I’ve found that it’s important for me to marvel over the incredible, albeit everyday, miracles God has blessed me with. I’ve also found that hearing about other people’s everyday miracles can be quite an encouragement to my own faith, particularly in those times when doubt begins to set in or when I start to grow impatient with my own prayers as God seems nowhere to be found. Hearing testimonies from other people who I actually know, encourages me to press on and continue to wait and hold the cry of Psalm 27 dear: "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."
So here are just a couple recent examples of how God has answered our prayers, worked through us or provided for us when circumstances looked otherwise:
A critter in the night: Our unwelcome houseguest
We live in an old apartment building from the 1920s. Despite the fact that we're on the second floor, we've occasionally woken up in the middle of the night to a scratching in our bedroom wall. The first time was about 2 months ago, but by banging on the wall whenever the scratching started (I was going for a Pavlovian scare-tactic effect), the critter soon gave up and abandoned its post in our wall. This past week though, we awoke in the middle of the night to a new noise. This scratching wouldn't stop and we could hear it moving in the wall. It went on for two nights, waking us up. I'd bang on the wall to see if that would be another easy answer, but no such luck with this persistent fellow: He just kept on scampering and scratching. Finally, Michael got the bright idea: To pray about it. He prayed for the animal to leave and immediately the noise stopped...and has not come again since. We shouldn't be surprised that when we pray for something, that God would answer us--we should be more surprised when we pray and nothing happens. And yet we were.
Perfect timing for a belated $25 check
Michael and I tithe, but we like to give depending on where needs lie--whether it's to a new cause we've discovered or a friend in need as well as to our church. Last month, Michael wanted to send some money to one of his friends who is interning at a church in California. By the time Michael got around to writing the check, we only had $25 left of our tithe for the month, but he went ahead and wrote the check anyway, hoping it would be helpful even though it wasn't very substantial at all. Within days, we received a phone call from his friend who was freaking out: Evidently one of his bills had been raised by $25 that month and because he was living month-to-month, he had not allotted money to cover the increase. He wasn't sure what to do, but then our check arrived that day--the exact amount he needed. We were afraid it wouldn't really be useful and yet God aligned the timing and amount to provide for exactly what was needed and when it was needed--no more, no less. What beautiful providence.
Filling our cupboards when our grocery budget was spent
Michael and I keep a monthly budget that we still fight and wrestle against to stay within its limits. We had reached every dollar limit for every category and still had a week to go. Our fridge was lacking and our pantry bare, but we really wanted to try to stick to our month-to-month budget and make do with what we did happen to have. It wasn’t even something I thought to pray about, but just as soon as we were trying to figure out what our next meal might consist of (pasta and veggie burger? peanut butter and jelly sandwich?), we received a $50 Trader Joe’s gift card for Michael as a belated birthday gift. It could not have been more perfect timing for us and we were able to get everything on our shopping list--even a new kind of beer to try, in celebration. Just as God feeds the birds in the air, he keeps our bellies full, too. We are indeed worth more to him than the little birds.
Through all of these, God again and again reminds me that he “already knows all [my] needs and he will give [me] all [I] need from day to day if [I] live for him and make the kingdom of God [my] primary concern.” (Matthew 6:32) I’m still learning (and praying) to make him my primary concern--I would not say that I’ve reached that maturity in my faith yet by any means. Still he remains faithful, even now, as I learn.
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