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I heard my granddaughter slide off the bed across the hall. The door handle turned and Avery poked her head into the room. Christmas was drawing close and she was expectantly waiting for it to snow. As her eyes adjusted to the light she looked past me and out the window, “Oh, Nana! It snowed!” I joined her gaze. God had blanketed the earth with frozen crystals that sparkled like diamonds in the early morning sun. At first glance it did look like snow, but upon closer examination we both realized it was frost. Beautiful, but not the fluffy white fun stuff she hoped for.
Not one to stay disappointed for long, Avery wondered if we could ask God for some snow. Happy to join my granddaughter in prayer, together we closed our eyes and she began. “Dear God, please give us snow. Amen.” Then, as if she expected to see snow but wasn’t sure it would be there, she peeked at me with one eye open and said, “What did he say?” I tried to stifle the chuckle welling up within me and turned her attention back to the window. “Well, let’s look. I don’t see any snow so I guess for now, God said, ‘No,’ or maybe, ‘Wait – it’s not time for snow.’”
I still smile at the memory. God is all powerful and we can ask him anything. While God answers prayer, it’s not always what we hoped for. No matter what our age, learning to accept “no” or “wait” for an answer isn’t easy.
Recently I felt the Lord put it in my heart to go on a mission trip to Ethiopia. Financial constraints, political unrest in the world as well as dangerous and unhealthy conditions prompted my husband to disagree with me. After prayer together I felt a lot like Avery, peering at my husband through one eye, anticipating God’s answer. “What did he say?” But God was strangely silent, a silence that lasted almost two months. I journaled a final prayer on the last day I could sign up for the trip. “PLEASE reveal a yes or no to Tom today in an unmistakable way! If you remain silent I will obey your word by cheerfully submitting to Tom and not go. Thank you for the joy of submission because it is for my protection and provision.” I had come to realize that nowhere in Scripture did God say, “Cindy, go to Ethiopia,” yet there were many scriptures regarding wives submitting to their husbands.
That morning in worship, the Lord did speak to my husband’s spirit, “Let her go with your blessing and my grace.” As my husband wrote that note to me, our encounter with God through prayer eclipsed any excitement I had for going to Ethiopia. Our shared experience in God’s power and his ability to answer prayer was definitely worth the wait.
“Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22
What answers to prayer have you been waiting for?
©2016 Cindy Richardson