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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, March 11, 2013

God's Sovereign "No"

Years ago when I was a young mother, and just beginning to understand how God operates in a Believer's life, I learned a valuable lesson.
Bruce and I had been married about seven years and our two boys were toddlers.
Bruce had been working a go-nowhere type of job and we were researching similar companies that offered more opportunities for growth.
We were living in the mid-west, but I yearned to live closer to California where I'd grown up.
So when this position at a Colorado company turned up, we were both very excited.
Bruce would be perfect for the job; he had all the right types of skills and even knew several of the people he'd be working with, if hired.
He had a phone interview, which went beautifully.
Next, an in-person interview was scheduled.

Our excitement grew with each day as we anticipated moving to beautiful Colorado.
Of course we prayed each day for God's will and His guidance and protection.
But we were confident that this job was the Lord's provision and our answer to prayer about moving west.
We drove out to Colorado a couple of days before the big interview and explored the area where we intended to live.
So confident was I that Bruce would be hired that I explained to my little boys about moving, and how wonderful it was going to be when we could hike in the mountains and go camping every weekend.
The day of the interview arrived. Bruce and I and the boys prayed that the Lord would prepare the minds and hearts of the managers he would be speaking to.
Hours later, when he returned to the motel room, Bruce wore a perplexed expression.
"Well, how did it go?" I fairly tugged at his arm in my excitement to hear the whole accounting of his day at the new company.
Bruce shook his head. "I don't know. One of the managers asked me questions, and he didn't seemed very pleased with my answers."
"Oh, maybe you're mis-reading him."
"No." Bruce frowned. "I don't have a good feeling about my interview."

And, as it turned out, Bruce was right. He wasn't offered the job that had seemed like a shoe-in just days earlier.
We returned to Illinois extremely disappointed. Our dream had been dashed by one stubborn manager at the Colorado company.

We tried to comfort ourselves with the knowledge that God knows what He's doing, and when the time was right, He would place Bruce in a better position.

About eight months later, we heard that the company where Bruce had interviewed had fallen on some difficulties and had been forced to lay off nearly half of their employees.
If Bruce had been hired, we probably would have been unemployed by now.

The Lord had answered our prayers, just not in the way we had envisioned.
He had protected us and provided for us.

In another couple of months Bruce got hired by a much stronger, more successful company—in New York—and we scratched our heads over the mysterious but wonderful workings of our Heavenly Father.

But this experience taught me  a powerful lesson about the sovereignty of God.
No matter how sure something looks to me, God is in control.
What He wills, happens— or doesn't happen, in our case.
I can plead, or manipulate, or try to control things.
But there's no getting around my Heavenly Father.
When God refers to himself as Lord, that's exactly what He means.
He is Lord!
My responsibility is to pray, get aligned with Him, and obey Him.
Then trust that He is working all things for my good.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NIV Bible)

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