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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hearing the Lord

There are days I wonder if my prayers are more than words trailing on the wind. My middle daughter struggles with this too, often puzzled when it seems like God doesn't answer her prayers.

We've had plenty of deep conversations on this issue. And many times I have to admit I don't understand or have the answers. But I do know that God is good and He promises to answer our prayers the absolute best way and in the best time.

It was hard to believe that when I prayed for a friend's healing for three long years and my friend still died.

It was hard to believe that when I prayed for years for my parent's not to divorce and they still did.

So I didn't share with my little girl what I believe about God answering prayer lightly.

But the truth is the truth whether I understand and like the answers, or not.

Today’s experience highlighted this and reminded me that God knows exactly what our hearts need. This morning, I had a radio interview with a Canadian station and my family told me they'd be praying for me as I went down to my office to prepare.

Little did any of us know that God had far more in mind than notes reviewed in preparation.

But my family prayed.

And God answered.

He stopped my plans and invited me to deal with some issues I'd been trying to sweep under the rug for days now. Relationship issues that I didn't want to talk to Him about.

But He's not dissuaded by my avoidance.

And He knew I needed to talk to Him and hear the truth or I’d never be able to share my heart and His words honestly in this interview.

After many prayers and tears later, the interview went amazingly well. So when I came upstairs to let them know, I wasn't surprised at my girls dancing around and being happy for me. What struck me was my middle daughter's song.

"God answered my prayers. God answered my prayers. He heard me!"

Wow. If I hadn't listened and obeyed the Lord’s invitation to deal with things, my little one would have missed an incredible experience of knowing God heard and answered her prayers.

I've been thinking about that throughout the day in terms of my writing too. Most of you know it's not been a walk in the park experience. Often, I've prayed for the people who would read the Defenders of Hope books and wondered if God heard. I've also wondered if I’d heard Him as I wrote and if He would really use these books to touch hearts.

Last night and today I received that answer loud and clear. A dear friend had posted a blog so honest and so poignant that it pierced me. She talked about how God used Ransomed Dreams to show her that "feeling not good enough, abandoned, and helpless are normal emotions...but they're lies."

Her blog post is beautiful in its openness and truth. And God did something huge in my heart through it.

He showed me that He'd listened. He'd heard my heart's cry. He knew my desire to see people drawn closer to Him through the books I'd written. In answer, He worked something beautiful another person's life and allowed me the privilege of seeing it.

Inside, I danced around like my middle daughter and tearfully sang, "He heard me! He really heard me and answered my prayer!"

God hears. What an amazing, simple, powerful truth.

And He answers.

Sometimes not in the way or time we'd like. But other times... wow. Other times He opens our ears and allows us to experience a concert of grace.

Today, I heard the beautiful song of a little child worshipping because she saw firsthand that God hears. And then God allowed me a turn in her shoes.

Thanks for listening to me share some happy notes of my lifesong. I pray you'll join in with your own notes of praise. No matter what sounds are swirling around you, there is always a concert of grace.

God hears you.

And He will answer.

Come join the dance.

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