Sometimes

It was an answer to prayer. God had confirmed it to me. So why didn’t it work out? ……..

Many years ago I read a book written by the wife of a pastor. In the book, she relates the story of when she and her husband were temporarily living with the family of one of their churches. The pastor’s family was very poor and couldn’t even afford to buy stamps for their letters, so she prayed that God would supply her with stamps so that she could send a letter to her parents.

One day, shortly after her prayer, their host family received some mail with several postage stamps tucked inside the envelope—ten or so. The pastor’s wife knew that her prayer had just been answered and began secretly rejoicing, while the recipient of the stamps did a happy dance around the room. After rejoicing, the woman took the stamps and tucked them back inside the envelope and put the envelope away. She did not offer one to the pastor’s wife. This caused the pastor’s wife to question why God had gotten her so close to her answer and then it had not come to be.

After several days of contemplation, she came to this conclusion—when God answers our prayers and other people are involved in the answer, they must also be open to God’s leading and willing to respond. If not, then we must wait on the answer to come to us in a different way. Perhaps the other woman had heard God whisper to share her bounty of stamps, but had just ignored the urging. Whatever the reason, it brought the pastor’s wife comfort to know that God had answered her prayer, and even though she did not receive the blessing of a stamp, she did receive the blessing of knowing God was listening to her.

I won’t go into the details, but I’m there. And even though it’s taken me a few days to do so, I accept it. It doesn’t take away the disappointment I feel, but I trust God. His grace is sufficient. And, after all, it’s all about HIM.

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