In the past few months I have become increasingly aware of God’s wonderful provision, and of His love for us 😀  Not only spiritually, but also in the tiny little things that God is pleased to give me, or show me, in an answer to my prayers.  I am ashamed to say that probably in the past couple of years I looked at these little provisions as ‘coincidences’.  I knew in my head that God answers prayer, but I was having a hard time seeing it in my own life.

Praise God for His mercy!  His patience! His everlasting love!  He is AMAZING!

First of all, there were the times that He answered me before I even asked Him.

“…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

Matthew 6:8

One time I noticed that my favorite Zebra pens were drying out and I thought, “I should buy some ink refills next time I go to the store.”  A few days later, we were cleaning and guess what I found?!  The exact refills I needed!

Another time I thought that it would be so nice to have a pair of those nice tall rubber farm boots to protect our feet from the mud and muck better when we’re out doing chores.  I wasn’t even  thinking of buying them.  I just thought it would be nice 🙂   A few days later some friends of ours who were moving to Missouri and had gotten rid of all of their goats gave us five pairs of those boots!!!

 Then one day I noticed that my favorite Bath & Body Works soap was running out, and my scrunchie-sponge was looking quite dilapidated 😀  I started to think, “I need buy a new one…” but then instead I decided ask God to send me some new ones. There is a difference, of course, between asking for things “to consume upon our lusts”, and then asking for things to see God provide.  If God decided not to, that was fine, but I wanted to give Him the chance!   I pretty much forgot about it, and then a secret pal gave me…a new scrunchie and some new Bath & Body Works soap and lotion 😀   God answered my prayer!  

  All three of these things happened during a time that I was waiting for an answer from Him about something slightly bigger, and so they were such encouragements to me that He was listening, and that while the answer to my “bigger” request was “wait”, He wouldn’t let me down.

And what was my bigger request?  Well, it wasn’t exactly just my request, it was Leah’s, Susannah’s, Cassia’s, mine and a friend of ours, Kelsey’s.

   About a month or so ago,  Kelsey asked if we (Leah, Susannah, Cassia and myself) were interested in going to a music camp in August with her.  She had been to it last year and it sounded like lots of fun 🙂   However, it was going to be someplace close to a big city that I never, ever have driven in before.  I was skeptical that Mommy and Daddy would agree to it.  Indeed, I wasn’t  sure myself that I wanted to drive in said big city 😀  We asked them about it and they both said that they didn’t mind.  Everything seemed to open up, including a family we could stay with while there.  Besides the opportunity to learn new things music related, we knew we would have a wonderful time getting to spend a few days with Kelsey 😀  Our families get along quite well and we tease each other all the time!  We kept saying that if we did go, we were going to be one wild bunch!  Mommy encouraged us, however, to pray about it, because obviously every good opportunity is not neccessarily an opportunity you should take advantage of.

A few weeks later, I was praying about whether or not to buy myself an mp3 player.  I had enough money to buy one but wanted to make sure that I was spending my money the way God wanted me to. That might sound weird, or bothersome, but you have no idea how exciting it is until you’ve tried it 😀  In fact, I used to think it was rather bothersome myself…but not anymore!

Well, the next day I was reading in Luke, and though it doesn’t happen very often, I was starting right in the middle of a chapter…here’s what I read.  Now mind you, I already technically have a mp3 player on my phone, but I was wanting something bigger, so I didn’t have to delete songs off of it so much.

So here is what I read:

“16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”   Luke 12:16-21

I was amazed!  It was like God was telling me very clearly, “No, your mp3 player on your phone is enough, you don’t need a ‘bigger barn'”.

I was so surprised, amazed and thrilled about how quickly and clearly He had answered me, that I didn’t really mind so much that the answer had been “no”.  Besides that, I knew (and God knew!) that it could very easily become an “idol” to me. I do not think that iPods are evil, of course. They just aren’t good for me, right now 😀

After finding out that even iPods are in the Bible, I was excited to see if music camps were:D

So we prayed. 

                       And waited.

                                       And prayed

                                                       And waited.

                                                                      And prayed.

  God wasn’t silent this whole time, He kept giving us verses and encouragement and direction, but it all pointed to that word, wait.  The closer it got to the cut-off date, the more anxious we became.  July 2nd was the cut-off for the “early-bird” price, which is what we were all wanting!  Not to mention, since Kelsey was an alumni and bringing four new friends with her, she could get in free.  That is, IF we registered by the cut-off date!

