pixabay.comMy family and I had an extreme life-changing decision that we were going to make. Over several years, we had grown discontent and allowed bitterness to motivate our conversation and our little prayer life. Our grand scheme for overturning this unfortunate situation was to uproot our family and establish roots in another state, job, and church. This plan was perfect (in our minds) because a job promotion that accompanied such a move would be a great excuse to leave. Leadership would not be so quick to agree, but they needed to acknowledge a financial blessing they had helped pray for (unaware the promotion was at a different location). This period is when prayer changed from praise and thanksgiving to “I want” and “do this.” To my knowledge, this bitterness grew unchecked for nearly four years.

One morning, while ironing my clothes for church, the Holy Ghost entered my laundry room. I began to speak in other tongues, and tears rolled down my face. The Lord spoke into my spirit and assured me that He would answer my prayers. I rushed to find my wife and share this excellent news. My proverbial balloon popped when she replied, “What if the answer is no?” Surely, God would not do that to us after all these years! Soon after, the awaited job announcement became available, and my resume was acknowledged as making it to the deciding official. After waiting a couple of weeks, this opportunity was filled by another. The answer seemed to be unequivocally no.

Since there was no sign of leaving my current job, I accepted a training assignment to gather experience on a new system that the agency would rely on far into the future. I would also take this opportunity as a spiritual retreat, armed with several books and motivated to return to right standing with God. Reading and prayer occupied my free time. Note cards with crucial scripture references, folded like tents to make them easy to read, lined the hotel room and shelves. This trip also marks the first time I had read through the complete Bible (even if it was “The Story” by Zondervan Publishing).

On a previous trip, I visited a different church for every service of the week. For this trip, I attended one church for the entire stay. Nearing the end of my training period, the Pastor of this congregation called to join with someone, share a specific need, and pray for that request. I shared my dilemma with a Brother as he shared his petition with me. We prayed together for God to answer these prayers. Also, in my last service with this assembly, the Bishop called me to the platform for the Church to pray over me as I departed. These prayers were answered in a way that was unmistakably God. A stronghold was torn down, and there was no denying the Lord’s intervention. The answer did not come in as we expected, but it was confirmed from an archived recording from the same day the shared needs had been prayed over!

Life isn’t always roses, but with the correct attitude and daily discipline, it is so much easier. We have applied these lessons and walk closer to God. I have learned that sometimes it is about the one soul, and repentance may not be their current need (though it is necessary and will come through the goodness of God). Another impacting lesson I live by is that weeping, rejoicing, and blessing others display Christ’s character far more effectively than any sermon I have ever heard.

Leave a Reply