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Through out our lives we are always going through periods of highs and lows. God uses these times in our life to prepare us for a set purpose in our lives.
The Bible tells us that we should rejoice in these times because our Father in heaven loves us enough to discipline our ways. The word discipline can and is often misunderstood. When we think of discipline we think of the punishment we receive for some wrong. On the contrary, discipline is also used as a word to mean to train up.
God wants us to be the best we can be, because through our lives and actions comes glory to him as we become stronger.
Our big problem with this part of serving God, is we continue to say” Why God?” It seems to take us awhile to remember that God said to TRUST him in all things.
My husband and I have led what we would call a comfortable life, but if we saw family or friend or anyone in need we always tried to help as best we could. Sometimes the situation might be so bad for the people I couldn’t help but feel thankful that we have not had such problems ourselves.
When we help someone, we often feel so good that we can help, we don’t realize how hard it is from their perspective to have to accept that help.
One day the tables were turned. My husband became ill and it seemed the doctors were dragging their feet. My Husband had to endure test after test with no defiant result of finding the cause of his illness. I have a very weak back, so I am only able to work part time. My husband is our family’s wage earner. He had never been sick except maybe the flu once or twice where he had to give in and take a day off. My husband had never in the whole twenty-five years we had been married, missed any work. Now all at once we had no income. I was so very scared!
We rent the home we live in and there are always the fears that come upon us as to getting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads. The stability of knowing we can make ends at least wave at each other was now gone. As I watched my husband become sicker, the fears of losing him were foremost in my mind. There was seemingly nothing I could do to help him get better and I began to feel so helpless and hopeless.
We were attending West Main Church of Christ and had only recently joined the church family. I was so scared, I began asking for prayers for Terry and they were freely given. I was so sure God would answer these prayers and Terry would soon be well that we turned down additional support.
SURPRISE! This was not to be God’s will for us yet. A month soon passed and Terry was still no better. There were still no answers about his illness or even how much longer or how many more tests were to come. I prayed to God for Terry’s health and I committed him to God’s hands to do as he saw fit. I also prayed to God in thanks. Thanks because the Bible tells us that God won’t let more happed than we can endure. I asked for physical strength for myself because I knew that I needed to help with the household bills, so I would need to increase my work hours. I knew that God already knew the requirements of our lives, so Lord I leave my families care in your hands.
My husband called his employer to explain that he would be off work a while longer. To our surprise the company has a temporary disability plan and we qualified to receive it. The company continued our health insurance and gave us a paycheck. It wasn’t equal to our wages, but we could budget and pay rent and utilities. It didn’t leave enough for much food, and Terry needed a special diet, which was hard to meet on what we were receiving.
You know it’s funny, we have always given to others but it was the hardest thing in the world to ask for help. It was even harder to admit to ourselves that we had to accept the help we had so often given.
I had prayed to God for the strength I would need to work extra hours so I could purchase the needed food for my husband and family. Then I thanked God for answering this prayer because I never had a doubt that he (God) would answer.
SURPRISE! God’s answers don’t always come as we expect them. That Sunday at church a couple was asking about Terry and how long he had been off work. We had talked about foods Terry could eat and they suggested others we might try to give him some variety in his diet and improve his condition.
Terry wasn’t up to going to church. The pain kept him home. I hadn’t been sleeping well either, so I stayed home from evening service. We got a call about 8 pm from the couple I had spoke with that morning to see if we would still be up and could they come by?
We said we would be up and they would be welcome. They asked about helping. We swallowed our pride and said we could us some chicken and a few vegetables.
That night God answered my prayers for food through this family and church. I was hoping for a little and through them God sent us not only the things we had asked for, but also all the other food items we needed but hadn’t asked for. Now I could get by on the money God had provided us. I believe God directed these people and instead of answering my prayers for strength and more work, God provided for our needs. In that moment I heard God’s voice say to me ”remember, just trust me.”
I have had many prayers in my life answered. Not all have been answered in ways I expected. Many times the prayers were answered over and above what I had asked for. Many times, when I received a NO form God I see later it was only no to my desire that something happen a certain way. Not no to my real need. God knows what is really necessary in our lives and if we can just trust him we will be cared for.
How many people can say they talked to God and have always received an answer?
I can’t answer that question, however I can truthfully tell you that you can pray your heart out and still never hear God’s answer. It’s not that God doesn’t answer, we are just so determinedly set that God is going to answer our prayers just the way we want, that we aren’t always receptive to the fact that the prayer has already been answered
Maybe instead of shouting “hey God aren’t you listening?” We should become more observant of God’s miraculous answers to us.
God always answers if we trust him, for an answer of love.
I like to collect poems or saying and this one arrived in a church bulletin at the time I was completing this chapter, and I felt it should be included.
A man whispered,
“God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang
But the man did not listen.
So the man yelled,
“God, speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said,
“God, let me see you.”
And a star shone brightly
But the man did not notice.
And the man Shouted,
“God show me a miracle”
And a life was born
But the man did not know
So, the man cried out in despair,
“Touch me God and let me know that
You are here!”
Where upon God reached down and touched the man,
But the man brushed the Butterfly away and walked on.
Author unknown, but appreciated
How many prayers have you had answered?
Like the man in that passage, God knows our needs. God hears our prayers. God also knew us before we were born. God knows what, where, when and how our needs must be met.
I think our hardest and most childlike attitude towards God, is when he has answered our prayers differently than we asked and we won’t accept what He has decided because it wasn’t our will.
When I realized I have received an answer to a prayer, it makes me feel so joyous that I want to shout to the world, “See you scared, unbelieving, doubting people: my God is alive and loves me! See what your missing out on!”
As I think back over my life, there are so many prayers, yet I can truthfully claim that not one of my prayers have ever gone unanswered.
Thank you God for your Son, for your love and for my many answered prayers, and yes God for the occasional swift kick from the Holy Spirit so I’ll realize sometimes I didn’t get my answer, but yours.
Note* From Debra, I loved this poem that is included in this piece, however I did not write the poem nor do I wish to take credit for it. I do wish to thank the author who ever you might be ! it is wonderful
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