It was 25C today in Calgary – a pretty special treat for April. Jenna and I spent most of the afternoon in at the cast clinic at the Children’s Hospital and were finally given the “all clear”. She was able to remove her air cast and get rid of the crutches. She hasn’t stopped smiling yet (happiness moment #1).
When we got home this evening I decided I should grab my poor, neglected Dotted Dog and take her out for a walk. I love my walking time, and especially tonight I needed some head clearing. I walked and prayed and cried and yelled (thank goodness we are in the country and I can do such things). I asked God what it was I was supposed to be doing. I feel so helpless and upset and angry and frustrated and afraid. What am I supposed to do? Then I stood on the road and yelled at the sky (like Jenna used to yell at me when she was smaller) answer me!!! I asked you what am I supposed to do!! At least give me some kind of sign!!!
And then I kept walking, because really – what kind of sign was going to come to me on this road in the middle of nowhere?
I heard that other voice in my head (as Jacob says – you know how there’s the voice you control, and then the other voice that talks back that you don’t control – well that one) say it’s like you’ve planted a garden and you keep digging it up to see if anything’s growing. You know things can’t grow like that. And then because I’m easily distracted I missed a lot of the profoundness of that statement and started thinking about my garden and what I wanted to plant in it.
Less than 5 minutes later my cousin pulled up beside me in his truck and handed me a book “read this, it was given to me, it’s a daily devotional and it really helped me, I think it’s time to pass it on to you.” We chatted for a while – and I met his adorable puppy – and then he drove off on his way.
I walked for a couple of minutes with the book and then thought – hmmm out of nowhere I was handed a daily devotional book. Perhaps I should see what today’s reading is.
And I read God’s answer to my prayer, and so I listened….
I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer. Yet God taught me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work. He also revealed that when I prayed and had confident trust in Him for something, He simply wanted me to wait in an attitude of praise and do only what He told me. Sitting still, doing nothing except trusting in the Lord, causes a feeling of uncertainty, and there is often a tremendous temptation to take the battle into our own hands.
We all know how difficult it is to rescue a drowning person who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally difficult for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist on trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that God will not but that he cannot, for our interference hinders His work.
Spiritual forces cannot work while we are trusting earthly forces.
Often we fail to give God an opportunity to work, not realizing that it takes time for Him to answer prayer. It takes time for God to color a rose or to grow a great oak tree. And it takes time for Him to make bread from wheat fields. He takes the soil, then grinds and softens it. He enriches it and wets it with rain showers and with dew. Then He brings the warmth of life to the small blade of grass, later grows the stalk and the amber grain, and finally provides bread for the hungry.
All this takes time. Therefore we sow the seed, till the ground, and then wait and trust until God’s purpose has been fulfilled. We understand this principle when it comes to planting a field, and we need to learn the same lesson regarding our prayer life. It takes time for God to answer our prayer. (Streams in the Desert for Graduates by LB Cowman)