4 hours and 7 minutes away from home, driving to a friend’s wedding reception from the ceremony I had just attended I had no phone service to access GPS, and absolutely no clue where to go. So I followed a car out of the church that I thought would be headed to the reception I needed to go to. Five minutes down the road the car I was following pulled into what I’m assuming was their driveway. This was definitely not the reception venue.
I was lost. I’m pretty good directionally, so continuing on, I found the main road using my inner sense of direction.
Where would I go from there? I didn’t know. If I tried to go back to the church everyone might already be gone.
I got to what I thought was the main road and a little white SUV passed with people in it dressed nice. Why would that mean anything? Well, when you’re in the boonies in the middle of nowhere, most people aren’t going to be dressed nice (unless it’s Sunday… It was Saturday). So off I go, following a car I think may be from the wedding I just attended where I only knew the bride and one bridesmaid, therefore leaving me with no one to call nearby for help.
Five more minutes down the road I started praying that I would get service on my phone so my GPS would work. It wasn’t looking good considering I was getting farther and farther away from the “city”. And by “city” I mean the CVS, gas station, Sonic, and Ingles. A few minutes later after I seriously consider just turning around and heading I don’t even know where, I see a sign for the city where I was supposed to be headed for the wedding reception. To be completely honest, I did not even see this as an answer to prayer at this point. I had been praying for my service to come back anyways, not road signs.
Still following the little white, very fast, SUV (which I almost lost several times in the pouring rain and darkness), I was led several turns off the main stretch of road I was on. I REALLY start praying for that phone service now. Around 20 minutes from the time I left the church, that little white SUV pulls into the exact location I was searching for.
I had prayed the entire time, not for the Lord to get me where I needed to go however he wanted to, but for my phone service to come back. God didn’t answer my prayer… Or did he? That is the plot twist.
I always heard growing up that when we ask God for something he answers in 3 ways. No, yes, or wait. At first it was easy for me to think that God didn’t answer my prayer at all. But then I remembered Isaiah 55:8 where it says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”
I didn’t get my phone service back. God DID answer my prayer though, in a way that I did not ask, but in the way that showed how much more he knows than I do.
I needed to get to the reception. Not necessarily by GPS, but I didn’t know that. But you know who did? My own personal Navigator. I didn’t expect to learn anything from losing phone service. But I did.
God’s answers to us can be in unexpected ways. And you know what, God can even answer prayers before we even ask them! Isaiah 65:24 says it best: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” It really wasn’t until several hours later when I was talking to my dad on the phone that I even realized the lesson I was learning. To be completely honest I called him to tell him about my “traumatic” experience of being lost in the middle of nowhere.
So, this week as you go about your regular routine, take notice of the ways that the Lord has, is, and will answer your prayers. They may come in the most unexpected ways.