Parting the Skies
“…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
-Matthew 6:8 (NIV)
As of last Thursday, I only had three 10-mile tempo runs left before my upcoming marathon. Being a Christian competitor, God is why I run, so I was completely convinced that the He would want to bless me with great weather for each of my remaining tempo runs. Would God not want me to make the most of the time I had left? Surely He would! Imagine, then, my surprise when the clouds started to billow two hours before I was scheduled to hit the road.
“No problem,” I thought. “Jesus calmed the seas, He can part the clouds.” Three o’clock, the rain started. Three-thirty, it was thundering. Four o’clock, there was light off to the south. There’s hope! I thought. Now, by this point, I had already been praying like a wild woman. Elijah called in a rain storm, why couldn’t I call one out?
By the time I got home at 5:00, the rain had let up, but it hadn’t stopped, and the clouds were billowing again. “God, didn’t You hear me?” I prayed. But, of course He had heard. And as I prayed, all I felt in my spirit was, “Stick to the plan.” So I dug out the rain jacket I use for emergencies, pulled on a light running cap and hit the pavement, still praying, “Lord, please part the skies. I need to keep a good pace. I need this run. You know I need this run.”
No dice. Two miles into the run the rain became a steady downpour. But an odd thing began to happen at that point. I started to run faster. Subconsciously I’m sure I was motoring because I wanted to beat any storm that was coming, but who had known that was how I’d respond? God. Plus, the cool rain proved to be a great temperature regulator. I felt great the whole time. And when I finally circled around to my apartment at the end of my run, I hit stop on my Garmin and saw that I’d turned in my fastest 10-miler yet. Praise God.
Here’s the thing: God knows what we need. He loves us madly and wants us to be the best we can be. We always think we know best, but can we see one second beyond the present? No. Do we know how we will respond to any and every situation? No. Why, then, do we not trust the One who does? He has a plan to bless us in every moment of every day in every situation. We just have to surrender our own ideas and plans and choose to trust His. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s the only way to see the blessings He’s pouring out.
No matter what you’re praying for today, make sure that you’re open to the idea that God might know a better way. Yes, be intentional in prayer, but if He switches things up, go with Him. He always knows what’s best.
1. Are you asking God to intervene in any situation?
2. Are you willing to trust Him even if He doesn’t answer your prayers the way you think He should?
3. Are you willing to fully surrender to His plan?