Have you ever prayed for something, about something, and God answered in a way you never expected?
So, we did what we know we're supposed to do: we prayed about it and waited.
If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
I would LOVE to tell you that it is my natural inclination, or even a regular habit, to pray and then WAIT for God's answer. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Instead, often, it looks like me praying, and then, when I don't get struck by lightning immediately, I say, "Must be God's will!" and move forward with what I wanted. (We'll actually talk about that in my next post.)
This time, however, we were supernaturally assigned to waiting: we couldn't make the purchase until payday.
First thing in the morning that day, I awoke with the intention of going through with it. God hadn't told me not to yet, and it had been days...so I was ready.
I looked on facebook, and I saw a friend's post about needing help in their ministry, Kindfund. They have homes for rescued and abandoned children in Kenya. Recently, two precious newborn babies were rescued and brought to them, but now they need to eat. Formula is $10 per can.
Right then, I knew what we needed to do. The Holy Spirit within me spoke, and I got the message loud and clear: God said "no" to my initial request and revealed His plan. Josiah agreed, and we moved forward on God's path.
I learned a big lesson here (or more appropriately, God spoke into an ongoing lesson): Prayer is a one-sided conversation. If you're not waiting for God's answer, then you're missing communication with Him.
However, there's another lesson to be learned here.
In the beginning of this post, I said we had an opportunity to invest in our business, and then God presented us an opportunity to invest in the lives of those little babies.
It may seem like it might be a no-brainer, but our business changes lives.
Therefore, what we were looking at were two very valid, worthy opportunities...but we could only choose one.
We chose supporting the babies. The business investment that we didn't choose, that is what's known as opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost is an economic principle which states that any time you choose to spend money on something, there was another second best option that did NOT get chosen. That second, not-chosen option is called the opportunity cost.
In other words, your choice cost you that particular opportunity.
If you choose to buy pizza over salad, salad is the opportunity cost. If it's the other way around, the pizza is the opportunity cost. Very simple principle.
Notice, though, that the principle can be applied not just to purchases, but to choices we make about other valuable commodities, like time and energy.
When we consume food, we make choices like the one above: pizza or salad. If you're like me, you're probably screaming, "Pizza AND salad! Duh." However, for the sake of this example let's just assume we have to choose.
Water or soda.
Cookies or fruit.
Cleaning or binge watching.
Scrolling on facebook or paying attention to the people around me.
OUCH! That last one was for me. Actually, they all are.
We make choices every, single day, and you want to know the really scary part? Often we are blind to the choices we're making. We simply do things because that's what we've always done.
- We can't find time to workout, but we can find an hour to watch TV or play online.
- We can't find the money to buy healthy food, but we've hit up Mickey D's and Starbucks a few times each this month.
- We can't find time to spend with Jesus, but we can find time to rail about the election on facebook.
These things might sting. I know they hit me pretty hard.
God has been revealing a lot to me as I considered this blog post over the last few days. In various ways, he has opened my eyes to some choices I'm making that I'm really not proud of.
The opportunity cost is high. I'm sacrificing some very important things by investing time, money, and energy into some others that really just don't matter.
This is not just to make you feel guilty or tell you what to do because...
- Sometimes, I'm going to invest in my business instead of a charity because it's the right thing to do.
- Sometimes, I'm going to chill out and rest instead of laboring constantly because rest is good, and it's the right thing to do.
- And sometimes, I'm going to eat the dang cake, cuz mmmmm, cake is good.
I'm not here to judge your choices. I've got enough of my own junk, thank you. Nevertheless, I am asking you to prayerfully consider your choices. Speak to God about them. And then, wait for the answer.
If you're a Christian, then you have made Jesus your LORD and Savior. A lot of us really like the salvation part, but we conveniently forget about the "Lord."
lord: a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler (dictionary.com)
Let Jesus be your Lord today. If there's an area of your life you feel you're struggling in, talk to Him about it, but don't just ask Him to save you from it. Ask Him if you're maybe making some choices that are contributing to it.
Let Him decide!