in church a few years ago, we studied the book of 1st Peter. I learned how God works through suffering, I learned that the character of my God does not change when life is one trial after another. And I learned this by being thrown into one trial after another. Physical struggles, emotional pain… at times it really seemed there was no end to the suffering and trials that had become my life.
Then God brought me past complaining to the point where I could see His goodness through the trials. I began to see what He was teaching me and how He was using hard times to mold me into His image. And I understood that the Christian life involves many trials of all kinds. It is filled with thousands of ways to take up your cross, deny yourself and follow Jesus Christ.
Somehow in the trials, though I always believed that God COULD bless me, I was tempted to doubt that He would. I seem to be the type that learns the hard way (just take a look at my life…) and I resigned myself to the fact that God would use trials to continue to mold me to His image. Though I often struggled with this, I learned to rest in His sufficient grace and realize that if God chose to use suffering, but in the end the result was that I was more like Him, that it was worth it all.
But then the wheels started turning again as God was preparing my heart to see yet another facet of His character… this time it wasn’t a sustaining and all-sufficient God through trials, I was unknowingly being prepared to meet a God who delights in doing more than I ask for… and through that, in revealing more of Himself to me.
But it all started with a closed door. Or several years of closed doors. And questions. and doubting.
When God closed the door to move to Washington DC last year, it opened the door for me to meet my husband. He is the most amazing gift from God to me and I could not have imagined a year ago that I would receive a gift so wonderful.
I had prayed that God would provide a husband, but I honestly never prayed for someone like Ted. He was “too good… too much of a dream” and asking for that would have been asking God for too much. I had basically been praying for someone who would simply love God and care for me. The extra details (like a quirky fun personality) were things that I could give up.
God surprised me. He gave me more than I asked for. He gave me a man perfectly suited to lead me. He gave me a best friend. He gave me a godly man who loves me with his whole heart. He even answered the prayers that I was afraid to ask because I knew they were “unnecessary.” And He did it to show me His character and blessings. And as I watched that unfold, my heart grew in amazement and worship of my God. I continue to be amazed. I continue to grow in worship.
God has chosen yet again to answer an “unnecessary” prayer. This week Ted and I adopted two dogs: Rex, a 2 year old boxer/German shepherd / chow mix and Cody, a 5 year old yellow lab/ chow mix.
For years I have wanted dogs. But living in apartments and working full time it wasn’t really possible. I mean, i could have had little rat-dogs that weigh 2 ounces and yip all day, but i wanted a DOG! A dog you can take running, a dog who scares strangers, a dog who has a mean bark but a sweet temperament.
Ted and I have talked for several months about the possibility of getting dogs one day, but were aware that financially that would probably come later rather than sooner. But I kept looking and hoping that maybe we would find good dogs for free somehow.
Two days ago, I found them! Their previous owner, who has had them since they were both about 6 months old, is moving to Colorado and can’t take the dogs with her. They had all their shots and even came with paperwork. She threw in the bowls, leashes, and 40 lbs of dog food as well.
What a blessing. I have cried so many times the past 2 days as I am once again overwhelmed at God’s blessings… this time in the form of 2 barks and 8 legs. Once again, God knew the desire of my heart and blessed me abundantly. And once again, my faith is strengthened and my view of God has grown.
Its cool being a “mama” to Rex and Cody. Its cool being married to my best friend. But its more cool that God cares enough to answer my “unnecessary” prayers. What an amazing God we serve…