Yep. That’s what I did on Sunday. Gave God a “way out.” Oh, and in case you’re not sure which definition I mean, it’s this one:
|Noun||1.||way out – an opening that permits escape or release; “|
Wasn’t that incredibly generous of me?!?!? To give the Creator and Master of the Universe an excuse…in my mind…..to NOT answer my prayer?!?!?
Let me back up…
I had BOLDLY prayed the last couple of days for a very specific answer, well actually a very specific way of the answer. I guess I “put out the fleece.” Oh, I did ask Him to forgive me if doing that was inappropriate. Because I obviously know that it’s presumptuous for me to expect Him to ‘jump through hoops’ for me. I know that Scripture tells me not to test God. I know that asking for a sign or “putting out the fleece” is a sign of weak faith. Of doubt. Of unbelief. Of not trusting Him.
But because He is a a patient and loving Abba, Daddy, He knows me and my heart and my struggle to trust Him completely and wholeheartedly. He knew I NEEDED to pray what I did, that I NEEDED Him to answer that specific way. He knew I NEEDED that assurance that He loves me. That He hears me. I NEEDED to know I mattered to Him. I NEEDED to know for absolute certain that I was doing what He wanted. I had prayed “Help me in my unbelief” earlier.
And He knew that I could give Him all the GLORY because I would have NOTHING to do with how it was answered. Or making it happen that exact way.
However…….although I prayed right before church “Be the God Who Answers Prayers, Be the God Who Provides,” AND although one of the songs we sang actually had the phrase “the God Who Provides” (yes, quite a GC, isn’t it?) AND although the sermon touched on some of the things I had journaled about this past week, I STILL gave God a “way out”….but not really.
My head-thought process went something like this….imagine a Eeyore-type voice: “Oh, I’m sure God probably won’t answer my prayer EXACTLY in the way I asked. I need to be prepared. He probably will not want to answer it the way I expect….that’s not the way He works. Sigh… It’s all in His timing, not mine….”
Then…unbidden….came my HEART-thought process: “But I REALLY NEED Him to answer it that way. If He doesn’t, it won’t help my faith…” And that does not make me proud to admit that my NEED for the exact answer to prayer was something so strong and dramatic.
But my Abba, Daddy, in His faithfulness, patience, mercy, kindness, love and abundant GRACE delighted to give me the cry of my heart. Me. His beloved child.
He didn’t need a “way out.” He answered my prayer EXACTLY as I needed. And His timing was IMMEDIATE. I was overwhelmed and humbled.
And my faith is strengthened.
Glory Be to God. Praise His Holy Name.