The Prayer I Didn't Want Answered
The other morning Matt jumped on the air with his morning show and shared a story from one of our many adventures in radio ministry. If you haven't met my amazing husband, he has worked in Christian radio for 25 years and leads a talented morning show in Chicago, Illinois. Honestly, he works with so many dedicated radio ministry folk; it's a blessing.
But I digress as this story is actually from about eleven years ago. Matt shared it with such grace when he should have thrown me under the bus. I was such a bratty mess. This is how the story really went...
We had suffered quite a bit of ministry hurt, and while the radio station did have to close down, we had already decided to move on. We were getting out of the Christian radio business. We were tired, bruised, and ready for a "normal" life. So we packed it up, moved back to California, and landed in my in-law's spare room above their garage. We spent the next six months trying to figure out what was next, in the meantime, we dwindled away our savings to nothing.
An opportunity to go back into Christian radio came up and Matt felt the call to pray about it. We were flown to Witchita, Kansas where Matt interviewed and was offered a job. Now I will be honest before I even boarded that plane, I had spent the night crying into the musty carpet of our little upper room. Okay, honest honest, I had been crying for several nights.
"No, Jesus. Please don't send me back to the Midwest. Please don't make me leave my family. Please don't make me bear that lonely weight again."
I cannot describe the agony of my breaking heart, knowing what obedience He was calling me to. But, like I knew I was supposed to, I prayed, "Your will be done."
So there I was in Witchita, Kansas, with what seemed to be an impossible situation. A job offer that was a bit too low, no money to move across the country, and even less money to put down a deposit on an apartment.
"Well, Lord, let's go back to California. I'm pretty sure this is a closed door."
I wonder if God ever shakes His head at me?
He began to swing doors open left & right. The counter-offer for Matt's salary was accepted, AND they offered to pay our moving expenses. Next, we needed a house. After walking through an apartment complex, the manager sat us down at a table and proceed to tell us,
"Normally we would have to put you in a three-bedroom which would cost more but we don't have any available. I suppose, because your third child is a baby, we can offer you our last two-bedroom. Also, we have a special this month, it's only a $200 deposit and the first month is free."
"Thank you, we'll think about it." And I proceeded to walk out the door, my heart refusing to surrender.
Needless to say, Matt went back in, signed the paperwork, and sealed our fate. Err, I mean led our family in obedience to God's will. Just what I had prayed for, but didn't really want answered.
Looking back now, I can tell you that God took care of our physical needs, but when I prayed, "Your will be done," He was actually planning for more eternal events. Witchita became a place of healing for me. I learned that when my trust is in God, I can still love people. I learned that Jesus loves His church and He wants her to be unified and whole. And I can, even in my broken state still be apart of that. I learned to forgive. God's will for me was to grow and change, to move forward. I didn't want that prayer to be answered, but I needed it to be.
I don't know what you're praying for today. But I can tell you that God is bigger than any problem. He is the God who hears our prayers, sees our needs, and even more than that knows our hearts. It is in the breaking & rebuilding that the greatest work is done and we are made whole. It is in this moment that His will is done, for His glory and our good.
And Abraham called the name of the place,
The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day,
"In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided."
the God who is able to see beforehand & provide