Faith to See it All

In recent days I’ve been reading and praying through The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson as well as using a journal that accompanies it. This morning God brought to mind the following story…

A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbour came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

Here’s what God reminded me through this story: the way God answers our prayers is as limitless as His power to answer them. 

The prophet Isaiah declares:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If God’s ways are beyond what our finite minds can fully fathom, then the way He answers our prayers will not always match the way we think He will answer our prayers. The answer may arise from the most unexpected circumstances. The answer may be well outside that tiny box we placed Him in. That little opening in front of us we want to ignore because it doesn’t match our expectations may be the very door that opens the floodgates to the deepest longings of our heart.

Ephesians 3:20 does not promise God is only able to do exactly what we ask in the way we ask it. No, God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. He can drop the 3 million dollars we need in our lap in an instant, or he can provide the 3 million dollars one small donation at a time. He could also require us to do a little legwork and apply for grants or scholarships and host fundraisers. Being active in the pursuit of what we are praying for is not a lack of faith; it is a willingness to understand that God answers prayer in more ways than we could ever imagine.

Therefore, I encourage you today to take God out of the box you may have put him in.  Then ask Him for the eyes to recognize the little and unusual ways He is answering your prayers. Remember, faith is not just the ability to believe God can provide the big, it is also the willingness to realize that God can answer the big through the little as well. Yes, God has the power to answer your big dreams in the blink of an eye, but He also has the power to answer them one step at a time. So join me today in praying for the faith to recognize not just the big and the small ways God answers prayer but the unusual and unexpected ways He answers them as well.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21

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