 Sometime in May, I felt God was asking me if I was really wanting to hear Him, or if this was just a game?  Was I willing to go “to the screaming edge of the precipice” as Elisabeth Elliot says?  So far my answers to prayer had been quick.  Was I willing to wait?  I finally decided that no matter how scary it was going to be hanging over that edge, I really did want to wait on Him.

  We girls kept each other updated on what God had told us during our quiet time. “Have you gotten anything yet?” became an often asked question 🙂

An e-mail I sent to Kelsey one day tells part of what we were thinking and learning:

Oh yes!   I promised I’d let you know my thoughts on the music camp 😀   This past Thursday I was praying about it (and starting to get a little panicked! “God, we only have two weeks to know!  Can we know soon?!“)  and during my quiet time I felt like he was telling me that I was becoming more caught up in finding his answer, than in finding him.  He also impressed on me that he wanted me to praise him–because praising him is saying “You are in control, You are on the throne!’ (instead of begging and pleading!).  Also during my quiet time I kept reading verses about the “counsel of your parents” etc. I had been wanting to talk to them about it anyways, so I didn’t need much prodding!  I asked them what they thought, because I didn’t think I was hearing Him wrong, but I didn’t want to be going off on some wild goose chase and I wanted them to tell me what they thought.  They told me they didn’t think it was a “wild goose chase” and that they’d be praying too, and let me know if they got any answers.  

 
    And then this morning I told the girls about praising Him more and Susannah said, “Now that’s very interesting!  Yesterday I was reading one of the Psalms and it kept saying ‘Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!'”  So that is kind of where we are with that for right now 🙂  I think we are supposed to praise Him 😀   Have you gotten anything in your quiet times/ prayer times about it?
 
  I keep trying to keep in perspective that God IS on His Throne, He IS in control, and He knows that we need to know soon about Majesty Music : )  Also the song, “Have Faith in God” has been wonderful recently!
Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered,
Your earnest plea He will never forget;
Wait on the Lord trust His word and be patient,
Have faith in God, He’ll answer yet.”
 
 

I kept being reminded to praise Him, no matter what His answer was.  “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven.” Psalm 18:30

 Another verse that became even more personal and special to me was Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” 

 God kept showing us so many things during this time, mostly to do with our relationship with Him.  He doesn’t want us to come to Him just to “get filled up” like He’s a gas pump!  He wants us to know Him and love Him!  Here are a couple of things that we read during this time, one Mommy read to us, the other Kelsey read and sent to us.

  ” There is only one ultimate guarantee. It is the love of Christ. Nothing in Heaven or earth or hell can separate us from that, and because God is God and loves us He will not allow us to rest anywhere but in that Love. We run straight to Him when other refuges fail. Our misconceptions are corrected in Him, our failures redeemed, our sins cleansed, our grief’s turned to joy.”

 
  “…when we are joined to Him in intimacy and affection, it is inevitable that we will become much more fruitful in the Kingdom.  While we’re still waiting for justice, the intimacy cultivated through unrelenting prayer makes us fruitful even during the wait.  One reason the wait can be so long is because the Lord is totally retraining our living patterns, so that when the breakthrough comes we don’t return to old patterns.  Breakthrough without intimacy is deadly.  When God finally avenges us, it will be more important than ever to be established in the fiery intimacy that was gained during the wait.
 
   “Even though breakthrough may still be withheld, unrelenting prayer has the surprising effect of actually increasing our passion for Jesus.  Analyzing the thing logically, we might expect God’s delays to make us bitter and cause us to shut down toward Him; but in actuality, His delays have the opposeite effect.  In desperation, we we draw near to Him and cry out to Him with unprecedented fervency.  We press into His Word like never before.  And in the process of that passionate pursuit, He awakens us to His beauty, glory, grace, and profound affections for us. The harder we come after Him, the more lovesick we become…because we persevered in prayer, now we are ablaze with passionate delight in the glory of the Man, Christ Jesus.”
 
 and then in another place…
 
“God will use a lifestyle of day and night prayer, during the waiting season, to establish us in intimacy.  Theses new depths of intimacy and love are absolutely essential for what’s coming, so that when the Lord finally brings us through to deliverance, the tempations that come with multiplied open doors don’t damage us.  One of the greatest temptations, when the answer comes, is to neglect intimacy, become self-determining and independent, and lose our way in the midst of God’s blessings.
 
