10-Day Forecast

ThundercloudI fearfully checked the 10-day weather forecast yesterday morning. Our daughter’s outdoor wedding was just ten (count them, ten!) days away! Ten (count them, TEN!) little gray thundercloud icons greeted me. One unhappy Mother-of-the-Bride’s face greeted them back.

I immediately went into Prayer Combat Mode. Pray for sun! That’s what we’ll do! Pray every day! Get everyone we know to pray!

Pray, pray, PRAY!

Until I heard God’s voice in my spirit, clear and unmistakable:

Will you let ME choose the weather for the wedding?

Uh, excuse me, Lord?

I must admit that this question made me nervous. Very nervous. And while we’re being honest, can I also admit that sometimes God Himself makes me nervous?

Because, like the Narnian creature stated in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, while He may be good, He is not safe.

Safe?” said Mr. Beaver, “…who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

But I want safe!

What if He picks rain? Or a flood? Or, heaven forbid, a tornado?

I want SUN!

As I wrestled with the uncontrollable and unpredictable nature of God, I realized there was another, more important question I must answer:

Do I trust His heart? Do I really believe that He is good?

Could I surrender my idea of a “perfect” wedding day? Could I rest in my Father’s loving care and sovereign control?

For the Lord is good… (Psalm 100:5a, NIV)

Yes, the Lord will give what is good… (Psalm 85:12a, ESV)

No, He may not be safe. But He is most certainly good, and He will give what is good.

And I will trust Him.

I will not frantically follow the forecast. I will not pray and panic. I will not wring my hands in worry.

What relief clears our minds when we cease striving, demanding and working for what we want. What peace floods our souls when we rest as dearly loved children in a Father’s perfect plan. What joy invigorates our hearts when we let HIM define what is best and beautiful.

I have no idea what the wedding weather will look like.

But I know Who will be shining His favor and glory on a very special couple that day.

The King. Our Father.

Wild and wonderful is He.

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. (Psalm 84:11, NLT)

Share on Facebook

The Answer

“You are the answer to my prayers!’

This was the sentiment on the front of a greeting card I once came across.  I still remember it years later, because upon opening the card the recipient was hit with this zinger:

“You’re not what I prayed for exactly, but apparently you’re the answer.”

Um…thank you?

Perhaps I can also still recall this particular card because it exposes a deeper reality, one that is often unsettling and confusing:

Sometimes God’s answers don’t exactly match our requests.

Can I get an Amen?

My latest experience with this has come through our recent quest for a puppy.  In July I made an appointment with a local Shih Tzu breeder, hoping to find a female puppy in time for Laurel’s upcoming birthday.  On the way there I prayed and asked God for wisdom and direction.  Instead of choosing one of two available female puppies on site, I felt inexplicably drawn to a sweet expectant mama, “Katie,” who was due in mid-August.  Believing this to be God’s leading, I nervously put down a deposit to secure the pick of the litter, and began praying that she would have at least one female pup.

We surprised Laurel on her birthday a couple of weeks later with a tiny pink polka-dot dog collar.  She was thrilled and quite content to wait for her special puppy’s arrival.  In the meantime she picked out a cute little girl’s name and prayed for her daily.  (Can you see where this is going?)

Last week, the long-awaited call from the breeder finally came.

Only there was no ‘Her.’

Just a ‘Him.’

Huh?

There were some tears.  Disappointment.  Confusion.  A mini crisis of faith.

We went and met the little guy anyway.  Took some pictures.  Tried to adjust to the idea of having a boy instead of a girl.  A restless night followed.

The next morning I noticed a change in Laurel’s countenance.  She was now confident that this dog was God’s answer to her prayers.  When I asked her to elaborate, she said, “Mom, I know God led you to choose Katie and that He wouldn’t mislead you.  He knew all along that she wasn’t going to have a girl.  So God gave me a boy instead.”

And that settled it.

I admire her faith.  It’s the kind that says, “God, I trust Your heart and Your character, even when the outcome isn’t what I had hoped for.  You are Good.  You give good gifts.  Therefore, I receive what You give as good.”

When I grow up, I want to be more like my daughter.

So, meet “Beau.”  (Chris is just fine with that name, as long as Laurel agrees to have only one “beau” at a time.  He is praying the dog will lead a long and healthy life.)

He’s not what we prayed for exactly.

But apparently ‘he’ is the answer!

IMG_3813

Little Beau at one week old

“Indeed, the Lord will give what is good…” (Psalm 85:12a, NAS)

P.S.  The pink collar has been exchanged for a sparkly silver one.  He may be a boy, but this boy will have his bling!

Share on Facebook