Sometimes, I have an idea for a blog post, but then a few weeks go by, and it becomes passé, irrelevant.
At other times, like now, it sticks around, nagging me. Weeks go by, and while seemingly unimportant, the subject hangs out, buzzing insistently around my head like a mosquito.
So, today's post is brought to you by the Holy Spirit...aka an annoying mosquito.
Today, Josiah and I will complete the third of four classes to get our Prepare Enrich certification. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Prepare Enrich is a FANTASTIC assessment tool for pre-married or married couples which helps them grow closer in a myriad of ways. REALLY awesome.
About a month ago we met with Keith Tully of FamilyLife via video conference. At that point, we already knew about Prepare Enrich, but he urged us to take the class to get certified and said, if at all possible we HAD to take the class with Bob and Diane Ruthazer in Richmond.
So, as God would have it, there was a class starting in just a couple weeks. We signed up, and that was that!
However, as the time crept closer to the class, some of the excitement gave way to trepidation. Do we even belong in this class? We haven't even been married that long? Should we be doing this?
I prayed fervently. I prayed specifically: God please help me...please help us, give us reassurance, that You are going to use us to enrich the marriages in our church and community.
The day came. Josiah and I sat down at our seats, and the class started...and so did the enemy.
First, we went around the room introducing ourselves and saying whether we had children and how many: Alissa and Josiah Coburn, 5 children. Easy. But then...then Bob started talking about how mentor couples are not novices, they've normally been married 8-10 years.
Um...that's not us,
Then as he was talking he asked if anyone had been married 5 years or less. We raised our hands, and though he didn't say or do anything to indicate that we should be ashamed, I was, nevertheless humiliated.
I wanted to crawl under the table.
I sat there thinking, we shouldn't be here. We don't belong here. Why did Keith send us here?!
The first break came, and I just knew Bob was going to come over to us and start asking us questions about why we were there. I just knew he was going to tell us we didn't belong there.
As soon as the break started, his wife, Diane, got up from her place, and walked straight toward us. I braced myself for the worst. I had defenses ready. And then she said....
Are you all a blended family? We nodded. God is going to use you!!
I felt like Jesus reached down right there and wrapped his arms around me. I could feel him comforting me.
We went on to talk. I told her I was feeling insecure, and she just brushed it off, reminding us that having a blended family speeds things up. We face issues some couples don't face for years. She assured us that we most certainly belong there.
She assured us, again, that God will use us.
The exact words I prayed before the class. The same thing. God answered my prayer through that sweet woman when I was ready to crawl under the table, bury my head in the sand, admit defeat.
I've been trying to figure out what the moral of this story is, other than "God spoke to me."
I guess it could be that He cares. He cares about the BIG things, but He also cares about the minuscule...the little thoughts and feelings we have that we think He's too big to ever care about.
That's a good moral...but I still don't think that's it...at least, not entirely.
No, I think it's the power of the specific prayer. I think it's trusting God enough to pray to Him and ask Him for very specific things. I don't know about you, but I'm scared to do this sometimes.
I think, sometimes, I'm scared to pray too specifically because, what if I'm wrong? What if I pray for the wrong thing? Or what if He doesn't answer? What does that mean?
The Bible reminds us, though, that the Holy Spirit lives within believers, and the Holy Spirit IS God, and because of that, He always prays for us, in accordance with His own, perfect will (Romans 8:26-27, paraphrase.)
I can't pray wrong.
Furthermore, if I'm afraid to pray very specifically because I'm afraid He won't answer, then the only thing I've done is ensure that He won't. God cannot answer a prayer I never pray.
I am limiting God. I am limiting His influence in my life.
God's answer may not always be, YES, but He will always answer. But only when our prayers are specific can we see His power moving in our lives.
Today, meditate on God's word. Pray about a situation in your life, and ask for something very specifically. I'm not saying He'll give it to you today. I'm not saying He'll give it to you tomorrow. But He will answer you, and by praying specifically, you are reinforcing your faith in Him and putting it very squarely into His Hands.
And they are mighty capable hands.