[Warning: if you couldn't tell from the title this post contains references to PRAYER and GOD. If that's not your cup of Earl Grey, tune back in some other time and we'll get back to writing-type stuff.]
When I married my wife we lived in this tiny one bedroom apartment where the walls were so thin we could hear the neighbors screaming at each other next door, and the plumbing backed up at least once a week. I won’t complain about it too much. As far as places to live goes, it was light years better than what most of the world has to put up with.
But it wasn’t where we wanted to be. So after we got more financially stable we started looking for a house. It wasn’t easy. We were fairly poor, and we didn’t have a lot of extra money to begin with but we found a fantastic real estate agent who was willing to work to help us find something in our price range.
Several months after the hunt began, our real estate agent came to us with a proposal. She told us about a program that was available to help first time home buyers like us get into a brand new house at an affordable price. We were elated about the opportunity and for the next few months we went through the process of signing various bits of paperwork and picking out the colours of the cabinets and carpet. We drove by that house almost every week as it was being built, watching the progress with eager anticipation.
But then it didn’t happen. The builder upped the price and suddenly the house we had invested so much time and anticipation in was snatched out of our reach.
We went on the hunt again, and this time we found an older house that was well within our price range. Again we started the wheels turning on the process to buy the house.
But we hit another snag. The house had a small amount of termite damage which excluded it from being eligible for the type of loan we were able to afford.
We were devastated and started to get a little discouraged. We had been praying hard all through this process that God would help us find a house to call our own, and it felt like time and time again he was slamming the door in our faces. We didn’t understand what we were doing wrong, or why He kept telling us “no” time after time.
But then the day came when our agent called and said, “I’ve got a house you need to see. I think this might be the one.”
And, to make a long story short, it was. In fact it is the house where I am sitting at this very moment and writing this blog post. It was perfect for use in every way.
Now, looking back at those other houses we wanted to buy I can see why God said no. It wasn’t because He was a big meany who didn’t want us to have anything. It was because those places wouldn’t have been right for us. The first house would have cost us so much money we would have been tied up in financial knots trying to keep up the with mortgage, and the second one was so old it would have been a nightmare to maintain.
But the one we ended up with? It’s perfect for us in so many ways. We just couldn’t see it from where we were then.
Today, me and my wife are facing a different kind of difficulty. We’re trying to have a child. We’ve been praying and praying and everything seems like its going against us. Last summer we conceived for the first time, but my wife miscarried shortly into the pregnancy. And just this past week my she went to the doctor and learned that a condition related to her diabetes may make it extremely difficult for her to conceive again.
It would be easy enough to get angry with God about all of this. After all, He could fix it with a snap of his almighty fingers and give us the baby we’ve been asking for. But He hasn’t.
Sometimes I look at people who look like terrible parents, and I want to ask God, “Why have you given them children and kept us from having any?” But I’ve been through this kind of thing before. I know that when God says “No” sometimes it means he has something even better in store down the road.
So now I’m trying be what I ought to be where I am and with what I’ve got. I still don’t understand everything God is doing in my life, but I believe he has a plan that’s better than anything I could ever dream of, and that is what faith is all about.