When God Answers Prayer (in the way you don't want)

I always knew cognitively that God was good, but I have never acknowledged Him to be kind.

His mercy has always been something I can understand when I have failed greatly or sinned against someone, but not something I have tangibly grasped or pointed to as it is happening. His kindness has always been something I can see after the fact, taking this pessimistic mind a while to ruminate before coming full-circle to see the good things.

My husband got fired on Monday morning, just a few weeks ago.

I don’t know very many other times in my life where I have felt in so many ways the very touchable kindness of the Father in a situation.

It happened the Saturday before the Monday. James looked me in the eyes and asked me what I thought about his job. If you know me at all, I have a lot of very strong opinions about almost everything. This is the first time he had asked me about my opinions when it pertained to his 8-to-5, and asked to hear them candidly. It was then we both realized we needed to pray.

We prayed every chance we could that weekend. We begged God for a clear-cut, laser sharp answer. Literally, those words spilled out of my mouth as we prayed on the way to Old Navy.

In His great kindness, He answered in a clear-cut, laser sharp way.

Being fired is not fun. Being the wife of someone who just got fired is not a fun thing. This is not what we expected when we asked God to answer us, begged and lamented for Him to make a way when it felt like there was absolutely no way.

He made a way. He always makes a way.

So as I sat with my husband on our couch midday on Monday, we both opened our journals and our mouths with tears running down our faces as we knew His great kindness and His great peace through an unexpected answer. We both felt shock, but we both knew His unmistakable kindness.

This is not to say that this week hasn’t been hard. That is far from the truth. Both my husband and I have felt this wild rollercoaster ride of emotions that go with some of the realities of being let-go from a consistent job. Yet, God’s grace, mercy, and sweet kindness has outweighed the many things that we find ourselves looking to in worry and distrust.

We both don’t really know what’s next, and we are both still going up and down on a teeter-totter every other hour. But we both know that God spoke. That is something we can hold on to. We have never been more sure of His tender hand reaching in and touching us, pruning us.

This being refined by fire is quite painful and yet, quite joyous in that we know that He is the One doing it. Even the fact that He chose us to work on, to refine, to mold, to change our paths, is one of the greatest mercies we have known.

So like we did on Sunday, we find ourselves in the perfect spot as Christ-following people: on our knees, in absolute need of Him to come through and continue to make a way. Like Ruth, we find ourselves saying, “where you go, we will go,” with what feels like nothing holding us back. This fire is painful, but it illuminates our paths before us. Here we are, we will follow.

You give and take away. In your taking, you have given us Yourself. Great is your kindness.