I was mad at God. My heart had started building a wall around it and with each disappointment the wall became thicker. I was actually giving God the silent treatment. Outwardly I was cordial, but inside, my heart was like stone.
Loss after loss had made me believe the enemy’s lies, “God doesn’t care about you. If he cared, why did he take your mother, your father, your sister? And what about the baby you just miscarried? How could God love you and take so much from you?”
I knew the whispers weren’t true, but they started feeling true.
Mike was stationed in Germany and the Hospitality House, a mission to soldiers and their families, was planning a trip to Israel. The trip sounded wonderful. Inside I wished we could go. I asked Mike if we could go and after listening to his 10 reasons why it wouldn’t work, I knew it would take an act of God. And I wasn’t so sure I wanted to ask him.
After the Sunday School class, Al began talking about the upcoming trip. I was surprised when Mike approached me and said,
“Maybe we could trust God for the trip.”
So we met with Al and said, “We want to talk to you, but we don’t want you to laugh. We’d like to trust God for the trip to Israel.”
Al didn’t laugh but instead he prayed. Prayed that if God wanted us to go that he would provide for us. We walked out of Al’s office and immediately one of the single soldiers approached us,
“What’s going on?”
Sheepishly we shared that we wanted to trust God for the trip to Israel.
“I feel God wants me to give this to you,” Pete said, handing us a check for the amount of the deposit, $150.00.
We stood there speechless and I felt something stir my hard heart.
Al offered the group a challenge. Whoever could memorize the first chapter of James and the whole book of I John in the Bible, reciting it with less than two errors could have half of their trip paid for. I took the challenge and was one of three winners. Half of our trip was paid for. All that remained was $450.00.
Another soldier offered to loan us the money, but since we both prayed about it and felt we were not to borrow money. So, we thanked him and kept praying. Then we received a check from the army. They had overcharged us for our move and refunded us the amount of the overage. The check was for $450.00, the exact amount of our balance.
I thought it was clear that our trip was paid for, Mike felt otherwise. We went to see Al and after Mike explained everything Al said what Al usually said, “Let’s pray.”
“You don’t understand,” Mike interjected, “we still have bills that will soon be due, we can’t use that money for the trip.”
Once more Al calmly said, “Let’s pray.”
So once more we we went before the Lord in prayer. Walking out of the back room, another friend approached us.
“What’s going on?” Chuck asked.
“We’re believing God for the trip to Israel,” Mike answered.
And then Chuck opened his wallet and took out $450.00 handing it to us.
“I just got my taxes back and I believe I’m supposed to give this to you.”
We stood there, looked at each other, hugged Chuck and almost started jumping up and down as we said, “We’re going to Israel!”
The trip was more wonderful than you could imagine. We floated in the Dead Sea, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We rode camels and I rode a donkey in Bethlehem, like Mary had. We waded in the Jordan river, and walked on streets where Jesus had walked so many years before. It was the trip of a lifetime and yet, the thing that struck me the most was that God had heard me whisper inside,
“If you love me, I want to go to Israel.”
Even though my heart was hard, God heard me. And as walked where Jesus had once walked, I felt my heart soften. God really loved me, giving me mercy and covering it with grace.
One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. And he does provide our needs. And sometimes, he even gives us the desires of our hearts; just because of who he is.