All week long, while Derek and PJ (and their wives) are on vacation, we’ll be re-posting our favorite messages from the blog’s first few months. We’ll be back next week with all-new content, but in the meantime we hope you rediscover some good ideas or see something you missed the first time around. See you in a few!
ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 8, 2011:
Today NGYN is proud to welcome our first-ever guest blogger: April Wingfield, wife (and muse) of Derek! Here she is:
So, we’re sitting at IHOP last Tuesday night because we’re suckers for anything “free,” and that day was free pancake day. But, of course, there’s nothing in life really free so, in lieu of paying for our pancakes, we were asked to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network. I was happy to do that. And so we were enjoying our pancakes when Derek says to me, “When are you going to write a guest post for our blog?” He’s been bugging me to do this for a while now, but I haven’t because, frankly, I don’t know if I can keep up! PJ and Derek are a couple of incredibly gifted guys and their posts are pretty spot on. But, we have not been given a spirit of fear, so I said, tell me what to write about and I’ll do it. PJ sees the card lying on the table for the Children’s Miracle Network and it says, “Make Miracles Happen.” So he said, “Write about that: Make Miracles Happen.” Oh, I can definitely do that.
I am not afraid to ask God for miracles. I do it all the time.
Lord, please bless us financially.
Lord, please give us a child.
God, if you could just grow my business a little more, that would be awesome. I know you’re capable.
God WANTS us to ask Him for miracles. In Exodus 14, he parted the Red Sea for the Israelites. In Genesis 21, Sarah and Abraham conceived a child against all odds. In Matthew 14, he feeds 5,000 people with hardly enough food for five.
The problem with the miracles that I tend to ask God for is that they’re kinda selfish. Oh, they don’t seem selfish on the surface. I really do want to give more to others and to our church. This requires financial blessing. And I really do want a child to invest in and prepare for kingdom work. And, by all means, I would love to reach more women with the hope of time and financial freedom through my business. But I kept praying that God would provide these things without ever really giving it over to him. So, deep down, I think I don’t need God to perform miracles for me. I can take care of my own miracles, thankyouverymuch.
Except that I can’t. So, lately, God has been speaking to me about how he works in my life, and this is what I’ve learned:
1. Expect God to change you, not your circumstances.
This is not so fun to learn, but He rarely swoops in and rearranges everything so that it suddenly falls into place. More often, he changes your heart, which in turn will change your outlook; or He changes your heart and THEN he changes your circumstances, after a season of preparation. See, often when we pray for a miracle, we’re praying for something we can’t handle yet. And that’s a good thing. God takes that opportunity to stretch us so that he CAN provide the miracle later.
2. Be thankful.
God does not honor our requests when we refuse to use the resources He’s already given us. Be thankful for what you already have, and know that He is enough.
3. Pray specifically, but with a bent toward God’s will.
God wants to hear our earnest requests, our specific hopes and dreams. But be careful of veering into “nagging child” territory – listen as you request your miracle. He may be trying to change the desires of your heart and keep you on His plan.
4. Obey, obey, obey.
When we pray for miracles, He will work through us as WE work. I’m so Type A that I have a hard time grasping the concept of doing all I can but still leaving it in God’s hands. One day I’ll get it. Until then, it’s a tightrope I walk. But I do know that it’s not OK to ask for a miracle and expect that He’ll provide it without any labor on our end.
God wants to make miracles happen for all of us. But more than that, He wants us to have a relationship with Him. If you think long enough about it, that’s what you’ll see in every situation you’ve prayed about in your life. He was giving you an opportunity to draw closer to Him. Keep pressing forward, keep praying, and, by all means, keep asking for a miracle.