Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hopes, Dreams and Answered Prayers

This year, my community has spent much time in prayer for very specific things. We've expected and anticipated God would work things out according to His perfect will and—as we wait and learn what that means—He has taught us about persistence and trust. Today, I wanted to share with you a few stories of answered prayers.

There are three men* in our church who, in their late twenties/early thirties have decided to take risks in their careers and pursue something they've been dreaming of. To their wives and those around them, these dreams may have seemed a little scary but nonetheless important and worth the risk.

The first man lived on the East Coast and—after years of being unemployed—was offered a job in San Francisco. I can't go into much detail about his situation, but there were issues back east that required him to move back. We gathered around him in prayer for months and hoped the situation would change—allowing him to keep his amazing job and stay in our community. But, that didn't seem to be happening. So, as he made the plans to move, we prayed that his company would offer him a transfer to an East Coast office. The process seemed to take forever and (with leadership changing) looked like it might not happen. About a week after our friend moved back to the East Coast, he got word that the transfer would go through! We praised God with thanksgiving for this job and for His faithfulness in providing for our friend. It didn't happen like we had wanted, but it worked out according to God's will, and that was good.

The second man has been trying to change careers for over a year. The application process for this particular field of work is long and strenuous. After waiting a full year and trying other avenues to get his foot in the door, he decided to take an act of faith and great courage. He applied for a six-month training program that would make him more qualified for the position. (Originally, this training would have been paid for by the company if they had hired him.) We surrounded him in prayer during this application process and prayed there would be a spot for him (as space is limited). He recently found out that he was accepted! We praised God for opening this door so he could move forward in going after his dream. Now he is taking steps of faith to see that: a) God will provide for his family while they pay for this program and live off of one income instead of two and b) he gets a job in the field after he finishes the program.

The third man moved to San Francisco with a deep passion and heart for the lost and found work in a place where Jesus is needed badly. He had hopes of starting his own business so he could more effectively share the Gospel with this demographic and has since quit his job and started working on his business plan and getting things started. We've been surrounding him in prayer for a couple of years now and as he takes these steps of faith we've seen God show up in ways that were unexpected and good. Just last week, he signed a lease for a space and is planning be open for business in the Spring of 2013. God is Good.

It has been so encouraging to see these men take steps of faith. Faith in God to provide for the dreams He has given them. Faith in God for the courage it takes to walk away from the "security" this world tries to offer and cling to the only security that really matters.

It has also been a privilege to pray for these men and watch the author of our lives grant our requests. There are still many prayers being said for these men, they each have a long road ahead but their dreams are coming true and that just leaves me with a sense of gratitude and hope. Thank you Lord!

*There is a fourth man's story I want to share with you, but we haven't yet seen our prayers answered. Please join us in praying for the Lord's provision! 

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