I want to talk to you about something we all do. At least I think we all do it. I do it. The Apostles did it. So I’m figuring you probably do it too.
Tell me if I’m wrong.
When I ask God for something, right after I say amen, I go about devising a way to answer my own prayer. Maybe in some odd way it makes me feel better to have a plan. As if God can’t make His own plan.
I’m in good company however, because the Apostles did the same thing.
When Judas went off and betrayed Jesus,
there was a chair left empty.
The eleven that were left felt the need to replace Judas. And they prayed about who this would be… as they should. But they didn’t wait for God to act, instead they devised a plan to answer their prayer. They chose two qualified men and did the mature thing… and drew straws. You know, eeny, meeny, miny, moe. In Acts 1:26 we see they chose Matthias.
But that’s not who God chose.
Several chapters later in Acts, God chose Paul. And we all know how that turned out.
When I moved back from Tampa three years ago, I wanted to form a writing group. Fellow writers to bounce ideas off of, to learn from, and for fellowship because writing can be a lonely place.
And then went about devising a strategy to make it happen, answer my own prayer, thinking God would condone it.
I made calls to friends who liked to write and asked them to join in my merriment but schedules always seemed to be in conflict. Not discouraged and with a can do (I can do it on my own) attitude, I prayed some more and tried again. Again I couldn’t muster enough interest. I thought, oh well, God must not want this to happen.
When we leave things in God’s hands He handles it.
Have you ever woken up on day and realized a prayer was answered, maybe one you forgot you prayed? And you say, “Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that one. Thank you Lord.”
It was probably years before the other Apostles recognized Paul for who he was, an answer to prayer. The twelfth Apostle. But Paul was who God chose. Better than a drawn straw.
And it was three years, a million voxes (a walkie-talkie app for the phone) and a retreat weekend, before I realized God answered mine.
These weren’t the people I originally chose but last weekend I realized they were the people God chose for me.
He hand-picked each one carefully, thoughtfully, lovingly. So completely different, yet woven together in Christ. As only He can do, these women plucked from their various states were all brought to one place, to pray, to play, to pray, to plan, to pray, to worship, and to pray some more.
And what a motley crew they are: from left to right, Abby McDonald, myself, Kelly Balarie, Angela Parlin, Jami Amerine, Karina Allen, Katie Reid and Angela Nazworth (not pictured).
God says to me, “Stop all your striving dear one. You asked me for help, now relax. I can do this so much better than you. Remember, I am God.”
And He is.
“Now to him who is able to immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”( Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
*Special thanks to Madison Stanley and Katie M. Reid for the pictures.*
Looking forward, pressing on, and seeking God in every bump and turn in the road.