Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Co-workers with God

I love it when God works something out that a bunch of His people have been praying about, and allows us to participate in the outcome with the prayers and the support He allows us to offer. 

A buddy of mine was in quite a bind lately. The situation was absolutely hopeless. On a fixed income and limited in what she could pay for rent, she was told she could no longer live in her apartment, which cost $200 more per month than she could afford (long story but suffice to say that this was due to someone else's bad choices.) The apartment kept her from the elements, but that was about it. The heating was off-and-on, there was mold, there were other issues as well. And her landlord basically said, "Well if you can't afford this amount of money, you have to be out of here by the end of November." Plunged into this situation with little time to arrange for a place to stay, she put her name into subsidized housing programs; no joy there. She tried to find an apartment for the maximum she was supposed to pay on her fixed income and still leave money to buy groceries and pay other bills, but there were no apartments available that weren't (as she called them) "dives." 

Her situation was doubly compounded by the fact that any place she went would need to accept pets - in particular, cats - because her kitties are her babies; she would never go anywhere they were not welcome.

A few weeks ago, as she and others were making her situation a matter of more concentrated prayer, she received a call from a telemarketer one evening. On a whim, she answered the phone. The young man asked if she wanted to donate to some worthy cause; she was unable to and told the man a little of her situation. He asked if he could call her back, and he did a few days later with the cell phone number of her local Member of Legislative Assembly (the Canadian equivalent of a State-level elected representative). He told her to call this number and say that he had given out this number.

In fear and trembling, she did. She told her MLA the situation and he was shocked at the amount to which she was limited for rent and more shocked at her total monthly income! He asked how she even managed for groceries! Then he said to call his personal assistant on the next working day, and tell that person exactly what she had told him... which she did. Then .... nothing happened - for over a week. In the meantime, she was getting more and more desperate. Through the kindness of a friend of a friend, more options surfaced. Yet, there were no openings. So it seemed, anyway. 

A nice apartment kitchen
Last night, my friend got home from volunteering at a local charity and saw a message on her voice mail. It was Seniors housing (one of the subsidized housing programs); they wanted to talk to her. They called her again this morning. "We have a place we would like you to look at; you may not like it but why don't you come and have a look?" 

She went, bathed in prayer by all who knew about it. The moment she stepped into the place she fell head over heels in love with it. It had lots of storage space, a larger kitchen than the one she has now, and her own designated parking space, in a nice quiet neighborhood, as well as an in-house laundry - all included. Timidly, unable to believe how amazing this place was, she asked them if they took cats. 

"Yes, we do," came the answer. 

That was the clincher! They assumed she wanted some lead time to pack. "I'm already packed," she informed them, and within an hour they made arrangements for her to pick up her key. On this coming Friday the 30th - the last day of this month - the very day her lease runs out on the old apartment, she signs the papers and picks up her key.

Whether the politician was able to make a plea for her, or whether some people ahead of her on the list decided not to participate in the program any more, we don't know. All we know is that God has been in control of this process from the get-go, and He worked things out in such a way that He gets all the credit. 

Being able to be a small part of the process and having the privilege of watching this happen up close ... has been nothing short of thrilling. Hearing the excitement in her voice as she was telling me about her new place and also sharing how much better off she is now than even 2 months ago has been such an encouragement. 

I thought I'd share this story because it is often discouraging to pray and pray and pray for something that seems never to come. We think that we are not making a difference. Our faith falters. Yet Jesus said that nothing is impossible with God. So we wonder if there might be something wrong with our faith. I know I have.

I recently read an article written by a Scottish pastor who actually reads ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek. He talked about that verse and said that it was not quite translated the way that we think it was. In the original, the sentence reads more like, "What God speaks as 'rhema' (sometimes spelled 'rema') that is, His personal word to your situation, is going to happen. Period. Even if it seems impossible; if He has spoken to you, He will accomplish it."

When we pray God's "rhema" word, we can have full assurance that it will happen. My friend was led back here by God a couple of years ago from out of province - and it was like He told her in no uncertain terms that this was where she was to be; her support network was here, and she was to be here. 

So when her world toppled a couple of months ago, and this stressful situation was created through no fault of her own, the temptation was so great to question whether she'd really heard right. Yet deep in her heart she knew that God wanted her here with friends and in community with other believers. 

We as her friends and fellow-believers could co-operate with God's will for her by praying that He would provide a place for her to live. He left it to almost the last minute - as usual - but when crunch time came - He came through. And we who were praying for her were able to rejoice in her miracle, knowing that in some small way, we had the blessing of participating in it. 

I also wanted to share this story so that someday, if ever someone is in that spot, that place where all human avenues had been exhausted and it's a question of, "Will God do for me what I know He CAN do?" he or she can look at this story ... and take heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment