You’ll never believe the end of this story. I was out delivering groceries a couple Wednesdays ago when I felt in my Spirit that I needed to go home and pray. Normally Kyle and I take our kids to Awana on Wednesday nights and we use that time to go grocery shopping or have adult conversation without interruptions. Because we didn’t take our kids to Awana, I decided to go get groceries on my own and then do a couple Shipt shops while I was out. After earning enough money to cover my extra grocery expenses. I felt like God was telling me to be done – kinda like He did with the Israelites in the desert when He told them to only gather as much food as they needed for that day and nothing more. Instead of following my intuition I ignored it hoping to do just 1 more shop before heading home. Out of nowhere, my phone stopped taking a charge. I tried two different chargers and even my portable one and nothing worked. My phone was about to die and I had already accepted another shop, yet there was no way I would be able to get all their groceries, find my way to their house, and use my GPS to get back home before my phone died. I called Shipt and had them un-assign me from the very lucrative order. Then, I decided to call a friend – who had invited me over earlier in the week to hang out that night and whom I had declined due to my normal “Wednesday-Night-Awana-Date-Night/Grocery-Night” night. I asked her if she’d still want to hang out but she was no longer feeling super great and sociable so I decided to head home. On my way, I stopped into Meijer to grab some dinner but the pressing feeling to get home continued. I felt like God was asking me to fast and pray for my sister and her family. I got home, dropped off the groceries for Kyle to put away and headed over to our in-law suite to pray. Before I got up there I got a text from my younger sister saying “Praise God! He is hearing our prayers!” I wasn’t exactly sure what she was talking about but I knew it had to do with our older sister and her family. I sat down at my piano and just began to worship God. He brought me to an old song “Into Marvelous Light.” I began to sing that over my sister while praying intensely that God would bring her and her family out of darkness and into “Marvelous LIght.” The next morning I got a text from my older sister that God had been speaking to her. What she said was so profound and enlightening. You could tell she had just experienced a real breakthrough – but that’s her story to tell.
My story is this: Persistent prayer works. As my pastor said the previous week (such a timely message) “Some of our most authentic prayers come from allowing ourselves to enter into deep sorrow.” Because my family and I have each in our own unique way entered into my sister’s sorrow – carrying her burden through tears, prayer, and encouragement, we were also able to empathize deeply with her great joy and relief. It’s like earlier in my day, when everything was pushing me to get home and pray, God was saying “I don’t want you to miss out on this. After all your years of praying, I want you to be a part of what I am accomplishing, today!”
“…Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Ex.14:13-14
God has been speaking to our entire family on the topic of being still letting go. Not giving up on prayer, but letting go of trying to control the situation through our worry, anxiety, fear, and anger. It’s like as soon as we all unanimously decided to give control back over to God, He moved.
There’s a book called “Holding On Loosely” by Pablo Giocopelli that has inspired the theme of my last few blogs. It’s an incredibly moving story of how a tennis coach learns to live in the zone between giving up and letting go of control. He talks about how we’re not called to give up, nor are we called to control and manipulate. We are to live somewhere in the middle – holding everything loosely before the Lord and allowing Him to work out the end result. When we take our eyes off the end result and focus on Him, the end result will take care of itself. And when God comes through, and He always does in His own way and in His own time, then there is huge cause for rejoicing, dancing, and celebration as our deep grief is turned into great relief.