I am excited to have a fellow blogger and writer, Joan Hall, to be my Guest today on my site. Joan blogs at www.joanhallwrites.com. I hope you will take a few minutes to read her post here and then visit her at her site.
Do you become inpatient when you pray and God hasn’t answered? Do you wonder if the answer is “no” when He is silent?
We live in an “instant” world. Since the development of the internet and smart phones, we don’t have to wait hours or days for the latest news or weather forecast. With a few clicks of the mouse, we can access websites from around the world. Smart phones are equipped with apps for news stations and weather channels. Even Facebook and Twitter enable us keep up with the latest news and events.
I admit to being easily upset if my internet service has issues or my cell phone has a poor signal. Most of us expect proper service and instant responses. We don’t want to wait.
Is it any wonder we often want instant answers to our prayers? I do.
I say, “Lord, if it is Your will, and in Your time…”
I think, Answer my prayer, Lord, and answer it yesterday!
But sometimes God says, “Wait…”
In the summer of 2000, my husband and I sensed God was leading us to a new church home. The small congregation where we attended at the time did not have many ministry opportunities. We both were hungry for more. More of the Word. More in depth Bible studies. More opportunities to serve.
We thought God would move us within two or three months at the most. Without seeking His direction, we visited other churches. Within a few weeks, we found what we thought was the place for us. We talked with the minister and made plans to join.
Before the next Sunday, my soul was restless. Something wasn’t right. In my journal, I even used the word anguish to describe my feelings. I spent much time in prayer before sharing my thoughts with my husband. When we agreed not to join, peace flooded my soul.
God led us back to our old church. I continued to pray about moving to another church. A few weeks later, I sensed God’s confirmation that He would provide us a new church home.
Days, weeks, months passed. A year came and went. I no longer tried to rush God. On occasion, I would pray, “Lord, I stand on the promise You gave me about a church home. I feel that You will move in Your time.”
Over four years later, we sensed the time had come. We prayed and even spoke to our pastor. He was very understanding and prayed with us.
We planned to begin visiting other churches in early January. Yet after our experience years earlier, we were afraid of making a similar mistake.
By March, we knew it was time to move on. We planned to visit a multi-site church in a nearby town, when we learned they had recently started a new branch in our hometown.
The first Sunday there, we felt welcomed. They offered sound teaching from the Word. After visiting the second week, we knew we had found our church home.
Almost nine years have passed since joining with that body of believers. God has provided many opportunities for ministry that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. We have learned so much more through in-depth teaching from the Bible. We’ve never regretted our move.
I didn’t know that God would wait almost five years to answer our prayer. Yet during that time, He was not only preparing us, He was preparing the place. He saw beyond my own limited viewpoint and answered my prayer far better than I had ever imagined.
And I learned that it’s best to obey when God says, “Wait.”
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)
By: Joan Hall
From her earliest recollection, Joan Hall has always enjoyed listening to a good story. Now she shares stories about life and faith. Her desire is that her writing will cause people to reflect upon living a simple life, strong family bonds, and most important, faith in Christ. Connect with Joan on her blog at www.joanhallwrites.com, on Facebook—www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites, or on Twitter—@joanhallwrites.
photo credit: damienriley.com
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