Hello there, friends! The craziness that is life has finally slowed down, which means regularly scheduled blogs are coming back your way!
Just as an update into what I’m currently studying and reading, as each play a part in today’s post… I’m studying the book of Romans and just finished Romans 8. I finished No Other Gods by Kelly Minter last night and am looking for a new study. (Feel free to post suggestions in the comments below!) I’m also reading Wait and See by Wendy Pope, and I love it thus far! All three have truly been a “God-sent” in my life as my mom would say! I’ve needed the messages found in each. I’m so thankful that when we are eager for God and His Word, He will pour out His Word on us!
“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
So, today’s post is all about answered prayers. It’s all about God’s goodness. It’s all about His timing and His faithfulness. I find that the more that I spend time with God, the more that I want to shout from the rooftops how good and faithful He is… how wonderful He is!
I am so undeserving of His forgiveness, His mercy, and His grace, yet He bestows it anyway. I am undeserving to receive messages from Him and then spread those throughout social media, yet He gives them anyway. I am so undeserving of salvation, yet He saved me anyway… and He went beyond salvation to plan a life full of wonderful and good things for me. Trust me when I say that He has forgiveness, mercy, grace, and wonderful things planned for YOU as well.
I could speak about so many answered prayers, but I want to focus on the ones specific to the trip that I just took over Spring Break, the one that I speak about in Testimony Time. If you haven’t read that post, I encourage you to read it first by clicking the link, as it will make this post that much more powerful and impactful.
Like I mentioned in Testimony Time, worry and fear has always been a huge struggle for me. I believe that everyone’s natural instinct in certain situations is to worry or be fearful, but they had taken over my life. I had/have allowed them to consume me and so produce stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and at times, depressive states throughout my life. After the events that occurred literally the weekend before my trip (technology problems, a back-up Sunday School message, a visiting pastor, and a text message from a stranger), I decided that it was time to listen to what God had to say about worry and fear in my life.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
This verse tells me that I shouldn’t worry about anything. Easy, right?
For me, it definitely hasn’t been easy. Until recently, I didn’t even know how to practically apply this verse! But the answer is found nestled so snug right in the middle… prayer and petition.
Every time that I felt worried or anxious about any portion of my trip, I instantly prayed about it. I didn’t give worry and fear time to consume me. I attacked the source as soon as I felt the onslaught! Was I able to do this by my own strength? Never! I prayed, relied on God, and trusted Him to take away the worry and fear.
So, today, I want to give a detailed description of all of the answered prayers that I saw on my trip… as many as I can possibly think of. This list is not exhaustive nor do I believe that I am aware of all of the answered prayers. I am a firm believer that God is continuously working behind the scenes and continuously answering prayers in various ways that we won’t realize until later on, but I can and will share the ones that He has brought to my attention right now. I hope my testimony blesses you and helps you believe that…
God always answers.
As I mentioned, worry and fear has always been a struggle, and ever since I booked my flight to see a friend and his family, I struggled with worry and fear and doubt. Yet as soon as I found the “key” (prayer) and implemented it, I felt all of those negative emotions melt away. In their place came a supernatural peace and calm… the first tangible answer to prayer that I experienced.
This peace and calm that God provided allowed me to make the drive to a transportation service without feeling nervous. No nervous thoughts about possibly getting stuck in traffic on the way there or possibly being late for the shuttle that I was scheduled to take or any of the millions of scenarios I normally would have imagined and subsequently fretted over. Instead, I found that God provided the opportunity to take an earlier shuttle which ensured that Atlanta traffic would not hinder me from making my flight.
This peace and calm allowed me to take a deep breath, lift my chin, and march confidently into the world’s largest airport… unsure of what a kiosk really was but trusting that I would find one. And when I went into the wrong door (HAHA!), the confidence that caused my chin to lift conveniently allowed me to see the signs saying “check in.”
This peace and calm allowed me to make calm decisions in the face of uncertainty… like when I finally found the kiosks but had no clue how to use them. God provided the nicest Delta worker in the world (shout out!) to help me print my boarding pass, explain what a gate was, and point me toward security.
This peace and calm allowed me to navigate the Atlanta airport effectively, making it from check in to security… and as if God had not already provided enough, He allowed me to get through security in less than 10 minutes! All in all, I went from standing outside of the sliding glass doors to my gate in 45 minutes or less. God provides… and super-fast trains inside airports are methods that He uses, lemme tell ya!
I could continue… on and on… to the fact that people all around me were receiving news of flight delays and changed gates, but my gate never changed and the plane was never delayed, (It was right on time—just like God!) to safety on the plane and throughout my trip once I made it to my destination, to fun times making new friends and seeing beautiful sights… even to delayed flights on the way home as well as changed shuttle times.
Because even with delays, I walked up right as the shuttle service pulled into the parking space just ahead of me. And even though the shuttle service had overbooked, I still made it on that shuttle and made it home without having to wait.
God always answers, y’all, and the answers above that are bolded are just the ones that I can tangibly see from this trip.
As I was doing Bible study that Spring Break week, watching the Pure Michigan snow fall and sipping on a delightful cup of coffee, I happened to be studying Romans 8. I want to share with you what God shared with me during that quiet time with Him. First, He told me that He’s working everything out for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Second, He told me that He wants to give me good things, and what I saw on my trip is just a taste… just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come (Romans 8:31-32, Matthew 7:11). So… I’m going to do my best to live out the last sentence of my notes for Romans 8… “Trust His plan and just be…”
You might be thinking, “Macey, does God really always answer?”
It may sound crazy, but yes. I believe God answers “yes” to some prayers, “no” to some prayers, and then there are the times when God seems silent… when no definitive answers seems to appear. It’s in those times that I believe that God is saying, “Wait.” Because, the truth is that there are prayers that I’ve prayed for many years that still seem “unanswered.” Yet God is still working on my behalf. Those prayers will be answered eventually, whether it’s a no or a yes. I want to leave you with three quotes from Wendy Pope in her book Wait and See:
“Waiting well looks forward to the future while staying present in the present.”
“The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay.”
“We need to prepare in the pauses so we’re ready to embrace God’s plans.”
Even the “waits” are an answer. God always answers, friends.
Do you know when the majority of my answers came? When I started asking questions of God… not in a prideful way but in a humble way. No Other Gods by Kelly Minter taught me how to tear down my modern-day idols, put God back in His rightful position as number one in my life, and how to approach God with humility at all times but especially in the season of waiting. My quiet time is so different now. I come to my chair with my Bible on my lap and my prayer journal and current Bible study and books nearby… EXPECTING God to show up and speak to me. I come EXPECTING God to answer, and when I have questions, I humbly present them before God. And you know what I’ve found? He answers them with the information that I need to know at this moment… the information that He knows will grow my faith and will nurture my trust in Him.
Don’t allow unbelief or worry or fear or anything else stop you from going to God in prayer… stop you from finding joy in the waiting season. I, for one, am glad for the joys that I have found while I wait.
So, friends, let’s trust His plan and just be…
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PICTURE IS NOT MINE.