“I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last He looked; finally He listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
Pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
To make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
A praise-song to our God.” Psalm 40:1-3 (MSG)
Waiting for an answer from God is hard. Trusting Him to provide, when all around is discouragement and fear, is a challenge. It is counter-cultural too: society typically wants us to place our faith in ourselves, in our independence, in our capacity to solve our own problems. Trusting God is not something that comes naturally.
God has recently provided for me after a period of waiting and trusting. I share this story today not to tell anyone how it is done, nor do I want to suggest that God will always provide or rescue us from the waiting. I do not pretend to understand the mysteries of answered and unanswered prayer. I can only share my testimony; it is all I have.
I became unemployed not too long ago and immediately set about looking for a new job. I took the traditional approach: I scoured the big websites for jobs in my field, sent in applications, attended interviews and trusted God with the rest. That is how one usually secures a job.
But just a few weeks into the job-seeking, God seemed to be gently nudging me. “Don’t underestimate Me,” He seemed to whisper. “I can do more than you can ask or think. Don’t limit what I can do for you.” Not understanding, but curious to say the least, I replied, “Ok God. Whatever you want. I am willing.”
Not long after I found myself in another job interview, facing a panel who thought I was very qualified for the job – in fact, they felt I was over-qualified. They were so impressed with me that they proposed to create a new role for me. They even asked me what an ideal role would look like in my eyes. Jaw on the ground (metaphorically), I described my perfect job to them.
I left that interview, head spinning, skin tingling, hardly believing my ears. In all my years of work, no-one has ever offered to create a role for me. In that moment of trying to get my head around the disbelief, I remembered that God had recently promised to do something more for me, something bigger than the traditional job-seeking production line.
I said, “God – could this be what You meant? Is this what You were trying to tell me: that I don’t have to limit myself to existing jobs; that You could create something entirely new?” It certainly appeared that God had been preparing me for something unexpected and unconventional.
The rest is history. I was offered a job with that organisation, custom-built for me, which I accepted. I share this story because it is sometimes easy to doubt, when we are still waiting, that God is able to provide. It is counter-cultural to trust in God when the provision has not yet arrived. But the waiting has paid off this time. All the effort of job-seeking, all the trusting in God, all the perseverance I could muster, was worth it. God has provided.
Has there been a time in your life when you were waiting for an answer to prayer? What happened? Do you have a story of how God has provided for your needs? What prayer do you need answered today?