It’s funny how the Lord does things sometimes, because He definitely has a sense of humor! His way of teaching me the joys of being flexible was actually amusing.
I began praying earnestly about a church ministry topic a couple of years ago, and realized after a few months that it wasn’t His timing to answer it then. After a while, I began to consider it just wouldn’t happen at all, and lost fervor regarding it.
Fast forward nearly a year, and I get a phone call regarding the very topic I had been praying about! Still there were many unanswered questions. My role still remained unclear yet I was willing to be flexible in how He wanted to use me.
So, naturally I went hiking at Sawnee Mountain, my place of refuge, and chose to do the 3 mile trail. With about 1 mile to go, I decided to take a rarely used narrow path that I had never been on, a supposed shortcut, but I was completely certain it would intersect with the main trail about 1/3 mile before the trail ended at the parking lot.
About half way up the hilly path, I found a “comfy” rock, sat down and invited the Lord to join me. I shared several things with Him including my uncertainty about what direction He wanted me to go, what area of this ministry He wanted me to be involved in. After about 20 minutes, I stood up and continued my hike. Climbing up the mountain, I was confident of the direction to the main trail. When I finally got to it, I didn’t recognize where I was! I went back and forth, looking for a sign of something that was familiar, but nothing. I saw the trail marker, but it just didn’t make sense! It couldn’t be. It was wrong, and I thought I had never been there before. Had I discovered a main trail I had never been on? So, I chose a direction, and walked. 5 minutes later, I realized just where I was. I had made it back to the very same trailhead I had started on, only about 1/2 mile from the beginning at the parking lot. I smiled and laughed out loud! God, you sure do have a way of showing me things through circumstances that happen.
So what did I learn?
1. That God doesn’t always answer in our timing. He partially answered a year later. We should never discount any past prayer to the Lord – He hasn’t forgotten it.
2. That God’s direction for us doesn’t change. Perhaps how we get there does and our perspective of what that direction is can too.
3. That when we think we know where we are going and what our future is, it is not certain. We cannot know the many paths that we may cross to get to a certain point.
4. Be willing to make a change in the direction you want to go. God can use you wherever you are, and you will still finish your race!
5. That sometimes God takes you back to the beginning (perhaps to refresh your memory?)
6. That there is joy in the journey. It is exciting to discover something old when you see it from a different perspective (i.e. from the opposite direction).
7. To take time out of your walk in life and share your heart with the Lord. He loves it. He will rest with you too.
So, do I have a specific answer to my prayer? yes and no.
Do I need one? In time.
Do I trust that He will answer me and guide me in this? Yes.
Remember these points:
– God hasn’t forgotten your prayer
– be flexible in your direction
– we may cross many paths to get where we are going
– be willing to make a change in your direction
– go back to the beginning for a refresher!
– there is joy in discovering different perspectives on your journey
– take time to rest and talk with the Lord about your walk.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”
“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
Food for thought: Don’t give up praying about something. He will answer with the best timing and with the best answer! Be flexible in how you see His answer.
Fun facts: The Lord has answered some crazy prayers! Biblical examples are: 1. Elijah’s prayer for no rain, and it was dry for 3 1/2 years! 2. Then he prayed for rain, and it rained plenty. 3. Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened to see the army of God, and he did! They were surrounded by King Aram’s army with chariots, but Elisha was surrounded by God’s army of fiery chariots! 4. Elisha prayed that the Aram army would go blind, and they did.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Mountain bench