by Andrea Mingledorff
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations;
I’ve had a need before the Lord for several months now. It’s a very personal need--one I’ve only shared with my husband and my Lord. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve fasted about it. I’ve given it to the Lord.
I remember distinctly the Sunday night around the altar when God spoke a special peace to my heart. I can take you to the spot where I stood. I can tell you names of those who stood beside me, holding me up in prayer while I presented my petition before the throne.
Sounds like things are going pretty well, right? But here’s where the story changes. After all my praying, all my fasting, all my trusting--God sends a test.
I also distinctly remember the Monday the news came. Due to a discrepancy in paperwork, and through no fault of my own, a school I had previously attended let me know that I owed them a large sum of money. My husband and I were shell-shocked. And remember that need I had put before the Lord? This changed everything. I knew at that point, unless God had a miracle in store, that need was history for the foreseeable future.
We were very nervous about what this was going to do to our finances. We made it a matter of prayer. God had met so many of my needs before. Why doubt Him now? We prayed and did all that we knew to do to meet God in the middle.
The school offered us a payment plan. We couldn’t afford it.
We sent an email asking for the school to review my account. We heard nothing.
We called an attorney for help. We were told there wasn’t anything he could do. Though there were several issues on the school’s side, we owed the money.
Finally, after some finagling, we found a door. It wasn’t the best situation. It was going to have us pretty strapped, but we weren’t going to end up living in a box.
I’ll be honest, I was really, really disappointed. I had to wonder, if God had given me such a peace that He was taking care of my need, why this? So I asked. And in the way that only He could--He answered.
My husband came home from work having read this in the Scriptures: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Proverbs 30:8-9
That hit me between the eyes, and I realized that even though I didn’t necessarily like the provisions that God had given, I still needed to praise Him. It wasn’t immediate, but my prayer changed. Instead of giving Him instructions on how to fix my problem for me, I thanked Him for what he had provided. Finally I found myself able to say,
“Lord, if this is where I need to be, thank you for keeping me here. If this is the path that’s best for me, I’ll honor You along the journey.”
In the coming days, my heart changed. Something that could have driven a wedge between my heart and my faithful Provider, instead brought me so near to Him. That was a blessing enough in itself.
I remember waking up the Friday that a decision on the bill had to be made. It was either to be paid in full, or I was going to receive a call from a collections agency. Friday came. Friday went. In my heart I still had a praise for my faithful God. I figured I’d hear something Monday. Monday came. Monday went. I was still praising. Tuesday came. Tuesday went. I was still praising. Wednesday came and so did an email--then a phone call.
I was on my way home from work when I answered the phone to the very cheerful manager of student accounts from the school I owed so much money. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard what she had to say:
“Andrea, I’m so glad you were able to answer. I have some great news! We have reviewed your account and have found that we have a very short window, but we will be able to resolve your account if you can provide us with certain documents.”
Long story short--my heart was soaring! We provided the information and within a week my account with the school had a $0 balance.
There was no good reason for the school to have a change of heart. I had nothing to show that I did not owe this money. I even had a professional tell me that I had no grounds to fight this battle. We were resigned to accept it. We were resigned to what help God had put before us. But five days “too late” by our calendar, the Lord stepped in.
I feel sure He let us walk this road simply to test our trust.
Would I lean on Him when things looked very bleak? Would I believe Him to be faithful even when it looked like the answer wasn’t coming? Would I trust His provision even when it didn’t look at all like what I wanted?
I’m reminded of a great woman whose story made it to God’s word--through a much longer and more difficult trial, she had to learn the same lesson of her God.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. -Hebrews 11:9
Now, God doesn’t always answer in a way that fits our human standards of “miraculous.” I’ve prayed for many things that didn’t end up my way in the end. We prayed for a miracle on this side of heaven, but the Lord took my mom on to her reward. He gave me the most wonderful husband, but despite many prayers and tears we had to wait six years before the door opened for us to marry. Instead of sparing me from a car accident, He kept me safe and later healed me from the resulting pain. I could go on--but you get it.
I’m still waiting on an answer from the Lord about that thing I placed before the Lord before all this came about. I don’t know how it’s going to work out--I don’t see the end right now. But I’m waiting. I’m trusting. Without a doubt I know, God’s faithful and He’s got is all taken care of.
Are you waiting on God to bring to pass the impossible? Believe me when I say, He can. But, while your’re waiting, I challenge you to ask yourself this question--will you trust Him? Even if it seems too late, will you trust Him? Even if it’s not the answer you want, will you trust Him?