Answered Prayers Are Rarely What You Expect

As promised here is the story about our exciting blessings.

The story really begins last Friday.

On most mornings during the week the kids and I do a Bible study together.  We have been going through the old testament.  Friday morning’s study was about the “changing of the guard” when Moses handed the leadership of the Israelites on to Joshua.  They were outside of the promised land when God told Joshua to have one man from each of the twelve tribes place a rock at Gilgal as a remembrance of all of the blessings He had poured out on the Israelites.  I talked with them about putting together our own remembrance.  I have talked about that before, but had not done anything about it. 

I remembered a jar that Daddy’O had picked up at a garage sale many years ago that is sitting out in the garage.  It is a large blue tinted mason jar.  It is just perfect for our project.  We are going to pick up river rocks from our landscape and paint them different colors and write the different instances that God has provided for our family.  Then, when we are feeling down or out of touch with God, we can pull the jar down and read all of the blessings He has poured out on us. 

I closed our study with prayer as I always do.  I was almost through when my mouth started uttering words that I didn’t intend to say.  I pray this prayer often, but had not purposely prayed this prayer in several weeks.  I prayed simply that God would show himself real to my kids.  My desire is for my kids to claim Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, not just the God of their parents.  I hadn’t prayed that prayer in a few weeks, because each time I have prayed it, God has answered it with a yes.  I’m always looking for yes’ when I pray, but the yes that comes along with this prayer is always full of growing experiences, if you get my drift.  Little did I know what was in store for our family over the next few days.  Nor could I have even imagined how exciting a “growing” yes answer could be.

On Saturday afternoon I went outside to pick up the mail.  I looked through the letters and spotted a personal note.  It’s always exciting getting personal mail, since much of what we get these days is from bill collectors.  It happened to be from a missionary family that had been in town recently.  Long ago when I was sixteen, I had traveled with them to Macau where they were serving as missionaries.  I spent three months helping them with their children which freed them up to serve in their ministry more.  It was a wonderful time full of good memories.  Anyway, the letter was from them.  Enclosed was a check for one hundred dollars.  I couldn’t believe it.  They said they felt led to send it to us.  I wasn’t sure what I would use it for, but was thinking that I would reinstated Daddy’O’s life insurance policy.  God knew better.

Then on Sunday morning, I heard a voice say, “Mom, Dad called he needs you.”  Still half asleep, I pick up the phone and call Daddy’O back who is out delivering papers– Mind you it, was only four thirty in the morning.  His clutch had gone out and he needed me to pick him up.   I left Master C in charge while I hurried out.  I got in the van and looked back in disbelief as I noticed the light was on in the very back.  I had turned it on to get something out of the back the previous night and had forgotten to turn it off.  From experience when the kids have left it on, I didn’t want to try to start the van.  I knew that the battery was going to be dead.  Well, I didn’t have a choice, so I turned the key.  Praise the Lord, the van started.  All the way to pick up Daddy’O, I was thanking the Lord for that.  I was also praising him because he allowed this inconvenience to occur on a Sunday.  Any week day would have been such a terrible thing.  Daddy’O goes straight from his paper route to his regular job during the week and would not have been able to finish the route on time and made it to work on time.  

I finally reached him about fifteen minutes later.  Before he hopped in the van, I saw him put something in his trunk.  While the trunk was open, I noticed it was still full of papers.  Ugh!

We headed home.  He dropped me off and then he went back to his car with our van and loaded it up with all the papers and finished his route. 

After he came home, we got ready for church and headed out.  While at church, someone handed Daddy’O two hundred dollars.  The person said that someone had given it to them to give to us anonymously.  Wow, that was three hundred dollars that we could use to repair the clutch.  We were so excited that God used other believers to bless our family.

On Monday my father used his Triple A to tow our car to the auto repair shop.  Because it is a hybrid, we found out that it would be close to one thousand dollars to repair.  I couldn’t believe it.  We don’t have any money that we could use other than the three hundred dollars that God had already given us.  I talked to God in frustration.  We are trying to pull ourselves out of the hole we have dug over the last three years with Daddy’O’s three job losses.  We have four jobs between the two of us.  We are trying to honor God with our expenses.  We are making an effort to be good stewards of our money.  Even enrolling in a Financial Peace University class at our church.  So, I was telling God that I was frustrated and that I didn’t know what else I could do.  As far as I could tell, the two of us were doing all we could do. 

Tuesday, my Dad called and said that he would not buy the Rosetta Stone Chinese Language program that he was going to buy for my kids and instead he would give it to us to fix our car.  He and my mom had also lent us their other car so Patrick could still deliver papers and get to work during the week. 

Now we were up to five hundred dollars.  The car was still sitting at the auto repair shop without a go ahead on the work.  I was trying to figure out which bills I could skip to pay to get the car fixed. 

Then Thursday came and I got a call from someone telling me that they had talked with the auto repair shop to see if there was any way they could get the cost down.  Then he continued by saying that they had some money coming that he wanted to pay to help fix our car.  They are going to pick up the rest of the bill. 

I was in shock!  In six days God had used four different people to give our family ONE THOUSAND dollars.  Is that crazy!  God is soooo AMAZING!  Did you get that- ONE THOUSAND dollars. 

Our lives have been so very difficult financially over that last three years, but God has shown Himself real to our family over and over again.  CS Lewis wrote in one of his books that the wealth of people gets in the way of relying on God.  I completely get what he is talking about. 

I have had to throw my hands up on many occasions because I didn’t know what else to do.  I am supposed to cast all of my cares upon Him, but I continually think about what I can do to fix situations.  Our family is at a point that there is nothing else we can do, so we have had to let go and let God. 

He has NOT let us down.  I cannot tell you what a wonderful and fulfilling feeling I am filled with to know that the God of the universe cares enough about little old me to bless my socks off.  I have done nothing to deserve His love for me.  Nothing at all.  In fact I have done so many things that He is disgusted and hurt by, but He still loves me.  He loves ME!  I am still in awe at how He could love me. 

Then all of a sudden, just for a split second, my pride comes in and I think I’m special or something.  Like I did something really good to earn His favor.  Then I have to confess my sin because I did nothing to earn His favor.  Why do I always do that????  Man I disgust myself!

He loves me just because.  He sent His only son to die on the cross for my sins.  He loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.  Anyone.   

I want to stay in this place.  And then I don’t want to stay in this place.  It is a beautiful place to be to rely on God, but it goes against my human desires.  I don’t want to stay broke.  I don’t want to live the rest of our lives living from paycheck to paycheck, never sure if we will have the comforts we so enjoy now.  But, to not stay in this place would rob me of the joy of seeing God use other people to answer our prayers.  He has shown me how to be content in all of my circumstances because He has promised to take care of my needs.  He has taken care of my family’s needs.  Every one of them.  They are not met in the ways I was imagining, but who am I to decide what is best.  I do not know what it will take to draw myself to Him.  All I can see are small puzzle peices.  I can not see the entire picture of my life and my kids’ lives.  Nor can I see the whole finished puzzle of my husband’s life.  We are all growing in different ways, but God is using these experiences of leaning hard on Him to stretch each of us.  He is drawing each of us closer to Him. 

We are writing these experiences on our doorposts too.  My kids know the blessings God continually gives our family.  They have these same experiences to use as pegs to build their own faith.  How exciting it is to see their faith grow right along with ours.

Know that I am God and there is no other.  Know that I am God and there is none like me.

(I’ll have to find the ref. later)

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