Today as I was looking at a picture of my almost three month old grandaughter, I couldn't help but think of the reality of God answering prayer. Elli is God's miracle to my daughter and son-in-law after more than eight years of infertility and three miscarriages. I, as well as hundreds of others, prayed almost daily those eight years...and now the answer is here...an answer we can see, touch, feel, love.
My other two grandchildren are miracles and answers to prayer as well. My middle daughter and her husband adopted them, but not without prayer, struggles, more prayer as the relational, legal, and financial complications of adoption were faced, and finally, resolved.
My three daughters themselves are answers to prayer...the cries of a very young mom were heard as she honestly told God, "I don't know how to do this. You have to help me every day!" The God of the Bible who is really there and who really does hear and answer the cries of His children answered me, and gave me wisdom, that certainly didn't come from within myself. He also heard and answered as I prayed almost daily that all three of my daughters would grow to love and serve Him with all of their hearts...and they do!
As a young girl, from a broken home, I cried out to God for the husband He had for me, begging Him that He would lead me and that I would never have to experience divorce. Naively I asked Him for a sign, something just between Him and I, so I would know who the right one was. He heard the cries of my immature heart and did just that. In our 33 years of marriage have things been perfect, easy, a bed of roses? Absolutely not. Two imperfect people do not a perfect marriage make. But God is faithful and gracious, and there is still no one I would rather spend a day with than my husband!
My biggest "no" answer to prayer was probably when we lost our beautiful new church building as the result of a huge financial setback and lawsuit, when our church voted to leave the denomination we were formerly a part of. That no answer took a while to process, as we were so sure of God's leading and opening of doors to buy that building and renovate it into a beautiful house of worship. But in hindsight, God provided within two weeks a new, albeit, very modest and humbling place for our church to meet, not skipping a beat. An African American congregation now meets in that beautiful building we once call "ours", and is doing a great work for God' kingdom there. I now can say, God took us at our word when we often said that what we did was for His kingdom, and His glory, and not for us. So, even my "no" answer, was really a yes answer to our prayers that His kingdom move forward from that building, in that part of our city.
God has answered more prayers for me than I could ever post on a blog or write in a book. Prayers about everything from finding a lost item, to needing help to stretch my grocery dollars by helping me find bargains, to mending broken relationships, and healing sick bodies. God is real. God cares. God answers. I believe it. I'm living it.