In Priscilla Shirers book (one of my absolute favorites) “And We Are Changed Encounters with a Transforming God” ( Moody Publishers 2003) she asks the reader to remember when God performs a “Lazarus miracle in our lives ( page 48-50 Encountering Jesus) we should be changed and drastically different”. She asks the reader to remember when;
Resurrected my hope -2006
Resurrected my marriage -2/18/09
Resurrected my finances -09/ 2006
Resurrected my children’s spiritual life -2008
Resurrected my career -01/2006
Resurrected my health -03/2002
Resurrected my heart for him -2002
I wrote in my copy the dates when those important needs became answered prayers. Encounters with our Heavenly Father are often dramatic life changing events. Yet more time than not a result of an unexpected opportunity to minister, to serve ,to stand in for someone in need. I am always amazed at those divine appointments that show up unannounced, yet with an impact as I travel on business. It often happens when my self is tired, or struggling with my own challenges.
I had one of those unexpected divine appointments just recently. I had been staying in the same room for several days on business I was early getting back to the hotel and the maid was just coming out of the room. She had tears in her eyes and quickly wiped them away as if embarrassed and explained she had left me a note. I am sure she had noticed my bible open on the night stand each day while I was out, and as she was going about her work. She told me the note just said “would you pray for me”. Someone I didnt know and had never met setting self aside and opening up there heart, with no where else to go at that momemt, in need of relief.
I talked with her a moment and found that she had something stolen from her and was not sure how she was going to resolve it. It was clear to me that many things had been stolen from her; it was evident in her person and expression. I have seen that expression in my own mirror, on several occasions in my life.
I started to say “I will keep you in my prayers” yet found my self saying “would you mind if I pray for you”. Her surprise gave way to tears, both she and I, standing in the hallway. I said a simple yet ernest prayer for guidance, direction, and a resolution to her trouble.
She had lost $80.00 as a result of trusting a co worker to borrow something out of her locker. The co worker took the $80.00 she found in the locker and then left and quit. I asked her to pray about it for 24 hours, and then leave me a note and I would leave $80.00 at the front desk in an envelope if it was not resolved. She thanked me. Sometimes intervening is whats needed, often Gods intervention is the unseen plan. A heart open, a spirit in distress, with no one, no thing to hang on to. An opening in a life for the Father to welcome a broken and lost child a place to find comfort in His arms. Not those other things we often run to for comfort or escape in time of need.
I did not hear from her and did not see her again before I left a couple of days later. I choose to believe that God answered her prayer in a way only He can. That missing $80.00 had an impact on three people that day. One who trusted and then was in need ( her), one who deceived and stole from another ( the coworker), and one who had, but needed to give ( my self).
“There is much to learn that will take a willingness to not know.”
It has been 18 years ago those words came into my thoughts while laying face down on the carpet in my small apartment praying and crying uncontrollably for something, someone had stolen from me. I was angry when those words registered in my mind. I stopped my crying to yell out “what does that mean”. I have learned that not always knowing the why, but always obeying is sometimes the better choice. I left a note for the housekeeper at the front desk on the day of my departure and it is attached below.
David was just a sheppard boy and yet God used him greatly as a result of his heart. The bible says he was a man after Gods own heart. As I see it, he had an openness to Gods will and a willingness to set aside self. He became a king and yet made chices and mistakes that cost him dearly. We are all human with all that comes with that. My mistakes or poor choices have been many. I have had numerous challenges where someone, something or even my self has caused great pain or overwhelming challenges in my life.
Forgiveness of self, others, and our sins is a part of a greater closeness to our Heavenly Father. There is a peace that comes with surrendering self to Gods will and not our own that is miraculous. Even when things do not look any different at the moment, there is a knowingness in your heart. Sometimes the challenges in our life are Gods way of binging us closer to him. We sometimes have to fall flat on our face with no where to go or turn within ourselves. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day”. At that point our heart becomes willing to surrender to God and his perfect plan for our lives.
The Christian Life is not an easy road but then life is not easy.1 Peter 5:7 says casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all, on Him; for He cares for you affectionately and cares about “you” watchfully.
May God bless your life as you pursue him! May Gods love and kindness direct you as we are renewed and strengthened as he does a new thing in our lives, the journey to our new life is on foot, led by the Spirit, to serve Him, and others.