I was increasingly anxious.
I was beginning to doubt that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
And now, I am numb, from the overwhelming clouds of goodness which broke over my head yesterday afternoon.
Where do I even begin?
Yesterday morning's reading had me in Psalm 65, which begins:
"Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hears prayer,
to you all flesh shall come."
I pondered this as a truth which I knew in my head, but lately I could barely hear the echos of it in my heart. God hears prayer. God hears my prayers. So, he hears them, and, what? Sets them aside for another day? Has more important prayers to answer?
No. God patiently awaits the right time for sending each answer to prayer. I don't know why this was "the right time," but I'm sure that there has been some dross burning off and some refining happening in this furnace.
I answered my phone yesterday afternoon to hear the voice of a relative with whom I haven't spoken in long, long years. And, to make a stunning story bearable, she had been made aware of yesterday's blog post by her daughter, who called and read it to her after reading it herself. She called me to ask how much we need, because she wants to send a check to cover our move.
According to Bekah, who was watching me take this call, I was "slack-jawed".
A call from her daughter within minutes of saying goodbye confirmed to me that this is real. Another call this morning and I know that I'm not dreaming. I haven't suddenly stepped into the final chapter of a Dickens novel, this is the real, tangible, goodness of God— to me!— in the land of the living!
Several weeks ago young David O'Leary Jr. preached on Philippians 4:5(b)-7,
"The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
David pointed out that our Father hears his children's prayers. So we ought therefore to be praying for the details, with thanksgiving. And then expect the peace of God, regardless of the answer to the request, to guard our hearts and minds. Not because of a change in circumstance or an attitude adjustment, but because God's presence with us will produce his supernatural peace in us.
Much more was said in this sermon which went straight to my heart, and my prayers changed. I started asking for the details. I prayed with renewed thanksgiving. And lest this begin to sound like an "I did it" sort of accomplishment, I confess that my heart was still heavy and my doubts still scratched ragged the edges of my hopes.
But God, ... but God, in his glorious and unfailing goodness, was planning for me more than I could hope for.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to his power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)