On a Friday not too long ago two significant prayers were answered. The first was one that we have prayed in desperation for almost four years. The sale of a home we haven’t lived in since 2013 was finally completed. We then received confirmation that the house of our choice in our soon to be community would be ours in less than 3 weeks. As I read the email out loud, I couldn’t help but reflect on the significance. Two major needs were taken care of within an hour of each other.
The past three and a half years have been filled with waiting in the unknown. Waiting is never easy, but when the ending is undefined, it can become even more challenging to endure. “How long Oh Lord” had been my cry for years regarding the sale of our house.
December brought an entirely new dimension to our season of waiting. We were now facing a move, but the location and timing were something only God was aware of. Loss of income, health insurance, and our home were all looming. It felt like too much to bear.
Our friends and family immediately surrounded us with prayers and job leads. I can’t explain the feeling that carried me through those early weeks except for a calmness that was present even through the tears. We knew a job would come, that was never in question.
Each week brought a different location to consider. Work trips for me and Interviews for Ordell, in separate states, overlapped. Friends stepped in to keep our boy’s lives as consistent as possible for as long as possible.
Our church surrounded us as well. Church leadership prayed over us, they prayed for us, and they continued to check on us. Occasionally someone would share a specific word they felt they were hearing from God for us. A few years ago this would have terrified me, but in this season I was eager to see how things would be revealed.
- We were told that there would be many paths to choose from and that was true.
- We were told that God had gone before us and taken care of everything, and he had.
- I was told that God was calling me to deep spiritual rest. That was true and continues to be so.
It may seem odd to you that people felt confident in sharing these things with us, but to us, these words were in themselves an answer to prayer. We were praying daily to see and hear more of God. Emotions can overtake a person in minutes. We still battled fear and anger. Grieving is a necessary part of any transition. God carried us through each day we mourned and through that we learned to see him move even more specifically.
As I continue to reflect on the events of the past years and more so the past months one thing continues to stand out. God answered our prayers his way, in his timing. Ultimately we received “yeses” to our two biggest needs. I realize this isn’t always the case, so I want to pause to say how grateful I am that God has provided for us so significantly. Still, I feel there is a further point to be made.
God moved in his timing and answered prayers his way. He did so because he chose to. More so, he did so because he loves his children and hears our cries. There were many verses we prayed as we waited, but these two were the ones I clung to repeating often.
Psalm 4:2-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him. Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Psalm 27:12-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
The weight of the need surrounding the two prayers I’ve highlighted is indistinguishable to me. One might argue the need for a new job was more important, but the endurance of waiting almost four years for the sale of a house was exhausting. I bring this up for one reason. To tell you, dear friend, that there was nothing that could have been done differently in either situation.
Hindsight is 20/20, but some things we will only know for sure in heaven. It seems logical that God, knowing the whole story, knew that in a time of transition the sale of a home would be a huge lift of encouragement as well as a financial. It could also be logical to explain that the endurance and faith built in the three-plus years of God faithfully providing during a time of financial strain would deepen our faith to better handle what was to come.
Perhaps the logic is correct; perhaps the story is still unfolding. Regardless, my take away on answered prayers is that our role is to wait well. To seek God daily and trust his plan for our lives. Just because this take away makes sense to me, does not make it easy to execute. This is a daily surrender of will for me, but on the days I succeed God draws me near to him, and circumstances have a different perspective. On the days I succeed, peace is present, and the waiting can be endured.