I discovered something recently and I am eager to share with you!
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
Isaiah chapter sixty five, verse twenty four.
We quote this scripture all the time but sometimes it seems as if God is not answering our prayers. The reason we think this is that things never seem to come at the time we want them to, even when we are sure that what we ask for is in line with the will of God.
But have you ever thought about what it takes to answer a prayer? Have you ever thought about all the many things that God must do before one prayer can be answered?
Think with me…
Let’s take a practical example. One day, you return from work, get your mail and it is all bills. You sit down on your couch staring into space wondering how you are going to ever pay up all of your student loans, health insurance, car insurance, rent etc. You then remember the scripture that says ‘ask and it shall be given to you’, and you fall down on your knees and cry to God. “Lord, I need a raise, I need more money to pay these bills. This is just not working for me. Please help me.” You even quote some scriptures of how God gives good gifts to His children and you remind yourself that God said whenever His children call on Him, He will answer. You go to bed feeling confident that God has heard your prayer. The next day you pray the same prayer, you confess some scriptures over your situation and you do so for the next 1 week…2 weeks…a month, but you see nothing.
You begin to doubt that God heard you and that God loves you. You still struggle with the bills and feed from hand to mouth. Your mind, secretly without your consent, begins to doubt that God heard you…or that He loves you…or that His word is true…or that He even exists.
“Lord, do you not love me? What have I done wrong? Why are you treating me like this?”
The next Monday, your boss calls you into his office, hands you a letter and tells you that you were a good employee but that the company is downsizing and so they have to let you go. You are mad because you worked so hard. You sacrificed everything, including your social life because of the company and this is how they pay you.
By this time, you are even more convinced that God hates you and He deliberately wants to hurt you and make you miserable. Even the little you had, He took away. Yet you read in scriptures that God is love and you just can’t understand.
You do the right thing, put yourself together and begin applying again. You apply to several companies but it is one rejection after the other. You are about to give up and soon you decide that you must go back to live with your parents for a while. You hate to be dependent but you have no choice. Your mum asks you to help out at her grocery store. You really don’t want to, but hey, they are feeding you. Even if she makes it sound like you have a choice, you really don’t. You work there a week…2 weeks… now you are ‘certain’ that God has completely abandoned you. Somehow, you hear God still say to you, “Trust me.”
You finally decide that God’s plan is the best and try to be happy in your mum’s grocery store.
One day as you are doing the accounts, someone walks in. She looks a bit upset and she is here to get some groceries. She is somewhat corporately dressed. You help her out with the stuff she needs, but your heart goes out to her. You decide to talk to her and you ask her, “Are you okay?” She pauses for a few seconds before frustrated words begin to roll out of her mouth. You find out that she is the manager of a company you know, and one of her top employees just resigned in addition to two others last week. The company is now short staffed. They have a huge project they need to execute next week and she is just wondering how they will pull that off. You feel sorry for her and volunteer to help her out. She is elated and tells you where and when to meet.
You are happy that you can at least take a break from the cashier position at your mum’s grocery store. You work with her for two weeks and you actually enjoy it. The project execution is successful and at the end of the two weeks, she is so grateful to you, commends you and offers you the job of her top manager. You are shocked to your bones! The pay would be triple that of your old job. What just happened?
Your answer came.
If your company was not downsizing, you would not have been fired and if you had not been fired you wouldn’t have had to move back in with your parents. If you had not moved back in with your parents, you would never have had to work at your mother’s grocery store. If you had not worked at that store, you would never have met that woman.If the woman’s top employees had not resigned, she would not have needed any help and if she had not, you would not have been able to volunteer to help out in which case you would never have gotten the job.
The truth is, from the time you prayed, God had already answered, but the answer did not come as you expected it to. This is just a simple example that sometimes God needs to take us through hard and tough times before we can inherit all that He has for us. But His plans are ALWAYS good and he brings us to an expected end.
Sometimes God must do 1000 things just to answer your prayer. It almost sounds as if he takes your prayer more seriously than you do. Sometimes, He even answers a desire, not a prayer, He answers a wish.
If that is not love, I don’t know what is.