You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. — 2 Cor. 3:3
Many of us participated in the Fasting & Praying week here at S.U.M., but I want to share something that happened the week before.
Fasting has never been easy for me. I struggle with it greatly and have actually avoided it for the last couple years, using my food issues as an excuse not to. The enemy used that one on me very effectively.
So as this week approached I began praying for God to help me do it. I needed to do it because I was facing some big issues in the New Year and my gut was telling me it was time to break the bondage that had gripped my family in a matter of weeks!
I will tell you that God enabled me to fast as I’ve never done so before. I will also say that the week wasn’t easy in the sense of hearing God. I probably struggled more there than I did with food. But what I want to share with you is something that God did before this.
My family and I went to Florida to spend Christmas with our families. We haven’t been able to do this in about 10 years. My husband’s family is huge, and I adore these wonderful people. I miss them as much as I do my own mother. Thankfully they all live in the same city—the city my husband and I met, went to school together, fell in love, and got married.
The idea of moving back to Florida has cropped up periodically through the years, but my husband has resisted it. Mainly because of the type of work he does—Silicon Valley really is the place to be if you’re a software engineer.
Just after we got there, my mother, my youngest daughter, and I prayed together, which is amazing in itself because I’ve not prayed with my mother like that out of respect for her comfort level. We joined hands and prayed for a change of heart for my husband to want to move to Florida. I’ve felt this pull in my own heart for a long time, and losing my dad last year really brought home how precious time is and how quick it flies by.
Now, fast-forward to after Christmas. We’re still in Florida for a few more days. My husband asks me to run a quick errand with him so we can have some time alone. On our way, he asks me how I felt about moving back to Florida.
I was shocked! So surprised, in fact, that I stuttered when I tried to answer. It was as if God were showing me He was at work in my family and already honoring my prayers to come. And I’m pretty sure God knew I would need that reassurance as well.
For those of you who participated yet wonder or even doubt if your prayers were heard because nothing changed immediately, I’m there with you too, despite this startling and quick answer to prayer. I’m struggling to believe God for the promises He’s given for me and my family for 2012 because it pushes me to trust in areas I’ve seen “fail” over and over again.
I need a change of heart too, and I’m determined to leave this place of doubt and continually affirm my trust in God. Probably one of the most important lessons I’m learning is that God does not require us to have perfect faith. He just wants us to step out in faith, even with our doubts and reservations.
He can work with that. He can take our mustard-size seed of faith, plant it, water it, and bless it to grow into a fruitful tree. Perhaps that’s where our prayers can and should start. To ask God to grow our faith and help us believe His promises for 2012. Then we can leave the perfecting of our faith to Jesus (Heb. 12:2) and trust God for the rest. Like changing the heart of our unbelieving spouse.
Praying and believing,