Friday, Sep 25, 2020

Your Answer to Prayer May Come in an Unexpected Package

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Alecia M. White
Alecia M. White
Author, blogger, lover of coffee, and all things Jesus. By profession, Alecia is a teacher and administrator. She recently published her first book "The Thing Is...", a poignant look at suffering and endurance. She is privileged to share her love for Christ through her writing.

So, I was in my kitchen when I heard a noise outside my window. I looked through the blinds and noticed a bird inside of my screened-in porch. It was on the right side trying to get out of a screen that did not open. I’m guessing that is the side that it entered on.

Anyhoo, on the outside of the screen were his little birdie friends, chirping and flapping for him to get out. Now, I wasn’t going to open the door and risk him flying in the house, so I just watched for a while. I called my brother to show him and he suggested that I let the bird out on the other side.

As I looked, I noticed that the porch door hadn’t been latched so I could walk around to let him out. I went and opened the door, thinking that the bird would just fly free. The bird, in fact, did not fly free. Instead, it stayed right in that same area, flapping at that same screen that did not open. It kept chirping and watching its friends flying around my backyard.

My brother then suggested that I grab a chair to prop open the door so that, eventually, the bird would notice and fly free. As soon as I walked away from the door, the bird flew to it and tried to exit.

Well, I ran back thinking that maybe the bird had gotten the idea and would fly out of the open door. Nope, it still went right back. I grabbed a step stool to prop the door open. As soon as I walked away, the bird flew free. For all you animal lovers that were worrying, there is no longer a bird trapped within the confines of my screened-in porch. You’re welcome.

When the Answer to Prayer Doesn’t Look the Way You Expected

answer to prayerAlright, this bird made me think of us (yes, us) and all the times that we may have missed opportunities or ignored open doors because they weren’t on the “side of the porch” that we expected. Apparently, that bird expected freedom to come from the right side of my porch when it was calling from the left.

Sometimes the answer to our prayers and situations doesn’t come from the place we would like or expect it to come from. Remember that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so His direction of deliverance may very well be the opposite of our grand ideas.

And how many times have we placed our focus on our peers instead of working on ourselves? You know, watching them walk in their purpose and seemingly drown in blessings while we feel we are just being drowned.

Be truthful with yourself. We must learn to focus on Him and not them. Oh, and when God instructs them to offer help, it is okay to take it. So many times, we are caught up with the idea of getting there on our own. This causes us to miss the open door. That bird didn’t exit when I held the door open, but as soon as it closed, it tried on its own. Often, our help comes from Godsends that are willing to assist us along the way. Yes, this means that sometimes, who you expect to help is not who it will be.

So, What’s the Play Call?

I know that freedom seems it will never come, but there are times when it is right there in front of us. It just does not look the way we hoped or imagined it would. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are trying to exit that “screened-in porch”:

  1. Let God be your help. If you are open to whatever and whoever He has planned to be your help, you will find the freedom you’re looking for. “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:2
  2. You alone cannot fathom God’s plan for your life. Stop trying to figure things out on your own. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
  3. Focus on your prize. It is so easy to become envious of others when we spend our time focusing on what they have and what we do not. It was never God’s will for us to want what was meant for someone else. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:26
  4. There is strength in numbers. I know you’ve heard that before. Now, it’s time to believe it and accept the assistance from those that God sends your way because most things, you cannot do alone. “And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” Leviticus 26:8
  5. Ask, seek, knock. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” Matthew 7:7

There is no shame in allowing the door to be held open for you. Walk through the unexpected answers to prayer knowing that God favors you. Go and be free.

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