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Prayer

It is prayer through things, not out of them that moves mountains. Sometimes my prayers are not answered the way I desire. When they are bound to my expectations, not my evolution the disappointment can lead to despair.

It is right and natural to pray for circumstances, especially difficult ones, to change. Jesus demonstrated that for us when He asked, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.” But we cannot miss what He says next, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Jesus was facing the most unimaginable circumstances, and He did ask for a different way, but ultimately His heart’s desire was the will of His Father not the way of His flesh.

It was not until I came to understand and trust the character of God and the location of my final destination that I could afford to pray with a boldness that says, Lord, here is my earnest plea, but it does not trump my longing for your eternal plan. My prayers shifted from being less about relief to more about refinement. If this cannot change, God, change me.

When I desire self-modification more than circumstantial transformation, my communion with The Father is lighter, and I am free to risk more because it is not about a particular outcome but a positive income. Praise seeps in when personal comfort steps out, and God is glorified. That is the objective of prayer. God’s glory. Not mine.

When we pray through the valley of suffering ourselves or with a friend, and we see God’s faithfulness and ever-present provisions in pain, it affords us patient perseverance because we know that He is good and His ways are sometimes hard, but always holy.

How can I pray for you today, friend?

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God Is Faithful in All the Details

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I wrote this Monday and am just getting around to posting.  For those who do not know, my son suffered a traumatic brain injury while attending camp at JH Ranch in California on July 28, 2014.  It has been a rough road at times during his recovery, but God time and time again shows himself faithful!

I know some of my posts are long, but if you never read another one, please read this one! If you doubt there is a God, or you doubt that He could love and adore you, please be encouraged and take hope from what happened to me today.

It all started two weeks ago. I was sitting outside the Newk’s on Highway 280 having lunch by myself. A very attractive woman who was older than me approached me and said; “Your hair is so cute. I have not lived here long, do you mind telling me who cuts it?” I told her I would as I was scrambling for my phone that I could not readily find. I told her to write her phone number on my napkin, and I would text her the information.

After she had left I found my phone, and I texted her my name and the name and phone number of the friend who cuts my hair. She texted me back right away and told me she was so grateful to now have a place to get a good haircut. I responded to her “God is good all the time.” A few minutes later I get another text from her asking me if I would be willing to have lunch with her. I felt there was a bigger picture-God’s picture- being played out, so I said SURE!

Last week, she texted me and said she had gotten her haircut by my friend and she was anxious to have lunch. I told her I could not go last week because my sister was in town, but could the next week. She responded, “How about Monday,” and I agreed.

Today was the day! To be perfectly honest, I was feeling a little blue this morning about some circumstances. I prayed and told The Lord I was not feeling like going to lunch today, but if it was His will for me to go, to make it happen. I still had a sense there was a story unfolding. Not long after my prayer she texted me to confirm.

We meet today at noon. As we were standing in line to order, she said to me, “You have no idea who I am, but I have found out who you are.” Now a statement like that immediately made me a little nervous! I awkwardly said, “what do you mean?” She told me when she was getting her haircut, my hairdresser was talking about me (not in a bad way), and she told her just enough that she learned who I was. She then told me, “I work for JH Ranch, and I was standing at the lake the moment of your son’s accident. Immediate tears!

She went on to tell me that she and the other staff around the lake knew it was serious, and they all dropped to their knees in prayer. I now am crying hard. She felt bad, but I assured her this was a good cry. A cry of, Oh what an awesome God I worship who orchestrated this whole meeting. A God, who knew just what I needed today. A God, who blows me away, with His love for me. God is good, and He does care about every detail, even my melancholy, Monday morning.

Needless to say, we did not eat much. She shared so many stories with me that filled in what has been a lot of blanks for over a year now. I shared with her all the mercies and miracles we experienced after the paramedics had taken Carter from the ranch.

She also told me that she had initially passed me outside Newk’s that fateful day. She noticed me, and something inside her tugged at her heart, “Go talk to her.” Then, after she received my last text, again she told me she felt that nudge, “Invite her to lunch.” All along she didn’t know why but she has learned to be obedient to those promptings.

This divinely designed encounter was one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received. I will never forget today! God can love you like that too, friends. I am a sinner who needs grace every day and every hour. Still, He adores me and today he blew me away with his faithfulness and love. Thank you, LORD, for loving a sinner like me. I ask you today to shower your affection on all my friends, reminding them WHOSE they are.