Psalm 102:1-28, “1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly……. 17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”
I usually like to share the word from my experiences, I find it easy to share with people what I have already gone through just to encourage and give them energy to keep going because sometimes we feel like we are going through a lot but someone else went through worse and they survived, and so if you hear their story it gives you the oomph to push on. So my devotion today kind of ties up with what my husband shared on “God can” message sometime bac. I am sure we have all prayed a similar prayer like the one above in Psalm 102 and there are times it did feels like God never answered. Have you ever prayed for something for years and years and then you prayed with someone about the same thing for God to open those doors for that someone and it happened within hours or a couple of days or weeks or just months? And here you are, been praying for years and years and nothing? Yes I have been there and it is quite painful but when we realize that the will of God is different for each one of us just like we are all different from each other, then we understand what it means for God to answer our prayers at His own perfect timing. Isn’t it interesting we pray to God about something and tell him God please you know my heart you know my desires, I pray that you will grant me this and that at your own perfect timing and when he takes time to give it to you at His perfect timing we give up, throw in the towel, become bitter, depressed, etc.
There are so many stories I can give here but I am going to choose one that happened recently. I graduated as a nurse in 2007 and this was quite an accomplishment for me, see all through my school years up until college, I was a very average student. My siblings were doing much better than I was in school, my two sisters were B+ students and my two brothers were C+ students and me? I’ll leave that to your imagination. I struggled with school a lot and for some reason when I came to America it seemed like school suddenly made sense and here I was graduating with my bachelors in nursing 5 yrs later. Well, the battle started when I had to sit for my Boards to get my license I thought well, I did well in nursing school and that was a lot of work so if I accomplished nursing school then Boards should be a breeze right?? Wrong!! It took me 8 trials to get my licensure and every time I went to sit for the exams I had to part with $200. I was an emotional wreck, I hated answering this question every time I met people or went to gatherings and people knew I graduated as a nurse being asked all the time so how is work and me having to tell them I’m not working and then having to answer to why, it was exhausting. But in between my, I think it was the fifth time, I was so broken I remember calling my mom and crying on the phone and asking if I was never meant to be a nurse, if I should go back to school and do something else, was God punishing me for something that I did? Why did God bring me out here and help me through nursing school only to have this tiny road block that I seem to not know how to maneuver around it? Poor mom, she has been a big part of who I am, and she encouraged me and took me back to some basics that I needed to hear and needed to be reaffirmed. So I picked up myself, my husband cried with me, we prayed and I decided that from that day on whatever happens I will love my God, I will serve Him, I will praise Him, I will trust in Him, I will not run away from Him and I will do all these with gladness and JOY in my heart. It was hard, it was very hard, I had come to a point where going to church was a struggle, I did not feel like praising God why should I when I am hurting and feeling like He forgot about me? I still cry when I remember when I made that decision but I cannot overlook my life without God in it and I knew there has to be a purpose and it will all make sense to me one day. I went and sat for my boards a 6th time and a 7th time and 8th was my breakthrough. I remember standing at the door before I entered the exam room and telling God please Lord, I don’t know where I will put my face if I don’t come out of here victorious, I know I promised to try until I get it right and I promised to be on your side no matter what but I need this Goliath in my life to die. Those were my exact words and I said if you don’t go with me Lord, I am dead and I opened the door and went through the routine I had done over and over again. I finished my exam & I had no idea what to think of it. About 3 or 4 days later I received 2 big packages in the mail and I thought oh my word, they have seen my name so many times they are sending me back to nursing school or rejecting me, my heart was literally pounding off my chest, my hands were shaking so bad, I had a tremendous headache as I was opening that package and when I saw passed, I couldn’t breath, I almost called 911. And the rest is glory to God.
The Joy of the Lord was my strength, I had anxiety attacks thinking of how my friends were going on with their lives as nurses while mine is stagnant, but the Joy of the Lord kept me going. He hears our prayers brethren, he sees our hurts and when the time is right we receive our answered prayers. It might not be the way you wanted it to be but if it comes from the Lord, it will work for your situation. So whatever it is you are praying for do not and never give up, pray earnestly keep knocking and I always like reminding people and myself to leave space for God’s will to be done, we have all sorts of plans for the future but ultimately its God’s plan that prevails whether we like it or not or whether we realize it or not. And I will leave you with this keep hope alive, Romans 5:5 says, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Blessings, Judy Olang.