We serve such an awesome God; a God who hears our prayers and answers them. It is such a thrill to watch Him doing it–sometimes, I just can’t wait to tell someone. So here you are, and here I go.
My husband worked for the same company for nine years and was laid off last Christmas. He works in technology, and was out of work for more than six months. His layoff was, in my mind, an act of God–a direct answer to prayer. The culture at his former employer was very negative and non-Christian, and took a toll on his outlook and his attitude. He wasn’t completely aware of it until he had been gone for a few months, then one morning, he looked at me and said he was beginning to realize how toxic his work environment had been. God has now blessed him with an excellent job at a well-known software company.
During our marital struggles and his layoff, I talked to my Bible study group, and they suggested that I begin praying that the Lord would surround him with Christian men. I’d never thought to pray such a thing, but the more I thought about it, it became clear that I should have done that a long time ago. My husband is not one to have close friends, and though he attends church with me and the girls, he does not go to a Bible study and has had no close Christian contact with anyone except me for nearly all of our 22 years of marriage. Just as women need other Christian women for fellowship and accountability, so, too, do men–especially when they spend five days a week in a toxic company culture.
I began praying that the Lord would bring Christian men into my husband’s life, and I have been absolutely and completely blown away. Within a month or so of my husband being laid off, our neighbors–both the husband and wife–were laid off from their jobs within two weeks of each other. Both are wonderful Christians, and as the Lord would have it, my husband and Rick, our neighbor, began to really get to know each other.
Then, we went camping with my husband’s sister and her family this summer. Our brother-in-law Mark has become a heartfelt Christian in the last ten years, and as he began to pilot a pontoon boat that we had all rented for the day, he stood up and prayed over us and the boat.
A month later, my friend Terry and her husband Ralph came to visit from Utah. Ralph came from a very dysfunctional family, but he has found Christ all by himself, and his favorite pasttime is to study the discrepancies in Mormonism, and to take on any and all Mormon missionaries that come to the door. He and my husband had a wonderful day together at Safeco Field watching the Mariners play from the 13th row.
And then today…wow. But first, let me set this story up for you. My daughter who is 13 has been going through tryouts to get onto a select softball team. She had offers from two teams, but was waiting to hear from a third team–the one she really wanted to play on. It came as a shock, then, when we got a call a few days later telling us that the team she wanted–the “Reign”–was disbanding, because they couldn’t find enough kids for their team.
My daughter was terribly upset, because she really didn’t feel comfortable with the other two teams. But she knew she had to make a choice, and she asked me to pray about it. So I did. And she did. And she decided to go with a team called the Rijo Athletics, albeit with many misgivings.
When our family showed up at their training facility today to meet with the head of the program, and to give our daughter an opportunity to do a little training, my first impression was good. Then, as my daughter and the head of the program went outside to do some throwing, my husband told me that he noted that the trainer had an ichthus (a fish symbol) on the back of his shirt, and that apparently all of the uniforms worn by the employees (all were men except for the receptionist) had fish on them.
Later, I pointed it out to my daughter, and Jose, the head of the program (a former New York Mets pro baseball player), turned and showed her the back of his shirt. He told us then that the whole athletic organization was a Christ-based program. Later, his phone rang, and the ring tone was the popular Christian song: “Hallelujah! Grace like rain falls down on me…”
Wow, I thought. The Lord had answered our prayer for Christian’s select softball team. He had most certainly brought us to the right place.
But then, it hit me. We were standing in the middle of an entire athletic organization composed of at least 7-9 men–trainers, coaches, mentors. All Christians. All unabashedly in love with Jesus. All shining with the light of His love.
Lord God, you did it again. More Christian men, falling down around us like rain.
“You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2
I’m so glad my “group” told me to ask, and so glad I did. I can’t wait to see what else comes with the next shower of God’s divine grace.
Hallelujah. Praise God.