We found the one... beautiful pine wood walls, warm on a cold open-home day with a lovely fully-fenced garden. Facing the sun, three bedrooms, in our price range, good area... The wonderful list goes on and on.
I fell in love with the place upon arrival and my heart sank as we left: 'there's no way we'll get this place!'
Two days later our offer won. Being so close to Christmas the settlement date was put forward to mid-January, and we had more than a month wait!
Four days before settlement and moving begins. Bucking the stereotypical trend and the history of our relationship, my husband James was stressing more than I was. He wanted everything packed, so that moving day would run smoother. Tension was high and we felt on edge.
Faithful in the small
Lately I have been practising 'arrow prayers'. The little, mundane prayers: 'help me find my keys', and God has shown me mercy in these.
I do not believe He is a genie-in-a-bottle-kind-of-god: His ways are greater. Still, I encourage you to ask God for the small and mundane, because it fosters our dependence and acknowledgment of the Creator. James often reminds me: if evil fathers will give their children good gifts, how much more will our good God give good gifts to His children!
On settlement day I prayed the forecast rain would hold out until evening. This way we could move in with dry weather—and rain didn't begin to fall until after 8pm. Our God is powerful and caring to show his compassion in the small things!
Faithful in the not-so-small
Unfortunately, our bank wasn't happy and didn't approve the loan for the house. As a result the settlement didn't happen. Our move didn't happen—it was not supposed to be this way!
I felt challenged by my reliance on arrow prayers. While it is helpful to know and trust in God's faithfulness in the little things, I knew my arrow prayers needed to grow bigger. I was encouraged to trust God's faithfulness and power over the bigger things.
God has shown us how to pray in the Bible: to bring Him our thanksgiving, to bring Him our anxieties, to pray for His will to be done. Jesus models prayer for his disciples in 'the Lord's prayer', and the writers of the New Testament letters give us ample examples of how to pray. 1 John chapter 5, verse 14 encourages us to pray confidently and according to His will. If we pray for what God wants He has promised to hear us.
It was close to midnight on 15 January, it had been a rough day and we were anticipating a family wedding and lots of travel the next day; but I knew God was in control. I remembered His promise to hear me when I confidently pray for His will.
So I prayed...
For God to bless the wedding
For safety when travelling
Thanksgiving for the lawyer and this case to help her career
Thanksgiving for God's provision of a generous landlady and rental situation
Thanksgiving for our family who love us, and their help cooking and cleaning
For God to give us a heavenly focus and godly wisdom
For God to make us a light in our community
For the family selling the house to know God's saving grace and comfort
For God to allow us to move in, according to His will.
Just as God is faithful and good in answering my arrow prayers, He is faithful and good in answering my 'big' prayers and—according to His will, and in His timing—we moved into our log cabin house in January.
Rachel Bartlett lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband James. Rachel currently works with Christian Union and is a trained teacher.
Rachel Bartlett's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Rachel-Bartlett.html