A Voice in the Shadowlands

Careful What You Ask For

You have to be careful what you ask for sometimes. When I was in second grade, I desperately wanted a part in the school Christmas play. I desperately wanted to play the father, the main role (I’ve always been a shy person). I wasn’t what the teacher was looking for but I begged for my shot. I got it and, for one of the very few times in my life, froze up. I tried to say the lines but could only get out, “Baaa.” I pulled myself together, opened my mouth and tried again, “Baaa.” Instead of just singing with the rest of the class, I was cast as a sheep. Thankfully, I happened to have a costume already.

Trying to buy a house has been a roller coaster experience. There has been awesome highs and, lately, some crazy and frustrating times. We have watched our closing date come and go. We have waited…and waited…and waited. To it’s credit, it has strengthened my prayer life – which I like, but for reasons I had rather not experience. The last several nights I’ve been praying that God would come through. I had in mind an 11th hour phone call where just when things didn’t seem to come through, they did and everything magically worked and Becky and I traipsed off into the sunset at our new house just before we had to move out of the apartment. Well, God came through…just not like I thought.

Never underestimate the power of a crying woman. We got a phone call today that was not all that surprising but frustrated both me and my wife. Frustrated her so much, in fact, that she was moved to tears. The odds of an 11th hour rescue are nil and we were preparing to have to move next week…except for a last ditch effort to see if the apartment management which isn’t known for being the most merciful will let us stay for another month – during which we will hopefully get to closing. Never underestimate the power of a crying woman, especially if they are desperate, angry tears. We don’t have to move now until the end of July (or closing whichever comes first) which is a great relief.

Is it how I wanted it? No. Do I understand? Not really. I can appreciate certain aspects of it. I really can. There are aspects of this where God is protecting us from some different difficulties. Still, today in the middle of all of this I was reminded of all the folks who experienced this to a greater extent. Abraham, expecting to be a father of multitudes, had a handful of kids. Mary and Martha expected Jesus to come before Lazarus died. David thought God had abandoned him at multiple points and he was supposed to be God’s anointed. Tons of people in the Bible didn’t sign up for what they ended up doing. I suppose I should be glad that I’m not being asked to sacrifice my child…or really sacrifice anything other than my own timeline. It sets it all in perspective when you look at it that way.

Perhaps I should have been more specific in what I prayed for? But God came through when I asked and I do feel a weight taken off to a certain extent.

And, I don’t have to wear a sheep costume this go round.


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