I stared at the stark white card in my hand. What on earth was Pastor Jay up to this time?
"How often do we stop and think about the good gifts our heavenly Father wants to lavish on us? The Bible says we have not because we ask not. He wants to bless His children. How often do you tell the Lord your dreams and hopes? Sure, we aren't supposed to ask for selfish things but that doesn't mean we can't share the desires of our heart with Him. He's waiting to hear from us as any loving father-He wants to know."
The sanctuary plunged into silence, suspended in the moment, waiting. Pastor stared back at us with that challenging look I'd come to dread. Uh oh.
"You've each been given a card. Take it home and write down what you'd like from the Lord. Be creative and tell Him what's on your mind. Bring it back next week and remember: you don't need to put your name on it. Then we'll begin to pray over them and see what happens."
Being the good assignment-doer that I am, I took on the challenge and did as Pastor Jay directed, agonizing over the card for days. At long last, I had my list ready and was so anxious to be done; I grabbed the first writing instrument I could get my hands on. It just so happened to be a purple marker.
Seeing my private thoughts vibrantly spelled out for the entire world was quite disconcerting. Fears gurgled to the surface and it took every ounce of determination to not rip up the offending card. How could I be so bold to make these outlandish requests from the Lord? Especially in screaming purple! Indecision plagued me: should I start over? I didn't have another card-drat.
Deciding to just leave well enough alone, here's what I ended up with:
1. Have my writing published.
2. Become financially secure.
4. Marry the man God has for me.
For the next few months, the cards were spread out on a table in the sanctuary. The congregation was invited to look through them and lift the requests up to the Lord. Almost every week, mine would jump out of the pile. People would often pick it up as it attracted interest like a neon marquee. Did they wonder who would be such an attention-seeker?
Occasionally I would review my list and as time went on, I began to see life shift as He graciously and methodically began to act. Why are we so surprised when the Lord is faithful to his children? (Rhetorical question.)
With hardly any intervention from me, my writing began to attract attention and soon, I was published. I had made a conscious decision to set my talents apart for His glory (make note that the fancy word is consecration) and He honored my request.
My finances began to align as I became obedient by prioritizing Him with my money. As I learned to trust my finances to His care, the door opened and He zoomed in to take care of the rest.
A few opportunities to travel have come my way with more on the horizon-He's so incredibly awesome!
I've learned a lot from this experiment. One interesting observation is that if I trust Him to take care of me, He will. All I need to do is be willing to go along for the ride-and do my part. Sounds pretty simple-not exactly.
Last week at church, I was perusing the cards when my plucky purple emerged from the pile. Trying not to look too interested, I was startled when a hand slipped in and picked it up. My gaze followed and landed on the face of an extremely handsome man. He smiled and then went back to studying my card. Holding it gently, he prayed and slid it back into the heap.
Quickly I turned away so that no one would see my tears when a tap on the shoulder interrupted my getaway. Wearily turning, I came face to face with the gorgeous man.
"Hi there. My name is Sean. Could you direct me to the single's Sunday School class? I'm new here..."
Attempting to not make a complete fool of myself, I was actually able to stammer, "Ah, yes, as a matter of fact, I'm heading there myself. By the way, my name is Kathryn."
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