Tuesday, August 30, 2016

When God Gives Encouragement

I have a couple of other posts ready to go, but I feel like I need to set those aside for another night. Because tonight is for thankfulness. And praise. 

Especially since I wrote this post the other night.

I believe in the power of prayer. I have seen it used by others to encourage and bless my life, and the lives of my family members. Likewise, I have prayed for others many times.

I think the problem comes when we pray according to our own human desires...and not according to God's will. I am 100% sure I have prayed this way before...for myself, and for others.

For example, I have prayed for healing for someone, and healing came. And I have prayed for healing for someone, when healing did NOT come.

At least not in the way I wanted.

Sometimes, and I'm sure you've seen this happen, like I have...people pray for something, and the outcome is not what they want...and so they blame God. They get angry at Him, and turn away from Him.

God has used the difficult circumstances of our lives to draw us closer to Him.

This year, my prayer life has been kicked into over-drive, just because of several circumstances that are out of my control. SIDE NOTE: everything is out of our control...learn this now.

But there are things on my prayer list that I've been diligently praying for...day after day, week after week, month after month...for about year. AND LONGER. And I've gotten very few "answers" from God regarding these situations. Only reminders to keep on praying.

And so I have.

My youngest son likes to remind me that "God is always at work, even when we don't see it." He's smart like that. A smarty-smart, smarty-pants. I took Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God." I KNOW GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK AROUND US. That's one of the "things."

Even so, praying for the same people, the same situations, over and over and over...without even a hint that these prayers are being heard or resolved...it can be disheartening, if we don't keep our eyes on Him. 

But I'm like a dog with a bone. Because I've seen God work in my life, and in the lives of others, I trust that He is working even when I cannot see it.

Over the past few months, God has pulled back a little bit of the curtain, to show me what He is doing...what He has been doing, how He has been working...all along. And it's been awesome.

Two specific instances come to mind. I cannot share them here...but I found out. after the fact, that, at the exact moment I was praying some pretty specific prayers for these people/situations...God had already worked it out.

And, even tho He didn't have to, He let me know...because He knew it would encourage me.

And then tonight...we were just sitting in our family room, when the door flew open...and in walked our college son. Completely unannounced. I jumped up and ran across the room to him...and I jumped into his arms. Yes, I did. And the one-who-has-not-been-keeping-in-touch-with-me-since-the-day-we-moved-him-into-college-10-days-ago...hugged me tight, and did not let me go.

And, just like that, everything else melted away...and God's peace filled up my heart.

God knew what I needed, even before I asked Him. I would not have asked Him for the opportunity to see Clark tonight, because I knew he was planning to come home this weekend.

But God knew.

And I'm SO thankful.

"Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!" Matthew 6:8

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