The Answer Is His Decision
As children of God through Jesus Christ, we can ask God for help and know that the answers we receive, which may be “yes,” “no,” “maybe” or “not yet” — may not be what we expect or want, but are ultimately for our own good and for His glory. The Bible says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed “(1Pet.:6,7 NIV). The following story demonstrates God’s wide range of answers:
My husband of 12 years suddenly grew ill. One day he was healthy, and the next sick with cancer. His health failed fast, and he stopped working. Fortunately, my employer provided good health insurance, but the loss of his salary meant we could not pay our normal bills. Soon, we were three months behind on our mortgage payments and the lender threatened foreclosure. It seemed I leaned on the Lord every day for strength and one of my many prayers was for God to show me how to pay my mortgage.
The day before I was going to lose my house to the bank, my out-of-town cousin visited us in the hospital. She said, “Let’s pray for him to be healed,” and then, as an afterthought, she asked, “What else should we pray? How are your finances?” I told her the bank was going to foreclose the next day if we didn’t pay $6,000 in back payments. She said, “Okay, let’s pray that he is healed and that you get the money you need.” Immediately after we prayed my cousin had a brainstorm and said, “Let’s call our relatives and ask each of them to chip in to pay your mortgage.” Within 30 minutes, the money was wired to the lender and I was current on my mortgage payments.
The Lord answered both prayers in different ways. My house was saved and my husband went home to Jesus. I have grieved over my loss, yet, at the same time, I know everything happens for a reason. I have since married a wonderful man that I met at church.
You Can’t Out Give God!
Throughout God’s word he promises to provide for all our needs, yet so often we struggle with self reliance and doubt. God says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (MT 6:33 NIV). Here is a story where God’s kingdom won over doubt:
When I attended college I drove my family’s car to class, work and around town. It was getting old and needed repairs. I decided to begin saving $200 per month to buy a car of my own. Around this same time, my church sensed God’s call to relocate. The pastor urged the congregation to pray about how each of us could be involved financially. He emphasized that although there would not be equal gifts, there should be equal sacrifice among congregation members. It was at this point, hearing the vision God had given our pastor and the challenge set before the church to sacrifice, that my $200 per month decision came to mind.
I thought to myself, “Lord, I can’t commit $200 per month! What about my car? That’s something I really need.” I wrestled with the thoughts in my head, but I felt that God wanted me to give up the money as my sacrifice for the church relocation. So, when I submitted my commitment card, I pledged $200 per month for three years.
Just weeks later my grandmother purchased a new car for herself that was easier for her to drive than her manual transmission. Unaware of any of my recent financial decisions, she generously offered to me her other good-running car free of charge — despite my offer to pay her for it. I was amazed at how quickly and practically God provided for my need after I trusted Him and was obedient to His voice.
If you have a personal prayer story that demonstrates God’s love and power, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 22785, San Diego, CA 92192. Kathy is a mother, a businesswoman and author of Master Your Disaster. Reprinted by permission from Kathy Alix.