How many of you saw the movie Facing the Giants? Remember the scene when Mr. Bridges (the older gentlemen who had been seen in the school praying over the lockers) came in to encourage Coach Taylor to stay with the football program? Mr. Bridges told Coach Taylor a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. He said that both farmers prayed for rain, but only one farmer went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Then Mr. Bridges asked, “Which one had more faith?” His final words to Coach Taylor were, “God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”
Wow! That quote gets me right in the chest! God is in control and He will send the rain when He’s ready, but are we ready to receive it? This really hit home with me this past week when I ran into one of my dear mentors from back home, Martha.
Martha knows that Eric and I have wanted children for a long time, and whenever I see her she encourages me in the Lord – and challenges me. When I saw her a few months ago she simply walked up to me without so much as a hello and said, “Believe, and you will see the glory of the Lord.” I wasn’t sure what to say to that, but I guess I didn’t really need to respond. When I ran into Martha this time she said, “Ah, Heather. Are you walking in faith?” I just love how she cuts to the chase. ~smile~ I told her that I was, but that I was praying for more faith!
Then Martha asked me if I’d prepared a room in my home for the baby. I told her that I knew which room would be the nursery, but I had not done anything to prepare it. She simply encouraged me to go ahead and fix the room. Maybe it sounds superstitious, but I know she was encouraging me to put feet to my prayers and to believe that God was going to answer my prayers.
I still haven’t begun work on the nursery yet, but there are other ways I strongly believe I need to prepare the field. Since I want to have healthy children, I need to prepare my body by losing weight in a healthy way, eating foods that will help my body heal, and to refrain from products that are keeping me unhealthy. Additionally, I need to prepare for parenthood by talking to other parents, reading, and praying for God to guide me as a parent even now. It’s important to gain more knowledge of God’s Word so that when I am a parent I can teach my children the ways of God and answer their questions. There is so much to be done before God sends the rain. It’s interesting how little time I’ve spent preparing for children as compared to the amount of time I’ve spent asking God for them.
So what about you? What gift have you prayed for that you have yet to receive? Are you praying for a spouse? If so, how have you been preparing to be a spouse? Are you talking to married couples and gleaning from their wisdom? Have you read any books about marriage? Have you thoroughly studied what the Bible has to say about marriage? Have you asked God to expose those areas of your heart that need to be dealt with before joining your life with someone else’s? Have you spent more time focusing on your health so you can be an alert, hard working, vigorous spouse? Have you spent time expanding your mind so that you can challenge your future spouse intellectually?
Believe me – I know what it is to want something so badly that your heart feels swollen and bruised. It’s easy to throw your hands in the air, curl up into a ball, and tearfully asking God why your heart’s desires have not been fulfilled – especially when you see His blessings falling on the lives of others (e.g., all your friends getting married or having babies). I’ve been there, many times; but, here’s what I’ve been shown lately. Ultimately, all that matters in this life is that we are serving the Lord with our whole hearts. This Earthly life is short. The struggles we face here cannot compare with the awesomeness of Heaven (Romans 8:18). He loves His children. He wants good gifts for His children, but He will send them when He’s ready. We have to prepare our fields (i.e., hearts and lives) to receive them.
My heart is with you, friends. If you are yearning for a spouse, I think you desire something good. God instituted marriage. He’s a fan! However, it is easy to get so fixated on what you want that it can become an idol in your life. God wants to bless His children, but He also needs to be first in your life. Ask God to make His desires your desires. Ask Him to rework your priorities. It is good to want a spouse, but always strive to seek the kingdom of God first. When His desires fill us, we have more joy, more purpose, and less time to feel sorry for ourselves. Grace be with you, friends, as you prepare your fields for rain! ~smile~
How are you preparing your fields for rain?