God answered my prayer. Saying that makes me feel both grateful and awkward.
Awkward because, honestly, doesn’t it feel weird to claim that? It can’t help but raise questions. Like, why did God answer your prayer for this, and not her prayer for that? And, how do you know that this really isn’t just a coincidence or the natural working of the world?
Those are good and hard questions.
And in the Bible, I see affirmation that these kinds of uncertainties are okay. It is safe to talk to God about them.
Yet, I also see something else in the biblical witness: unabashed declarations of what God has done. We are told to bring good news to our communities and remind one another of God’s faithfulness. This is an act of worship and praise.
Too often, I have let questions be a hindrance to my worship. I have worried about how my happiness may be perceived by those who are hurting. I have hesitated to claim answered prayer in case it came off as haughty.
I am not going to waver today. Today I claim my answered prayer. Because, really? I can’t help it. My gratitude is overflowing. I am overwhelmed by the faithful love of an ever-present God.
Can I indulge and tell you the story?
Several months ago, I felt God give me a strong nudge. When we settled in our new city, it would be time to go back into vocational ministry. This time, in a different direction. With adults, not with kids. My heart longed to engage people to not just attend church, but connect. To each other and to God. This meant a position in something like small groups or discipleship.
But this nudge came with oh so many questions.
What would a job hunt look like when we were moving because of my husband’s career, not mine? Would we find a church within a realistic driving distance from our house? That would be a good fit for our family? And have a job opening in that specific area? And would hire me? And (ideally) hire me part time?
I prepared for a long period of waiting. I prayed specifically for the dreams of my heart. I asked others to pray for me too. But, I also prayed that God would help me find contentment in whatever path He had for me.
We moved here two months ago. We moved into our house one month ago. And on Sunday, I started my new job.
We are part of a church that is a 6 minute drive from our house. That is a good fit for our family. That hired me as Director of Community. Part time.
Seriously. This really happened. Every detail of my prayer, answered yes.
I stand in amazement.
And it came together for me on Sunday in a beautiful lesson on God’s character.
The church service focused on the story of the Prodigal son. It is a story that demonstrates the depths of God’s love. It is a story I have heard a million times. But yet, it is a story from which I still have so much to learn.
If God is willing to hike up his garments to run and welcome back one who has wronged Him, won’t He continue to show love to that one once he or she is home?
God answered my prayer. I feel His love for me today. And I am grateful.
Have you seen answered prayer in your life? I’d love to hear your story in the comments. Let’s celebrate God’s faithfulness.
Want to think more about how God is love? Check out this video that was shown at the church service. (Make sure your sound is up. It's mostly audio.) [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/49083518 w=500&h=281]