In 2002, I went through the Psalms for my quiet time in a different way than usual. As I read, I stopped to pray the verses back to God. Some were for my husband, co-workers, family, our church, friends and for Kidist, a girl we sponsor through Compassion. I would underline the verses, write the names I prayed for and the date.
On June 9th, I prayed for Dennis "They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory. It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them." Psalm 44:3-4 NLT. A month later, we found out that Dennis was promoted to Cheif in the Navy. He went up for it (tests, evaluations, applications) eight times in eight years. Dennis was blown away. His numbers for recruiting weren't as good as years before and his hopes for the promotion were very low. If he wasn't promoted, we'd stay in Aurora, CO. If he was, we'd have to move to we didn't know where.
Around the same time that it was time to choose where to go, I had come down with viral meningitis and Dennis took time off to take care of me and missed the calls from the office that gave him the choice of places to go. After Dennis brought me home from the hospital and went back to work, he heard he had only two choices left to him: Lansing, MI or Providence, RI. He called me to let me know that his choice was Providence. Between the time he called me and then called the office, Providence was taken and only Lansing was left. I was elated, since my only prayer request was to go somewhere we had friends, and our friends the Tobey's lived in Lansing.
And we're still here five years later. A lot of people, including people from Michigan, ask us "why"? There's a lot of economic problems here. Detroit was recently named the most violent city in America. And my family is all out West. Dennis and I agree that we feel as though there is a reason why we're here. It's not easy, though, as Den goes from job to job. I miss my family. We wonder what is going to happen as we get older. We don't like snow as much anymore. But it isn't for ourselves we decided to stay.
We agree that God has brought us here.
We've seen God do amazing things since we've been here.
We feel God has changed us while we've been here.
We've met amazing people here.
Even though we struggle here.
Let's finish the rest of Psalm 44.
"You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me..." Psalm 44:4-6
Psalm 44 continues on with confusion and humiliation, as the Psalmist wonders where God is and why He isn't doing anything. They feel abandoned.
"For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep." vs. 22
A friend posted a story called "Rodney's Adventure". You can click here to read it and if you have time, I posted a response.
God is working in me to help me value the Giver more than the gifts He gives. Even the gifts I have a hard time understanding or appreciating. And for whatever purposes He brought us here, I hope that we obey Him.
"Rise up! Come and help us! Save us because of your unfailing love." vs 26