    “After the breakthrough, people will pull on us; they will want to hear our testimony; the demands on our life will multiply.  Intimacy is our safeguard.  God will sometimes wait with His deliverance until we have established through 24/7 prayer a lifestyle of intimacy that will not unravel under the strain of the next season of fruitfulness. It’s the lovesickness that God is producing within us during the wait that ends up protecting us when the answer comes.
    “God loves us too much to allow the blessing to break us. So He uses the delay, strategically, to immerse us in intimacy so that, when the answer comes, we won’t lose our way.”
Bob Sorge,Unrelenting Prayer”
 
“We must not proceed from our own notions of God’s actions (it will appear He has not acted) but must look clearly and unflinchingly at what happens and seek to understand it through the revelation of God in Christ…{my notes…she was talking here about how Jesus’ life on earth, His birth, everything, looked so foolish and weak to humans…but in the end what glory and awesomeness!!}…For the will of God is not a quantative thing, static and measurable. The Sovereign God moves in mysterious relation to the freedom of man’s will. We can demand no instant reversals. Things must be worked out according to a divine design and timetable. Sometimes the light rises excruciatingly slowly. The Kingdom of God is like leaven and seed, things which work silently, secretly, slowly, but there is in them an incalculable transforming power.”
from “The Savage, My Kinsman” by Elisabeth Elliot

 

 One night I asked God, “Could You make Your answer clear?  so clear that there is no question about it?”  I did not say, “I’m not going to go unless You give us a clear answer” because I wasn’t that confident.  I think if it came down to it, we wouldn’t have gone without a clear answer, but at that point I just wanted to know if He would be absolutely clear about it.  Here is what He gave me the next day:

“For our gospel came not unto you in the word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”

1 Thessalonians 1:5

Wow! I had a clear answer that He would answer clearly!  Mommy had also been praying with us about the music camp, and she read something she had found in Habukkuk one day:

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it:; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Habakkuk 2:3

Even though we still weren’t getting a “yes” or a “no”, these little “signposts” were so encouraging to see!  Just like when you’re at Clifty Falls and on the most rugged trail, your heart rejoices to see those little 4-foot-tall posts that say “Trail 3” and a little arrow pointing the direction you’re supposed to go. That’s what these little promises were like 😀 

It was agreed that we’d hopefully have our answer by June 30th since Kelsey was going to be out of town by the time the deadline came around.  Sometime before this, Susannah told us how God impressed on her that He wanted her to spend a certain amount of time praising Him each day.  She said that she also read, “this shall ye do six days,” but didn’t know if that had anything to do with the music camp.  I wasn’t so sure it was, because Wednesday was coming up in less than six days.

 Cassia shared one day that while she was having her quiet time, the word “suddenly” kept repeating itself, and also a phrase from her Bible reading, “at the break of dawn,” really jumped out at her.  This was getting exciting!  It was an adventure!  Scary at times the more we felt like we were hanging out on the edge of that precipice, but also assured that we were in good Hands and He was not going to drop us! So what did “at the break of dawn”  mean? Was God going to tell us on Wednesday morning?

Wednesday morning came, but we still had no answer.  Wednesday afternoon and evening came and we still had no answer.  I called Kelsey and we decided that since she wouldn’t be in town, we’d just sign her up together with us when the answer came (and if it was a yes!).

Wednesday night  Leah shared something with me that she had read:

“…When it comes to deciding how we should do business, how we should parent, how we should work, what kind of person we should marry, etc., the basic question we must ask ourselves is: are the human minds and senses sufficiently equipped and qualified in and of themselves to be the final judges of what is right, proper, good, and true, or does one need assistance from a superhuman source?….The Hebrew postition is one that acknowledges the need for objective, superhuman assistance, because the unaided mind of man has limitations, and is simply not sufficiently equipped to ascertain the full picture independently.”

Christian Overman, “Assumptions that Affect Our Lives”

 

That same night, Leah and I were outside looking at the stars and I was also texting Kelsey 😀

“Hey Jessica! Anything on Majesty??!! ” (the name of the music camp)

“Nope, nothing yet! Tho im getting more and more suspenseful! It all *looks* like it has to be a yes, but with so many promises that ive gotten about being answered in ‘much assurance’ im def waiting for that clear answer, whether it be yes or no 😀 im sure hoping its a yes tho! I’m excited just thinking about it!…”

“Okay…good! What if happens if we dont get a clear answer?…just out of curiosity 😀 Well be sure and text or call and let me know what u decide!”

