Recently, while reading “Just A Sister Away” (Dr. Renita Weems) I came across a statement that blew me away: “The first lesson to be learned was how to receive a blessing no longer expected (p. 114).” This statement prefaced an interesting perspective on Elizabeth, the future mother of John the Baptist, the cousin (and baptizer) of Jesus Christ.
As I read this section, I began to reflect on my life. I have seen many things, experienced several tragedies, disappointments and setbacks. Because of this ongoing trend and uphill battle, I’ve felt as if the prayers I have prayed and the promises spoken over my life were not happening anytime soon. I began to give up.
Now you must understand this process. It isn’t that every day I speak life, prosperity, joy, and a future and a hope over my life then suddenly one day I wake up and decide that I no longer believe it. It’s more like with time, like Elizabeth, I began packing my mental and emotional boxes, ensuring that I was careful in the packing process so they wouldn’t break. You see, it’s not necessarily that I had walked away fully from all I’ve prayed about; it’s just that the time has passed by and there is still no visible sign of deliverance or blessing so the thought of something happening soon (or at all) was no longer in the forefront of my mind.
So why now does it seem as if everywhere I turn I am hearing “Your prayers are about to be answered. Are you ready?” Today’s devotional on Streaming Faith is entitled “Make Room For Your Blessing.” Have I made my point?
Since I am bombarded with these messages screaming “It’s Coming” I have gone down my mental checklist. What have I done – physically, emotionally, financially and last but certainly not least, spiritually to prepare for the blessing that was no longer expected? I am almost there, in my estimation, but I know that when the blessing becomes fully manifested I will still need to make on-the-spot adjustments. My expectations on this side of the blessing are based on what I already know or on what I have seen or experienced. What is coming is guaranteed to hit everything out of the ballpark! How do I know what to do when the game has changed? Will I know how to carry my dreams and keep my wits about me as the scenery changes? What if I am expected to take leadership/ownership of enterprises I had only dreamed about in secret? And if I must stand before crowds to declare His mighty works in song or spoken word – Am I ready?
According to the author of the devotional, this principle is one which we should take note: “God blesses those who have prepared themselves to be blessed.” Jabez was mentioned as he prayed the prayer asking God to bless him and enlarge his borders. I have prayed the prayer of Jabez many times in the past in various ways – yet waiting for the manifestation.
What I had forgotten about was the last part of the verse “And God granted what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
In the same way Elizabeth pined over being barren – then out of nowhere (it seemed) she received her unexpected answer to prayer in her old age, I have also opened up my heart and my hands are extended, palms up, ready to receive my answer to prayer – because God WILL GRANT WHAT I HAVE REQUESTED!!!
Thank You, Jesus! I feel like shouting right here: (I digress)
So I’m here to urge you to keep on pressing. Stay focused, and prepare for the blessing you asked, pleaded, prayed, cried and in travail for. It may take years (like it has for me) for you to see its manifestation but do NOT give up! God has awesome ways of answering prayers. It is ALWAYS different from what we imagined or planned for it to be. It NEVER shows up the way we thought it would or should. And it is ALWAYS 10,000 times better than we could have ever orchestrated, plotted, networked, planned or executed ourselves! We just CANNOT duplicate God’s ways!
So as I step across my threshold into new opportunities and experience a shift in the heavenly atmosphere on my behalf, know that I will continue to pray with and for you that you too will wait patiently to receive all God has for you! You prayed, right? He STILL answers prayers! (And you know this!) Prepare to receive your blessing! Make room for it! Do what you need to do so when the time comes (and it will come suddenly) you are READY.
Let’s get ready to receive together!