2011-10-12 - How God Answered
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Question to Consider: What concerns are you praying about today? What does it mean to be honest with God about our wants, while asking for His will to be done?
My attention was riveted on the TV. The four "American Idol" © finalists were doing their best to outperform each other. The judges were giving their critiques, and Ryan Seacrest was announcing phone numbers, so everyone could "vote for your favorite."
It was early May of 2005. I'd never watched the show before this season, but since I was currently unemployed, I had more time than usual on my hands and had really gotten into this season and the various contestants. I didn't like the name, but I loved the show! I tuned in every Tuesday and Wednesday night to see what would happen.
"We just have three weeks left before the final episode!" Ryan Seacrest said excitedly. Three weeks! The thought filled me with despair. What if I still didn't have a job by the beginning of June?
I'd been searching for work for nearly a year, and had been feeling very discouraged. I felt that my life had become boring and depressing. I was embarrassed at still being unemployed after finishing graduate school and obtaining two licenses in the field that I had truly felt called into. I struggled with feeling that God had led me towards what I truly believed to be my calling, without allowing me to do the work I had spent so many years of school preparing for. Watching this show had become a welcome escape from dreary and discouraging thoughts, and was one of the few things I had to look forward to each week.
The prayer I spoke was impulsive but heartfelt. "Lord, please let me have a job before the final episode."
Several days later, I got a call from an agency I'd recently sent my resume to. They wanted me to come in for an interview. I tried not to get too excited. None of the other job interviews I'd gone to had resulted in offers. This time was different, though. After the first interview, I got a call back to come in for a second meeting with other staff members. At the end of that meeting, I was offered a position, and I enthusiastically accepted.
I was hired for my new job the Friday before the final "American Idol" © episode of the season. As impulsive and silly as my prayer had seemed, God had answered.
I've been at my job for six years now. I spend my days involved in a career I love doing the work I truly feel is what God wants me to do, work He has given me a passion for. And, yes, I still watch "American Idol." © Every time I tune in, I am reminded of how God answered my honest request. Even better, when "American Idol" © comes up in conversation, as it often does, this creates a natural opportunity for me to share this little piece of my testimony with others.
If you've been earnestly praying about a situation in your life, know that God hears you, and that He will answer in His time. It may not be as direct as the answer I got to this particular prayer. Most of my prayers aren't answered so clearly and specifically, either. I'd been looking for a job for a year when this took place, and had been praying about my employment situation fervently throughout that time. I believe this door opened because it was the right time according to God's plan, not just because I asked Him to give me a job by a specific day. I don't believe the timing was a coincidence, though. God knew my prayer was honest, and that I believed He would lead me to the right job in His time. God doesn't always give us exactly what we ask for just because we want it, but He truly does know and want what is best for us. Don't be afraid to ask Him for what you want. Just remember to repeatedly surrender the situation to His will.
Dear Lord, You know our wants and needs. Help us to remember that You always answer our prayers. Help us to honestly express our wants, while surrendering outcomes to Your will. Thank You that You know what is best for us, and help us to trust Your timing and Your answers.