I was driving to go visit with my parents today. It is a two hour drive, but there is an urgency lately to spend as much quality time with them as possible. While I was driving I was listening to the Christian radio station and singing along with the praise songs. When I got so far out of the city that I could no longer pick up the station, I turned off the radio and began to pray. There is much to pray about. I started praying for my parents, for my children, for my husband and grandchildren. My prayer seemed to become more like a desperate begging for God’s intervention. I prayed for miracles as I imagined they could be. Then I was reminded that God’s ways are higher than mine and His thoughts higher than my thoughts (Is 55:9). My prayer started to change. Now I was asking God to glorify Himself in all of the circumstances that surrounded us. I asked Him not to limit Himself to the little box that my imagination could think up. I acknowledged that even though things may look bleak, He is ultimately in control and He can use these things to bring about a far greater purpose and victory.
He reminded me of the story of Elisha and the king of Aram. The king wanted to capture Elisha because he kept warning the king of Isreal of his plans. He sent a large army to the city where Elisha was and surrounded him. When his servant saw it, he panicked. But Elisha didn’t. He was calm.
“”Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:16-17
Elisha knew God. He was confident that God was with him.
Or what about the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. When Elijah finally got up to call on God, his prayer wasn’t a doubt-filled begging for God to appear, it was one of confidence:
“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”” 1 Kings 18: 36-39.
What about Paul and Silas in jail? Were they panic-stricken and begging God for their lives? No. God was with them and they knew it. God had other plans:
“ About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.” Acts 16:25-34.
God is moving now too. He has big plans. He is calling His people back to Himself. He is readying His church for His arrival. He is answering those prayers that have been outstanding. Do I need to panic? No. God is with me. He will glorify Himself in this. I can be confident and give glory to the One who has it all under control.