“Hmm…dont know. Wait til we do?  I think there will be one but what happens if He answers after the deadline for some reason? just wondering 🙂 its gone thru my mind a few times. We wouldn’t get the discount but maybe he has something bigger?! I dont know and im just speculating 😀 He is prolly smiling at us since He already sees! Dont worry, i will call or txt u RIGHT AWAY when we do get our answer 😀

 

The thought that He might wait until after the deadline crossed my mind many times.  In my mind, that was out of the question.  It would cost more money.  But He kept reminding me that, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.”  Isaiah 55:8

 

On July 1st, I was again impressed about the importance of knowing Jesus more and meditating  more on His character.  I thought of a book that Mommy has read recently called “31 Days of Meditating on the Majesty of Jesus”.  It goes through 31 different parts of Jesus’ character and names.  Since it was the first of the month, I figured it was a good time to start reading it.  That day it was about “The Lord of Peace” which was quite appropriate the closer we came to the deadline!  That night I read ahead a little bit, and came upon day 10, “Rescuer”.  It was good.  And I was wondering even more, was God going to “rescue us” and give us the answer on the 10th?

 Mommy also read to us from Frances J. Roberts’ book, “Make Haste, My Beloved”:

“Patience is like the petals of a rose unfolding.  It is silent. It does not complain about its own slowness nor chide another for his.  It is able to wait, for it knows that time is as important as speed in the Spirit while there is slowness in the flesh.  It knows there is a divine clock that has wings where man’s clock has hands.  It is aware of God’s perfect timing even though it cannot tell the hour.  It penetrates the wall of silence and has faith that God is indeed working even though it does not hear the chiming of the passing hours.  Yes, Patience is another child of love; for it is Love that waits, knowing all is well and all WILL be well, because God loves and cares.  Patience can wait because Patience knows that God is Love, and love is timeless, and love is loving while patience is waiting.”

 

 On the morning of July 2nd I slept in.  I definitely was NOT up “at the break of dawn”.  I felt kind of bad about it, but we had been up extra late the night before.  I was awakened by Mommy bouncing onto my bed saying, “How will you get anything (an answer) at the break of dawn if you’re sleeping?”  Out of curiosity I asked, “Did you get an answer?”  She said, “I was reading in Ezekiel and didn’t get much from that, not about the music camp anyway.”  “Oh,” I said.  “But I did get something and if you want to hear it you have to get up and come downstairs!” and with that she went down herself 😀  She surely knows how to get us out of bed!!!  I have the following written in my diary:

“…so I came down, as did Leah, Susannah and Cassia, not knowing what to expect.  Even if it was encouragement that we were on the right track, just a signpost pointing, “this is the way, walk ye in it.”  I would be happy :D” 

Well, Mommy said that she didn’t get anything from her regular Bible reading, but while she was praying, not really about Majesty Music, but just praying and worshiping Him, He very clearly told her the name of the city that the music camp is going to be at.  Mommy said, “Does that mean you want the girls to go to Majesty Music?”  He said, “Yes, and I will be with them and I will bless them, and they are to lift up My Majesty.”  Mommy asked, “Can I have a Scripture to confirm that?” and God reminded her of a Scripture He had given her the day before,  Psalm 121:8:

“The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

 

And again from my journal…

“Oh my! I was amazed!  God kept His promises! About it being “at the break of dawn” about it being “in the power and the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” and so many others!  The four of us girls were laughing and crying and I said, “It was worth the wait!” And it was!!  God is so much bigger!  Hallelujah!  And we go registered in time with no problems.  Praise the Lord!…He is Majestic!”

We truly were amazed!  I can still remember us all standing by the kitchen counter looking at each other with smiles on our faces, not being able to decide whether to laugh or cry and doing some of both!  We believed Him when He promised, but now we had seen Him do it and I am so thankful that we did wait!

 From the outside, it may seem a little silly and trivial.  It is only a 2-3 day camp.  It’s not that big of a deal.  But God took something “little” to help us see Him BIG! 

Susannah then realized that “Day 6” of praising Him had been just the day before, and God gave us the answer on Day 7 😀  Just like Jericho. 

  I then couldn’t wait to tell Kelsey, besides, I had promised to tell her right away :D,  so I texted her:

“ARE U AWAKE?! :D” 

She didn’t answer for a little while, so I texted her again:

“I say! Wake up! It’s the break of dawn! :D”

“I’m awake 😀  Call me :D”

I didn’t get right back to her for a few minutes and she texted again,

“..text me!  Call me!! I’m sooo curious :D!!!!!!!”

I then called her and told her the good news and now we are all SO excited and really looking forward to spending time together, especially now that we know that the answer is yes!  It is amazing to us that we have our answer now, and now we can go in the full assurance that God told us that we could go!

