Saturday, December 1, 2012

Answered Prayers

We prayed aloud as our far from 4-wheel drive sedan slowly crept along the rocky road. The car we had traveled in was not even close to being equipped for this journey, and the same glaring ill-equipment was heavy on my heart as well. So we prayed.

"God we love babies and we would be honored at the opportunity to love these twins in whatever way You allow us, but we don't want that to be the reason for anything. We believe and trust that You care for their best far more than we do, so lead us to Your will. Keep us from our own. We are yours. Use us as You see fit here, if at all. We trust you."

It was all that came out of my mouth because I didn't know what to pray for, I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to expect, I didn't even know what to hope for.

As we left the house 15 minutes later--completely overwhelmed, empty-handed, eyes holding back tears, breath still lost--Sister Helen looked at me and said "wow. the prayers you just prayed have been answered!!" I looked at her in aggravated disbelief. Had I really prayed to see such a heartbreaking story unfold before our eyes? I pondered her comment for the rest of the day, as the faces of the twins and their brother raced through my mind every second of the 24 hours before we returned for them. I would never, ever have prayed or hoped for a situation so desperate to require immediate intervention like this. Never. If I had prayed for this (whether to fill our beautiful baby home, or to feel useful, or to become a temporary mama to gorgeous twin girls), God please forgive me.

It took several hours before one of my very favorite pieces of Scripture broke into my mind. I love it so much because I am simple-minded and this is about as clean-cut as it can get, yet I still forget it and am re-amazed constantly!

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." --1 John 5:14-15
Praying for His will means being heard and His will being done means we get what we asked for, whatever it is. It's just easy. I love it. Sister Helen was right, God did answer our prayers. We prayed for His will to be done and that's where we are and man oh man, where else can I get confidence like that? Nowhere. When the "what the heck are we doing?" questions arise, a quick look up to the Leader of all of this brings solace. This is His thing, not ours. As we continue to ache for His will done, we have immeasurable confidence that it will be done and we get to go along for the ride.

Several days before we met the twins, I was reading Psalm 90:17. It led me to stop and take a painfully close look into my heart before I could even meditate on it. "Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands; yes, establish the work of our hands!" ~Psalm 90:17 Before I could pray it, I needed to confirm my hands were being directed by Him. Though I don't think He'd even answer the prayer of establishing the work of my hands if they are not working solely for His glory, it was something I had to get straight on before the same plea exited my own mouth. It has since become a daily prayer... a daily trust, rather. First, a prayer for His will to be done, for His glory--second, a trust that He will establish the work of our hands when these are our aims (and only then).

We can take heart in trusting He will establish the work of our hands when we are truly working for Him. I am so very thankful we are not in charge and that the work He has each of us in right now, He promises to make it count long after we are gone from this earth.
"Good men are anxious not to work in vain. They know that without the Lord they can do nothing, and therefore they cry to him for help in the work, for acceptance of their efforts, and for the establishment of their designs. The church as a whole earnestly desi
res that the hand of the Lord may so work with the hand of his people, that a substantial, yea, an eternal edifice to the praise and glory of God may be the result. We come and go, but the Lord's work abides. We are content to die, so long as Jesus lives and his kingdom grows. Since the Lord abides for ever the same, we trust our work in his hands, and feel that since it is far more his work than ours he will secure it immortality. When we have withered like grass, our holy service, like gold, silver, and precious stones, will survive the fire." --Charles Spurgeon