Tuesday, November 9, 2010

on prayer or maybe grace?

Yesterday I found myself dealing with a problem that is partially my fault and I was hoping mostly someone else's fault. It involves the hospital and the insurance company so I was ready to dig in for some long and confusing phone calls. I thought back to my experience fighting for financial aid every semester, visiting the financial aid office each week for 4-5 weeks until someone who knew what they were talking about happened to be at the desk. *sigh*

Turned into quite the day. I thought it was over when I had to take lady #2's phone number to call her back because I couldn't talk through the tears (really sobs). It started out as laughter over the absurdity of the situation and then when I had to explain why the laughter was turning to sobs, lady #1 transferred me to lady #2. An hour or so later when I was good and calm I looked at my phone and noticed I had missed a call from the hospital. To my surprise, it was lady #2 calling me back to tell me she had looked into the situation (that I never had a chance to describe to her) and had been in touch with the insurance company who saw that it was their mistake. Everything is on hold now while the hospital audits the charges and the insurance company figures out why and how they are going to fix their mistake.

I didn't realize how much it was all stressing me out until there was some resolve. I was shocked and happy that the ladies I talked with on the phone didn't just dismiss me and my problem. I was shocked and happy that it was indeed a mistake on the part of someone other than myself. After I noticed the immediate mood change I thought 'what a great answer to prayer'. And then I realized that I had never really prayed about the whole problem in the first place and changed it to 'thanks for lookin' out Lord'.

It's the second time in a week that I realized my thoughts about prayer are in limbo. I know what I know (scripture) and I know what I've experienced but they don't seem to match up.

Matthew 7:7-8, 11
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened...If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!"

I can pray earnestly for other people the prayers that I have seen the Lord answer for me. I trust that the Lord knows best how to answer all prayers and understand that my preferred answers do not always align with his.

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts."

I guess that's where I struggle right now, accepting that his thoughts are not my thoughts and his ways are not my ways. That's not so much a limbo as it is hard-headedness. Today I will be thankful for the grace and mercy of the Lord as I work through this. And I am reminded to lean on and be comforted by this:

Romans 8:1, 26-28
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Melissa...I seem to be crying every time I read your posts. I so needed to hear those verses. I am so glad God is so patient with me. Thank you for your reminder of how well He loves us - even when it doesn't make sense to us or we are totally unaware that He's doing it. Always thinking of you and praying for you as you continue to walk this path.
    Love, Stacy