"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
When I started this fast in January of this year it was to pray about a way to pay off our student loans. There was a grant opportunity available and I thought that praying and fasting about it would be a good thing.
It was, but not in the way I thought. I know that God does not want us to be in debt to others and I've read and like Dave Ramsey's philosophy about being debt free, so of course I thought prayer and fasting about this issue would be right up God's alley, so to speak, and was absolutely sure that God would answer as I expected.
I was almost two weeks into the fast before I called to check on this grant and when I did, instead of finding the obstacle free path I was expecting I ran right into a brick wall. First, hospice employees are not eligible because hospice programs are not part of the grant. That knocked me out. Second, only direct service personnel are eligible. Since my husband is a supervisor that knocked him out.
The funny thing was I didn't get upset. Not once. I kept waiting for it. It should have been a huge disappointment, a ginormous let down, an insurmountable, king-sized, chocolate needing emotional episode for me.
There was only peace. Weird!
At that moment I could only smile and thank God for whatever plan he had for us because I knew that whatever it was it would be wonderful. Better than my own plan.
If anyone could have seen me at that moment they would have thought I'd gone round the bend. I probably had a stupid grin on my face but I'm telling you the peace of God was there. I had been so focused on Him, so immersed in His Word that I just knew it was the way things were supposed to be.
God answered "NO" and it was and still is fine. Are we still paying off student loans every month? Yep. Will that continue for the rest of our natural lives? That would be a distinct possibility. Are we okay with that? How can we not be? God blesses us and provides for us every moment of every day. We have never gone without anything we need. We are able to give to others when God brings opportunities. We are able to travel. Even if none of those things were possible it would still be okay.
Why didn't God answer this prayer like I expected? Did I pray the wrong way? I don't think so. Am I being punished? No. God doesn't work like that.
So why? I don't have the first clue. I may never know. What I do know is that God is perfect, his love for me is perfect and he never, ever makes mistakes.
As you prepare for your fast, consider the requests that you will bring before God. Are you prepared for him to answer in a way other than what you're expecting? If not, make that a part of your prayer. Ask him to keep you so focused on him that you know without a doubt that however he responds it is the perfect answer for you.
Don't be afraid to ask whatever is on your heart. He already knows. Just ask him to help you be open to his will in all things. The most amazing thing about this incident for me is that it was such tangible evidence of God working in me to change me. I love that and that is what this fast is all about.
I'm praying for you.
What an awesome response, Sherri: "How can we not be? God blesses us and provides for us every moment of every day." That renewed perspective directs so much of our thoughts and actions, doesn't it? Great reminder!
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