It’s no secret that I have been praying for a job. Having left my previous employer at the end of September 2016, I have found myself losing a bit more each week of the things I had. I have been late in paying bills, couldn’t pay my mortgage or car loan and had to ask my parents for financial assistance.
For the entire 9 months I have prayed, begged, pleaded and challenged God for a job. “Why aren’t you answering my prayers?” I would ask him. I asked other people to pray, I confessed all my sins…still nothing. Then about 4 weeks ago I was lying in bed, frustrated with God and how life was panning out. And God called to me!
“Emma, you had everything and didn’t appreciate my blessings…so I’ve taken it all away! Now how do you feel?” His voice was so loud I pretty much leapt out of bed. I tentatively called out “Is that really you God?”. After a minute of silence, I heard again, “Emma, you had everything and didn’t appreciate my blessings…so I’ve taken it all away!”
Was I grateful?
This new development required significant thought. At first, I disagreed with God. I was very grateful for the blessings He had given me. Even Satan agreed with me. And that’s when a bolt to my heart from the Holy Spirit jolted me out of my thought pattern. If even Satan agreed with me, then something was wrong.
I thought about all the things I had before I had to leave my job. I was buying takeaway nearly every day of the week. I was buying gadgets and thingamabobs every weekend. I had no savings. I wasn’t listening for God’s voice and I was treating his money as my own.
When God couldn’t reach me when I had everything, He took it all away. It’s only after a significant period of nothing, late bills, food banks and frustration that I allowed my heart and soul to open to Him and truly listen.
This experience has taught me a lot about God and the blessings He gives us. We can do nothing through ourselves but everything through Christ (see Philippians chapter 4, verse 13). I was wandering down the road of self-sufficiency, not caring that I was behaving like a Pharisee—all pomp and circumstance and nothing of substance.
The Bible tells us that God will always provide for us. In Luke chapter 12, verse 7, Jesus reminds us that God provides even for the sparrows, of which we are more important. I had forgotten this in my worldly riches. I thought I was the one providing for myself and I was proud of what I had—or what it seemed I had.
Deep down, even though I was spending money and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ I actually had very little. I’m never in front my with bills, I have no savings, I’ve destroyed my credit rating and I have several debts.
Jesus reminds us that God knows everything we need and He will provide it (see Matthew chapter 6 verses 31-32; Luke chapter 12 verse 24). Everything we have is because God provides for us and every day we should be thankful to Him.
The Final Hurdle
Once God had spoken to me I began to really look at what I had, what I lost and what I really needed. There were so many opportunities for me to show God’s love to others which I couldn’t do because of my self-serving attitude. And when I did help out, I felt so proud – ‘look what I’ve done for them’.
Knowing my financial assistance agreement with the bank was coming to an end, I rang to ask whether they could provide any more assistance. The answer was a resounding ‘no’. They had helped for 9 months and now wanted me to start paying my mortgage again. We were officially stuck.
Still, I had to hold onto my faith that God would deliver. I had nothing else left. I cheerfully told mum ‘not to worry, God will provide’. And for the first time ever, I really did believe it. I prayed to God, thanking Him for taking all away so that I could actually receive all through him.
The phone call to the bank was on a Friday. The following Tuesday I had an interview for a job 2 minutes walk from my house. On Wednesday afternoon, I received the phone call offering me the job. In three days, I went from nothing worldly to everything in grace.
The title of this article is the Power of Prayer. I have shared some of my story and I hope it shows you that prayer is a very powerful thing. God may not have answered my prayers the minute I wanted Him to, but by holding back His blessing, I received more than I knew I could—a new and refreshed relationship with God, a new understanding of Grace and a new understanding of my role as a Christian.
May God bless you as He has abundantly blessed me.
Emma is a full-time admin worker with a passion for Christ and an interest in reading, writing and music.
Emma Seabrook's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/emma-seabrook.html