Crying Over Answered Prayers

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.’” Exodus 14:15 (NIV)

I pulled out an old prayer journal and there it was, written in my handwriting. It was a prayer request I had prayed for years.

The words blurred as I traced them, tears falling.

The answer to this prayer was in the process of unfolding. Good news, right? Except, five minutes earlier, I was worrying because it felt so big. That morning I questioned my husband like a lead investigator:

Are you sure we can do this?

Are we making the right decision?

I peppered him with questions, trying to iron out every single detail even though we were in the beginning stages. In the night, when I should have been sleeping, I crunched numbers in my head.

It was exhausting.

Seeing my prayer request in the journal reminded me I had asked God for this very thing, and He was graciously opening the door. Rather than rejoicing, I was fretting.

In today’s passage, Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt after centuries of slavery. They were at the mercy of their captors and worked endless hours making bricks from straw. Generations had prayed for freedom, and the answer had come! Thousands left Egypt and headed for the Promised Land. Not too far into their journey, Pharaoh sent his men after them and the Israelites panicked.

They started to complain. They cried out to Moses.

“They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?’” (Exodus 14:11)

They were so focused on the obstacles, that they forgot how many times they’d asked God to release them from slavery. And now — on the brink of stepping out of Egypt completely free for the first time in generations — they complained. After listening to their murmuring, Moses petitioned God on their behalf.

God responded instantly: “Tell the Israelites to move on” (Exodus 14:15b).

As I traced the faded prayer request with my fingers, I admit I was so fixated on the obstacles that I was a little stuck.

Keep moving, Suzie.

Rarely does answered prayer mean it’s smooth sailing all the way.

We pray for that prodigal child to come home, and they do. Yet there’s work to be done in the relationship.

We pray for God to help us achieve a dream. He does, and it’s more difficult than we imagined.

We pray for a promotion, and there’s a learning curve.

Move on. Keep going.

He answered our prayers, and He’ll be with us every step of the way. We can get caught up in the challenges, or celebrate where God is taking us.

I pulled out that old journal and wrote a date beside my prayer request — along with the word “answered.”

Then I listed the hurdles God had demolished in this answered prayer. As I read them, my attitude completely shifted. The obstacles were there, yes, but so was God.

I closed my journal and lifted my hands to thank Him. It was time to stop crying over answered prayers, rejoice and move on.

Heavenly Father, I have been so focused on the obstacles that I lost sight of what You did for me. Thank You for answering my prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 78:42, “They did not remember his power — the day he redeemed them from the oppressor.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
In Suzie Eller’s book,Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads, you’ll discover the power of revolutionary prayer.

CONNECT:
Join Suzie on her blog for a giveaway of her book, Come With Me.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Go back to that moment you first prayed your request. Settle there for a moment. Recall how you felt as you asked God for His help. Celebrate your answered prayer.

© 2017 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

Day By Day By Grace

September 7
Once More on David and the Lord’s Lovingkindness
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life. (Psa_36:7-9)
As we go further into these verses, David confesses to God another reason why he had such a yearning for the Lord’s lovingkindness. “You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.” Those who are drawn to God’s lovingkindness (desiring to face all of life on the basis of His loving commitment to His people) find a delightful spiritual river from which to drink by faith.
This world is a dry place, spiritually speaking. As we saw previously, David understood this clearly. “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Psa_63:1). In this dry and barren world, David experienced much anguish. He served a king who wrongfully persecuted him. “Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him; and Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David’s enemy continually” (1Sa_18:28-29). David had a wife who mocked his love for God. “And as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16). He had a son who betrayed him. “Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate . . . Moreover Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice’ . . . So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (2Sa_15:2, 2Sa_15:4, 2Sa_15:6).
In this barrenness of unfaithful relationships, David sought after the Lord earnestly. “I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land” (Psa_143:6). In stark contrast to such heart-breaking, human disappointments, David found the Lord’s lovingkindness to be like a satisfying river of spiritual delights. “You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.” He found the Lord to be an ever-flowing supply of true life. “For with You is the fountain of life.” In the Lord’s lovingkindness, David found loyal love, steadfast commitment, and abounding grace.
Dear Lord, my fountain of life, the world as been a dry and thirsty land for me as well. There has been opposition, rejection, and betrayal. Lord, I want to come to You day by day to drink by faith from the lovingkindness that You alone can pour forth, in Jesus name, Amen.