Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Today was a day when I took that passage literally.
From going to bed last night until tonight, B and I have been praying for a wonderful friend of ours.
I'm not going to go into details, but I do want to say that we have an amazing God who knows all things and has control of all things. Earlier today I turned on the car radio, and the local Christian radio host was commenting on how God answers our prayers in ways that we don't always expect.
I know that our God is not here to complete my life checklist, or fulfill my wishes like a genie. I know that in my head, and I'm learning in my heart what it means to have the answer "No" or "Wait. This is not yet time." I also know that today, when our praying was focused on a family court custody battle, the last thing I wanted was for God to give one of those answers. I wanted a yes, and I wanted it now! I wanted God's will to be done, but only if His will included my friend winning her case. I was putting God in a box. Thinking that because I see my request as a good thing, it must mean that God was going to make it happen. But there was no lightning on command, no "instant message" in response to my prayers. And I don't take that as a bad thing. I take that to mean that God is in control, and whatever His will is, will happen IN HIS TIME. So I'm learning. I'm not very good at the waiting thing, but I'm watching my friend, and if she can trust in a time like this, I'm going to trust God too.
The peace that I have seen in my friend throughout this crazy stressful week shows me her faith in God. It shows me the power that an army of prayer warriors can have. And tonight we celebrated with ice cream. Not because of a verdict (which will come in a few weeks) but because the Lord has been her strength in good times and in bad. She knows this, and I'm learning it anew because of the faith she shows in every breath of every day.
My dear friend. You are an amazing mother to four kids whom I've been blessed to grow to love. I know that you have left a legacy of love in these children that will bless them for decades. I thank God for you and for allowing me to serve you these past few months. Because of you I will never be the same. Thank you.