Crying Over Answered Prayers
That was the title of the daily devotional that came in my email inbox this morning from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It wasn't until the boys were off to school that I sat down to have my quiet time. My heart has really been struggling over multiple things lately, and my thoughts have been in somewhat of a whirlwind. I'm a planner, and I love to organize. And right now, there are so many unknowns ahead--my OCD personality that wants to have things in place and figured out is stressing out a bit.
I was browsing Facebook this morning and came across the image below, and it's message just hit me.
You see, one of the things this girl is stressing about right now is the upcoming studio remodel/construction. Don't get me wrong--I am so excited about this dream coming true. I have been praying for a studio space, and so this is an answered prayer and one that I've been longing for for years. But, I also am crunching numbers, and wanting to have the funds ready to go when construction starts. And for some reason (it may or may not be the fact that God is testing my trust), business has just been super slow lately. So, the income is not adding up like I was hoping it would.
Fast forward a few minutes to when I sat down and actually read through the devotional mentioned at the beginning of this post. Not every quiet time speaks so directly to my heart, but this one could not have been more timely. I KNOW it's from Him, as He knew EXACTLY what my heart needed this morning. And, that picture above was the image embedded in this devotional (I had no clue when I first saw it on Facebook).
"Crying Over Answered Prayers" - Suzie Eller
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.’” Exodus 14:15 (NIV) I pulled out an old prayer journal and there it was, written in my handwriting. It was a prayer request I had prayed for years.
The words blurred as I traced them, tears falling.
The answer to this prayer was in the process of unfolding. Good news, right? Except, five minutes earlier, I was worrying because it felt so big. That morning I questioned my husband like a lead investigator:
Are you sure we can do this?
Are we making the right decision?
I peppered him with questions, trying to iron out every single detail even though we were in the beginning stages. In the night, when I should have been sleeping, I crunched numbers in my head.
It was exhausting.
Seeing my prayer request in the journal reminded me I had asked God for this very thing, and He was graciously opening the door. Rather than rejoicing, I was fretting.
In today’s passage, Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt after centuries of slavery. They were at the mercy of their captors and worked endless hours making bricks from straw. Generations had prayed for freedom, and the answer had come! Thousands left Egypt and headed for the Promised Land. Not too far into their journey, Pharaoh sent his men after them and the Israelites panicked.
They started to complain. They cried out to Moses.
“They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?’” (Exodus 14:11)
“Tell the Israelites to move on” (Exodus 14:15b).
As I traced the faded prayer request with my fingers, I admit I was so fixated on the obstacles that I was a little stuck. Keep moving, Suzie.
Rarely does answered prayer mean it’s smooth sailing all the way.
We pray for that prodigal child to come home, and they do. Yet there’s work to be done in the relationship.
We pray for God to help us achieve a dream. He does, and it’s more difficult than we imagined.
We pray for a promotion, and there’s a learning curve. Move on. Keep going.
He answered our prayers, and He’ll be with us every step of the way. We can get caught up in the challenges, or celebrate where God is taking us.
I pulled out that old journal and wrote a date beside my prayer request — along with the word “answered.” Then I listed the hurdles God had demolished in this answered prayer. As I read them, my attitude completely shifted. The obstacles were there, yes, but so was God. I closed my journal and lifted my hands to thank Him. It was time to stop crying over answered prayers, rejoice and move on.
Heavenly Father, I have been so focused on the obstacles that I lost sight of what You did for me. Thank You for answering my prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Author: Suzie Eller
Proverbs 31 Ministries, March 21, 2017
Needless to say, my heart has been so challenged at the start of this day. I can look back and see numerous obstacles He has already overcome to get me where I am today. I'm sure there is no mountain in the days ahead that is too big for Him to take care of as well. It's time to start celebrating where He is taking me.