Answer to Prayer

Just a quick note to say one of the things for which I am thankful this Thanksgiving. During the past summer, I began praying fervently for people–or even a person–with whom I could sit around and discuss theology. I was at a church where no one seemed to want to do that–or at least did not have time for it. Then I started attending a PCA church. I was so blessed tonight by some of the college students! I called one guy to tell him happy birthday, and he invited me to his birthday dinner. Imagine my joy when we sat around the table at Old Chicago talking about theology! Then, a few of us went back to my friends Sam and Nat’s house and talked about theology some more.

What an amazing answer to prayer! It was great to have (relatively) young people my age sit around for four of five hours and just discuss deep questions and talk about the Bible and God and Schaeffer and the worldview of architecture. It also was great to see some young men being courteous, chivalrous, and respectful. I’m blessed to be getting to know these guys and gals better!

I’m seeing even more God’s sovereignty tonight. I prayed that prayer close to five months ago now. At first, I thought that God was not answering my cry. But He was–He answered, “Wait!” God has been teaching me that not every answer to prayer is a granted request. Sometimes it is no (as much as that hurts), sometimes it is wait, sometimes it is trust, sometimes it is, “I’ve got something even better for you!” I’m so grateful now that I’ve found a group of godly friends with similar interests. Now I’ll just keep praying for God to let me continue to grow closer to these men and women!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for?

Billboard Blessings

The Weeping Theologian
I’ve been overcome with the Lord’s blessings today.  This weekend thus far has been no doubt the best since moving to Kansas in May.  I am not struggling with anxiety nor fatigue today. I am not homesick nor sad. I am not overwhelmed by the need to be alone. Yes, indeed, today has been a great day.

The Joy of a Home-Cooked Meal
As I prayed over my evening meal, I was overcome by the Lord’s goodness to the point that my eyes filled with tears that threatened to spill onto my classic American farm meal (round steak, fried potatoes, bread and butter and a tall glass of milk).  The meal itself brought me joy as I thought about the wonderful days of Mom’s amazing farm cooking. (My high school friends often told me that the only reason they were my friends was because my mom is such a good cook!) But beyond that, I have many things to be thankful for today.

Sunday Lunch with a Family of the Lord
A friend from town called today to invite me to his parents’ home for Sunday lunch tomorrow. What a blessing! He is from an amazing Christian family with 11 children in all. I have never met his parents, but I am excited to find out more about the woman who has the strenght to give birth to 11 children, feed them three times a day, homeschool them, clean the house and still manage to have time with the Lord! I am also excited to meet my friend’s father, whom I suppose to be a godly man to raise that many children to fear the Lord.  And, of course, there is always the new baby, born July 3rd! It will be a great meal.

Another Surprising Phone Call
Not long after that call, I received another phone call from a friend back home in Iowa. I had called him four or five times in the past two months, but he never returned my calls. When I answered today, I said, “You actually called me back!” to which he replied, “I know!” Excited but somewhat skeptical at his ability to call on his own (he is a guy , after all!) =) I asked him, “Did Sarah tell you to call me?” He said, “No, I wanted to call you.” As the amazement set in, he continued, “I’m coming to Kansas City next weekend for a job interview, and I want to come see you!” What an incredible blessing!  This friend and I were not uber close, but I did see him numerous times a week, either at various events for the ministry we were involved in or at his house where he and two other of my friends lived.  Even after I told him that I don’t live in KC but two hours west, he still told me that he wants to come. I was touched by his offer.  He has a car that we both agree may not make the trip, and it’s going to cost a lot for gas for the four hour roundtrip detour. Nonetheless, I am overjoyed that he is coming next Saturday! How refreshing that I will get to see someone from home. Finally someone will get my jokes about the Monroes taking over the world and about the necessity of syllogisms in daily life. (None of my friends here even know what a syllogism is!) Even though this work week is bound to be overwhelming and anxiety ridden, the anticipation of seening my friend will propel me onward.

Bonding time with the Roommate
My roommate and I had a great time making cookies. She is from Japan and has never made any cookies before!  It was wonderful to share with her the joy of baking that I have had since I was just a little girl standing on a stool in our big farmhouse kitchen just so that I could reach the counter.  She and I had great time conversing throughout our baking time as well as while I groomed and painted my nails (a blessing in itself, as I have only had time for it twice in the past two months.) My roommate does not know the Lord, so this time was good to set up a foundation for what I hope will lead to spiritual conversations in the future.

Phone Call Number Three
In the midst of making cookies, I received a call from my mom.  She told me that my high school’s baseball team played in the state championships today and won 5-4. What a blessing!  It is the first time we have won anything in a state sports competition. May they give the glory to the Lord and not keep a drop of it for themselves!

Yet another Phone Call!
As I made supper, I received yet another surprising phone call. A friend whom I met earlier this summer who now lives in Kansas City is here tonight. I am heading over to his place in just a little bit to hang out. I have been praying that I can be a light for Christ. He claims some sort of faith, but his life does not reflect it.  What an awesome opportunity to shine!

Reflections on it All
As I sit here and think upon the wonders of this day, I am reminded of a quote on a dear friend’s facebook profile:

“…the reason why God’s blessings drop upon us in a sparing and slender manner is, because our mouth is too narrow; and the reason why others are empty and famished is, because they keep their mouth completely shut. The majority of mankind, either from disgust, or pride, or madness, refuse all the blessings which are offered them from heaven. Others, although they do not altogether reject them, yet with difficulty take in only a few small drops, because their faith is so straitened as to prevent them from receiving an abundant supply. It is a very manifest proof of the depravity of mankind, when they have no desire to know God, in order that they may embrace him, and when they are equally disinclined to rest satisfied with him.”
–John Calvin, from his commentary on Psalm 81

Yes, I have seen today the blessings of the Lord today. They have been quite obvious. But doesn’t the Lord bless me every day?  Doesn’t he give me all these things–and more–each day that I walk on this earth?  Why is it that my mouth is so narrow that it takes a day full of billbaord blessings for the Lord to get my attention?

Lord, open my throat wide so that I may receive your blessings each day, and open my eyes that I may recognize each gift that you give me.