Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arms of Love

The other night I went to sleep, but because I have been sick this past week, it was very restless. As is typical of a school principal, Mark was up working late on something or the other and when he came to bed he noticed how restless I was, so he just wrapped his arms around me and (according to him) I settled right now and went into a deep sleep.

He told me the next morning how great it made him feel that I felt at peace when I was in his arms. Although I have no recollection of him coming to bed and holding me, I have no doubt that I responded that way, because I do feel very safe and loved in his arms. What more could I ask for in my relationship with my husband?

A question came the next day when I heard a (very) old song recorded by Amy Grant (yes, she is one of my favorite CCM artists, although I have several favorites), "Arms of Love". The song says, "Like a child who's held throughout a storm, You (speaking of God) keep me warm in Your arms of love" and the next verse says "Wonder just how many storms it takes until I finally know that you're here always". Do I always remember that I am loved and safe in my Heavenly Father's arms?

I'd like to think that I do, but I know that I fail at remembering this more often that I actually remember. These past few days I've been made aware of several sisters in Christ who are really struggling right now, and I pray that they remember that they are always safe in His arms, especially right now when they are going through this trials.

It is my prayer tonight that we all remember that we are always safe! It doesn't mean that we won't pushed to our limits, but He is in control.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME! Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How do you know that God answers your prayers?

How do you know that God answers your prayers? That was a question posed to me recently. And I had search way down inside to form my response. I didn't want to respond with a textbook answer or a typical mom answer. I wanted to show how deeply I know this, even though the person I was talking with does not have a good grasp of the concept of "faith" (or our simple term - walking on the water).

I firmly believe that God answers every prayer (after all, it is biblical). It just may not be the way that we want. But, how do you know? I think the easiest way to see when God answers prayers in with relationships, or more specifically, within people. God has restored many relationships that I have been praying for in a way that was very visible and much more than I could have possible imagined. I gave a few specific examples of my experiences. I'm not sure if the person I was talking to believes this to be true or not still. Unfortunately, two major prayers that this person has been praying have been answered in a way that they do not want and therefore, thinks that their prayers haven't been answered. They have been told "no" and have not accepted this.

God told me "NO" to one of my most recent prayer requests, which was to end the outsourcing issue at my work. I was devastated by the City Council's response to my study that they had asked me to do and gave direction for my executive director to take the next step towards outsourcing us. So, for the last 48 hours I have been diligently working on the Request for Proposal specifications so that a formal bid can be issued. Surprisingly, it came quite easily. Several other cities emailed me some suggestions and their examples as well as other departments within the City. I was so amazed of the support and assistance that I was receiving for myself and my 6 employees. Our executive director came out and met with our entire division, including my employees and allowed me to speak as well and answer their questions. The first draft is done. I need to go back in and add some specific criteria, but the basics are there. I know that God's Will will be done and I realized that this is what my prayer needs to be: That I be accepting of God's Will in this situation and that light of His love and my faith will continue to shine through me and be an example to others.