A Different Miracle

I was thinking about some very difficult trials that I went through about 25 years ago.

A short time after my first husband left, suddenly, with maybe a couple of days notice, I was praying fervently using some verses from the Psalms.  My prayer from the depths of my heart went something like this:

Lord, help me to wait patiently for You.  Turn to us.  Hear my cry.

Lift my husband out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;  set his feet on a rock and give him a firm place to stand.  Help us to stand firmly together.

Put a new song in our mouth, “a hymn of praise to our God.”

Let many “see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”  May they see the wonderful work You do, and may it bring them to You, Lord.”  Psalm 40:1-3

I fully expected that the miracle God would perform, the miracle that our family needed, would be the return of my husband to the Lord and to his family.

I continued to pray:

“I am poor and needy, may the Lord think of me.  You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.”

“Save me, O God, by Your name; vindicate me by your might.  Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.”

‘Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”

The next day I prayed through the words of Psalm 13 which begins:

“How long, O LORD, will you forget me forever?…”

And the next day I prayed:

Lord,

If I have no hope in You, then I have no hope at all.
If You fail me in my hour of need,
From where will my help come?
If I cannot put my confidence in You, in whom can I trust?
No one is great like You.
No one is always with me like You.
No one loves me like You.
No one carries me through difficulties like You.
No one brings light into my darkness like you.

Lord,

You who heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds,
Come close to me and hold me tight.
Shine Your light into the darkness;
Guide me with Your wisdom and power.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

I had faith in God.

I believed Him for a miracle.

And I waited.  And waited.

My husband never came back, but the Lord performed a different miracle, a series of miracles, actually.

  • He walked with me through the Red Sea, the impossible crossing over from what had been to what now was.  I walked through the waters, but they did not overflow me.
  • He led me and my children through the wilderness of living in a single-parent family, (seven years, not 40, praise God!)  I passed through the fires of tribulation, but they did not consume me.
  • He was our Shepherd.  He knew me intimately.  He knew when I sat down and rose up.  He knew my every thought and encircled me with His Presence.
  • He provided all our needs.
  • And eventually, He made of the lonely a family when he caused me and my present husband to meet.

I did not do everything perfectly during those difficult years, but He showed me grace anyway.

Since all that time, the Lord has blessed me with two more children and seven grandchildren.

He has shown Himself to be a good God, a powerful God, a loving God, faithful to keep His promises.  He didn’t do things the way I wanted Him to, but through it all, I have come to know Him more deeply, and that makes it worth it all.

Do you have a story of a different miracle?  Has God answered your prayers in a different way than you expected?  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Other Scriptures referenced:

Psalm 40:18b; 54:1,2; 57:1; Exodus 14:29; Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 147:3;Philippians 4:19; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 68:6; Psalm 23; Psalm 139

Linking up with:

Warriors of the Word

Moments of Hope

Faith ‘n Friends

Fresh Market Friday

Tune In Thursday

Heart Encouragement Thursday

Sitting Among Friends

Coffee for your Heart

Tell His Story

Testimony Tuesday

Ra Ra LinkupUnite

Monday’s Musings

Soul SurvivalGlimpses

Grace & Truth,  Dancing With Jesus

Chasing Community,  Grace Moments

Thought Provoking Thursdays

Coffee for your Heart

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42 thoughts on “A Different Miracle

  1. That must have been such a trying time, Ruth. I’m so sorry you went through that. I’m so glad that you can now share all the miracles God gave you instead of the return of your first husband. Thank you for sharing this. It encourages me today. God’s ways are higher than our ways, and they are oh, so much better! Love and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was, Trudy. And thank you for your sweet and encouraging words.
      Yes, all of God’s works are marvelous; they are, indeed, higher and better than our ways!
      I’m glad that this story was an encouragement for you. God is for you. He loves you immensely!
      Love and hugs, dear sister. 🙂

      Like

  2. At our previous church, I had been praying for months three different prayer requests that I considered unrelated- for someone I could call a friend, for my husband to have consistent devotions, For my kids to have a better way to learn about God, and for being able to have a ministry since our church was stagnant. I was fully expecting God to answer them all separately, but He ended up putting a flyer in our way for a VBS and after taking our kids to it, we both felt moved by the experience. My husband decided to consistently seek God’s face for whether we should change churches (answer one) and God confirmed it for us. Our new church answered the other three requests.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God knows, doesn’t He, Liz! He can see the end from the beginning and everything and every place in between! He knows what is going on and where and what would be the best place for us. I’m so glad you went to Him with your requests and for the amazing, though unexpected, way that He answered you! He is so GOOD!
      Thanks for sharing your experience here!
      May God continue to pour out His blessings on you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One little sentence tucked into this post gave me so much hope: “I didn’t do everything perfectly but God showered me with grace anyway.”
    That’s such a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
    I was just remembering a verse from the Minor Prophets this morning:
    “He is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”
    Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Ruth — what a sweet testimony of God’s hand in your life. I didn’t know this about your story. Thanks for sharing it. I have a few stories like that – and one in particular where I’m still waiting to see what the Lord chose instead. I’m sure it’s good, and I’m sure He’s working in the waiting. But, it’ll definitely be a miracle of a different kind…and a better kind, I’m sure. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this sweet testimony with #ChasingCommunity, Ruth. ((xoxo))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Brenda, different is always better with God’s answers to our prayers! God loves you dearly, and He has a wonderful plan for you! Keep up the good work with the waiting and trusting.
      Thank you for hosting the #ChasingCommunity linkup. 🙂
      xoxo

      Like

  5. Thanks for sharing this encouragement, Ruth. At the time it’s often so hard to see why God doesn’t respond to our prayers in the way we hope or expect but it’s amazing when we reach the point where we can look back and see what he was doing and how he has worked good even through difficult circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever?….”
    That’s where I’m sitting right now. When my husband and I moved back to Illinois from Tennessee, we were without a job but full of faith that being near our children and, especially, our grandchildren was a wise decision and employment wouldn’t be a problem. But the last 10 months has been, and continues to be, some of the hardest of my life. I have no promise from the Scriptures that my situation will change….only that He is here with me on the battlefield. After being battered and bruised for what seems like a very long time, I found myself doubting His promises, doubting His presence, even doubting His love. “How long, O Lord….?”
    Your prayer…the truth of it, the honesty of it….it touched a place in my heart and I knew it was okay to tell Him everything….every doubt and fear…..and then ask Him to hold me tight and know that His mercy, grace and love extends beyond my disbelief and forms a safe circle that will protect and keep me until the day when these trials have passed.
    Thanks, Ruth, for sharing these valuable thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Cathy!
      I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through this rough time so long. It sounds, though, like the Lord has taught you some very valuable lessons about Himself and about His love and faithfulness. I’m so glad that He used these words to help you along your way. I remember hearing a speaker once when I was still in the middle of that wilderness who said that we could tell God anything that is on our hearts. She said something to the effect that He knows everything we have been thinking anyway, and it won’t surprise Him any. It was one of those “aha” moments. We can’t hide any of our fears and doubts from Him anyway, so we might as well talk with Him about them.
      Cathy, you’ve done such a good job writing your comment, I wonder if you’ve ever considered starting your own blog? You have a story to tell that could be an encouragement to others and help them along their way. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
      Love and prayers.

      Like

  7. Such a wonderful testimony & sure to help many. At times, circumstances may not turn out the way we would like but our God is with us in all things. He works in our lives to bring beauty from ruin. He is faithful to us and will never abandon us. May God bless you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the blessing, Joanne!
      Bringing Beauty back to that which seems to have been ruined is one of God’s specialties. Where others see total loss, He sees the possibilities for remaking the vessel more beautiful than before.
      And yes, I’m so glad that He is ALWAYS faithful, even when we or those around us are not.
      Blessings to you and yours as well! 🙂

      Like

    1. Yes, Sarah, waiting is so hard! But what I discovered over time was that God brought me through the waiting and made me more and more aware of His Presence, His love and faithfulness, and so much more about Him that up till then had only been theory. Through waiting, theory became experience; both were knowledge, but the personal knowledge is so much better, in cases like these, than the theoretical!
      Thanks for your visit! Come again soon! 🙂

      Like

  8. Thank you for being brave to share your story.
    We never can fully describe how it feels or come to understand why… when one spouse takes a walk especially when everything seemed ok!
    I’m happy you went to God.

    In our hearts maybe we all wished for a cinderalla story end but that’s fiction right? We awake to real life challenges of those we love or of our own lives…

    We don’t do everything right but God’s grace helps us…

    God bless Ruth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right, Ifeoma!
      I did get a loving, handsome prince the second time around! But you’re right, happily ever after doesn’t exist until heaven. We must always be making an effort to overcome our selfish desires and work toward harmony in all our relationships with family and friends.
      In the end, the only person who is always for us, who is always rooting for us, who is always awake for us, who always values us without getting distracted, is GOD, our One True Love. Praise Him for His faithfulness and for His grace and mercy, because there is not one of us who don’t need it, not one of us who don’t need HIM! 🙂

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  9. This thought resonates so deeply in my heart: “He didn’t do things the way I wanted Him to, but through it all, I have come to know Him more deeply, and that makes it worth it all.” Oh, I have found that to be so true also! Over the years, and the many prayers I prayed, God answered the real cry in my heart, and gave me more of Himself. Thank you for sharing these precious Scriptures and stories from your heart! I’m blessed to be your neighbor over at #TellHisStory this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ruth,

    I am so sorry for the pain those early years had to have been for you, but so grateful for the way His mercy met you and filled you and formed you to share the grace and love that you learned into the lives of others. His mercy amazes me, when I think about it, and the million mundane miracles that are a part of our everyday existence, if we only look. Lately, the Lord has put a special soul in my life to speak into, to talk of the journey we took with our very sick daughter. And I don’t like to talk about it, because it was hard, but God brings glory and grace in the hard spaces and He meets us… doesn’t He… with miracles.
    Thanks for sharing this at the #GraceMoments Community.

    Blessings!
    Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, He does, Dawn!
      It can be hard to talk about the painful things He’s brought us through, because it brings up those old feelings again. But then, if the Lord has brought someone across our path who is going through a hard time, this can be a good thing, since the Lord helps us have compassion on that other person because He had compassion on us and, thereby, helps us pass on comfort to others who are going through their own hard times.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad that God knows what is best for us and accomplishes His will. I’m sorry for what you had to go through but also thankful that you continued to trust during that time. My daughter, who has 5 kids, is going through that kind of darkness right now. Her friends and church have been very supportive, but it’s really hard. Your post gives me hope that maybe God has someone else in mind for her even though years may pass.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TuneInThursday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl, I’m so sorry that your daughter is going through this hard time. I’m glad her church is supportive. I’m sure she needs a lot of support with 5 children. I only had 3, and I needed certain things. The four I remember the most were furniture (initially), babysitting, transportation from school, and Christmas.
      I know it must be really hard to be the parent of a hurting grownup child as well. May the Lord give you the comfort, strength, and wisdom that you need to be the mom and grandma that He wants you to be for them.

      Like

  12. My father passed away when I was seven. For the rest of my childhood I prayed for a father. It didn’t happen.
    When I was 19 an older gentleman came into my life who became a mentor and father figure to me. Now 13 years later I call him dad and my children call him Papa Wally. It wasn’t the miracle I expected but it was in Gods perfect timing !
    Visiting you from fresh market friday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Naomi!
      Yes, the waiting and waiting is so hard. But you’re right; God’s timing is perfect. I heard a message the other day about this, and the person speaking mentioned Joseph, and how the time of waiting was a time of preparation for something great that God wanted to do in his life. I wonder if that’s not what He is doing in our lives during those times of waiting as well.
      Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you now have this special person in your life for you and for your children. May you have many special times together! 🙂

      Like

  13. Ruth – I just love how God is in the business of healing and restoration, even if its not exactly what we have in mind, He still had plans for you. I am sorry for the difficulty in walking through a spouse leaving and being a single parent, but yay God not only did He bring you a gift, he gave you 2 more children and grandchildren – now that is a huge miracle and blessing from the Lord. I loved reading your story, and I know it will minister and bless others who are going through something similar. It will give them hope for seeing Gods hand meet them.

    thanks for linking up with #TuneInThursday this week. Sorry for my delay in stopping by, it has been a busy week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Debbie, God is abundantly good! Praise Him for His restoration, healing, miracles, and grace!
      I’m glad He can use me and my story in the lives of some to bring them encouragement. A ray of hope can be a beacon of light to those walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
      Thanks for reading and speaking encouraging words here! 🙂
      Don’t worry about the delay; I was too busy to have had time to worry about it.

      Like

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your story—it’s encouraging to hear how God answered your prayers and pleas, even if it wasn’t the path you had in mind. The Psalms are such a comfort, so uplifting—I love that when we have no words, we can pray the Psalms. He IS faithful! Your neighbour at #MomentsofHope 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, He is Faithful, Laura!
      I praise Jesus that He has used this as an encouragement for you! Feel free to pass it on if you know someone else who could benefit from reading it. The more people who can be helped by it, the more worth it it will seem to me.
      Yes, the Psalms lend themselves so readily to be used as prayers! I’m glad God put them in the Holy Writ. I’ve needed to pray them multiple times in my life.
      Thank you for taking the time to write these words of encouragement! The Lord bless you.

      Like

    1. Hi, Karlene!
      Praise God for faithfully meeting us in our times of need to walk with us or carry us through. We need Him so much, and it is in the dark times that we are more likely to call out to Him for His help. We definitely do grow closer to Him as we walk these difficult times with Him. That makes it worth it all in the long run.
      Thanks for your visit! 🙂
      Blessings!

      Like

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