“…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8
When we first moved to Colorado, we lived in a pretty apartment steps from major shopping and dining, walking paths and at least three Starbucks. It was truly magical. Within a few months, with our Atlanta household belongings crammed into storage, I began to yearn to buy a house again. Realtors were summoned, budgets were imagined. Within weeks, we were trotting through dozens of listings.
At my insistence, we visited a new home community in a burgeoning suburb to the east of Denver. The model home was stunning—the interior looked like a Crate and Barrel catalog. I toured it with a sick feeling, half in love and half anxious and disturbed: how could we possibly afford it?
Back in the car, while I was calculating exactly how we could scratch and claw our way into the least expensive floor plan (who needs heating? flooring is overrated!), my sane husband shrugged and put the car in drive. I sulked in the passenger seat, clearly annoyed that my dream was being denied.
Life returned to normal and we eventually decided that buying a home was just not possible at that exact moment in our lives. We would settle into the apartment and perhaps look again in a few months. With stealth fervor, however, I subversively posted a picture of the model home on the wall over my desk. Surely if I prayed hard enough, if I was persistent enough, God would bless us with this house. It would be the testimony of a lifetime. “And there I was, praying every day for that home and then we received a phone call: the builder decided to give one house away and he wasn’t sure why, but he remembered our charming family…”
Well, it didn’t happen like that.
I continued to lob prayers toward God every time I glanced at that architectural drawing. The prayers eventually morphed and matured: instead of fantasies, I began to trust my heavenly Father with our dreams of owning a house in our new state. To be settled and spread out. To decorate and make a home. To create memories and a fortress from the cruel world.
Months later, our Realtor stumbled on a beautiful home that was two weeks from being completed. The almost owner had lost financing at the last minute. The builder would take our very low offer. The deal was done in mere hours. We closed, painted, moved and exhaled, finally settled 14 months after crossing the country with our baby.
One moment sticks out from that time just a few years ago: as we packed the apartment up to move to the new home that shined with perfection, fresh carpeting and gleaming new appliances, I found myself removing that architectural drawing from where it was taped on the wall. I glanced at it, remembering the intense emotion and my impassioned pleas for that house to somehow, against the financial odds, work out. Oh, how I had prayed! I had sunk some serious tears into the dream of the Crate and Barrel house.
Surrounded by boxes and the debris of moving, the sweetness of God’s mercy hit me and I exhaled sharply: I had prayed for our new home, all right. My prayers were clear and assertive. Persistent and fervent. I was just praying for the wrong house.
God in his eternal and infinite wisdom knows more than we do. He can see the twists and turns and two-by-fours. The Bible says he watches us so completely and so well that he knows what we need before we ask it. What is your prayer today? You can be assured that God already knows it. But he longs for you to bring it to him, drawings and dreams, in hand.