youth were given an opportunity to share their thoughts. With complete and utter respect, these youth members shared honestly with the members their desire for a bigger space. But not only that, they also shared their own thoughts on their spiritual growth. Though others saw growth, the youth all stated that there seemed to be a regression, a slowing even reversal of growth. This, their desire for spiritual growth, was the motivation for a bigger space, and not the space itself. I was impressed with their poise and confidence to speak to the adult members of the church.
As I was driving home, I realized that they were an answer to that prayer that I had prayed four years ago. Through the struggles they went through, by God's Grace, they came through it with the sole desire to honor God. They desire better communication with other members of the youth group. They want, desperately it seems, to have a better relationship with their God, deeper than what people think they already have. There is no way I would have wished that they had struggles or hard times; however, I am thankful that God saw fit to work things out for good, for those who love Him. And I'm thankful that God, in the round about way that He does things (round about in my mind), chose to answer my prayers. So what that it took four years for me to see results? It isn't about that.
The prayer was answered. That is all that matters. And so, I will keep praying. Keep praying for peace in a job search, peace in my relationships, peace for the future. Why? Because He is faithful, even when and especially, when I am not.

1 comment:

sharon said...

yes, the answers don't always come in our time. the answers don't always turn out to be what we expected. one thing we do know, we ARE heard when we pray - always remember that!