Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dancing a Jig Over the News

It was a long time in the making, a steady pace in the praying, but suddenly last week, a huge answer to prayer came strolling in the front door.

And the sound of rejoicing was heard from afar.  A precious friend texted me this morning, “Just dancing a jig over all the good news.”

At the very first meeting of a Bible study two years ago, amidst a group of women I did not know, I raised my hand in the back of the room when prayer requests were being taken.  “Please pray for my daughter who is looking for full time work,” I said.  Women jotted it down in their notebooks.   I wondered at the time how many of them actually prayed.  And now, I wish I could tell them.

God always answers prayer, sometimes in ways we cannot ever expect.  When our oldest daughter was still just a little girl, she told us, when we pray, God answers our prayers like a traffic light.  Sometimes God says “stop,” sometimes He says “go,” and sometimes He says, “wait a minute.”

Just after our youngest daughter graduated from college and moved to a new city, she plunged into a job market that had deflated like an old inner tube, limp and lifeless.  And so in the midst of that stagnant economy, while seeking a full time job, she set about learning everything she could about her field by working as an independent contractor, freelancing as a production assistant for commercials, television, movies, and music videos. She faithfully worked hard, learning her trade from the bottom up.  It meant sometimes twenty hour days that included everything from the mundane to the absurd.   She worked with excellence in everything she did, and, more often than not, without thanks or recognition.   And our family’s DNA of stubbornness, once again, transferred itself into perseverance.

A couple of weeks ago, she heard word from a friend about an opening.  A few days later, she was offered a full time job in her field, building on those skills that she had learned over the course of two years.  It happened that fast.  She started last week.

Waiting in our culture implies that someone is late.  But God’s timing is always perfect.  His timing is not our own.   Sometimes, admittedly, our hearts aren’t quite ready for the answer.  We aren’t equipped yet for our next assignment.  We haven’t completed basic training.

And quite frankly, it is in the waiting that we finally recognize the hand of God.  Whatever is quick and easy tends to fuel our own pride.  “Look what I have done, look how good I am.”  And in the waiting, there is great learning, strengthening, turning and realizing God is really the One in charge here.  When it came down to it in my daughter’s situation, there was no question in anyone’s mind Who provided her job.  Even in the waiting, it is not a matter of IF God will answer our prayers, but HOW He will do it.

There is always tremendous purpose in the waiting. 

Never stop praying.  There are always deeper dimensions to prayer than an “answer.”  And through the process and the provision, God makes evident to you and to everyone around you what hope in Him looks like.

For not by their own sword
           did they win the land,
nor did their own arm give them victory,
but Your right hand,
and Your arm,
and the light of Your countenance,
              for You delighted in them.
                           Psalm 44.3

No comments: