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:
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.
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,
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.
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