 

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17 thoughts on “Answers to Prayer

  • July 25, 2010 at 11:12 am
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    How wonderful that you are learning to trust YHVH in all things and seeing how His hand can even be in the “small” things (like ink refills and bath sponges!). 🙂

    BTW-I have an iPod touch (a gift from my adult daughter)–I like it because I have the Bible loaded on it and use it to read to my little girls at night. I also use it to listen to sermons and music when walking or doing household chores. I haven’t had a cell phone for several years now and honestly don’t miss it! But since you have a phone with an mp3 player built-in, you are wise to wait on getting an iPod. 🙂

    I’m glad that you received a “yes” answer and pray that you all have a wonderfully blessed time at the music camp.

    Reply
    • July 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm
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      Thank you! I’m sure we will! And thank you for all your lovely comments! I enjoy reading them 😀

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • July 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm
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    WOW!! That is so amazing how God DOES answer prayers in due season!!!! When is the camp? and where is it taking place?
    Right now we, (my mom, dad and I) are driving to Charlottesville VA. 😀

    Reply
    • July 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm
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      Oh fun! Are you going to swing by Indiana?! 😀 Have lots of fun!

      Jessica

      P.S. I sent you a private message 😀

      Reply
  • July 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm
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    Jessica –

    What an amazing story! It is SUCH an encouragement about listening and waiting for God’s answer! Sometimes I think the hardest thing for me to do is to step back and really listen to God – for his direction and guidance. It is so cool how he used a small request to draw so many of your family members closer to him! It sounds like even if the answer had been no that even the thought of the opportunity and the way God used it to draw you closer to him would have made the whole experience worthwhile! I hope you have a great time!! (I’m sure we will hear about it on the blog 🙂 ).

    Julianne

    Reply
    • July 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm
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      Thanks for your comment, Julianne! You are absolutely right about the whole experience being worthwhile, even if the answer had been “no”! 😀 I thought that, and we said that several times during the “waiting time” 😀 And yes, you probably will hear about it on the blog 😀 I can’t wait!

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • July 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm
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    Wow! God is so cool! What a great story! The other day we were in Indiana! We should of swung by too! 😀

    Reply
  • July 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm
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    This is SO encouraging! I’m going through a very difficult waiting time that *so far* has lasted six months and I will confirm that God has a far better way to deal with our situations than we do! 🙂 He is so good, even in the times when I think I’m going to explode from not knowing! 😀 If nothing else, it helps teach patience! 🙂

    Reply
  • July 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm
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    Learning to wait and learning to rest in the knowledge that His timing is perfect is something that is so important to learn. I am going through a period of waiting and have had the opportunity to use it as a way to point people, mostly unsaved, to Him.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm
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    Wow, what an AMAZING story! So glad you shared this, because it was a blessing to me to be able to read it. What a sweet life lesson you girls learned. I believe it truly was worth the wait.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2010 at 6:11 am
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    Praise the Lord! I love how He answers prayer His way and not ours – it’s always so much more exciting and awesome! (I mean that in the literal sense, not as in a synonym for ‘good’.)

    It’s funny, as I was reading through this, it felt like this was exactly what I needed to hear. At the moment, I’m reading through Exodus – a chapter a day – and I felt as though God was telling me that I was in the ‘wilderness’ just as the Israelites were, and that where I’m going is much better than where I’ve come from. It seems like the Lord has promised all of you something similar!

    Thanks so much for sharing. God bless you all on this music camp 🙂

    Reply
    • July 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm
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      I’m so glad that our story could be an encouragement to you, too! I was just re-reading it the other day (I had gotten most of it written several weeks ago) and was encouraged all over again, myself 😀

      I pray that God will show Himself BIG to you, just as He has to us!

      Love,

      Jessica

      Reply
    • July 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm
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      Yes! We do! We are just so terrible about posting them…we have a draft to be posted soon that is full of awards 😀 Thanks for awarding us!

      Reply
  • July 29, 2010 at 3:10 am
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    What a story! God really does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?

    I’ve been learning that God, although incredibly great and mighty, wants me to talk to him about my life – and the decisions I make.

    Love,
    Jessica

    Reply
  • August 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm
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    Very cool! I love how our Saviour uses “trivial” things to teach us. 🙂 And teach us ALOT! 😀 (Psalm 81:10) He is so good! And he knows so much better than we do! 😀 (imagine that :D) Romans 11:33.
    -Nicole

    Reply

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