My Sandbar: an Unseen Answer to Prayer

A widow in my group shared this analogy beautifully. I wanted to share it along with my own sandbar story, but read hers first below so you get the analogy. 

“At a Conference I attended for widows earlier this year, one of the speakers talked about the trials and storms that come into our lives.  She spoke of how God tests us, and pushes us to our limits, in order for us to learn and become better people.  She spoke of how some trials seem to rage on for months and years without relief.  How we can become exhausted and overwhelmed.  And then she spoke of God giving us a sandbar, a place where we can rest before returning to the daily fight of trying to keep our heads above water in the tumultuous sea. 

If you’ve spent much time near the water, you might have seen a sandbar.  This is a spot, usually a ways off from the shoreline, where the sand rises up out of the water, and appears to form a small island.  Sandbars can be fleeting, as the sand is washed away by the rising tide.  While they last, they are a perfect place of safety from the deep end of the ocean.  When we go to Florida we sometimes get a sandbar and we love to swim out to it and play. 

For the last nine years, I have spent a lot of time treading water.  It is often discouraging.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t do it anymore.  Sometimes I want to quit trying.  However, I have faith that Heavenly Father loves me, and has a purpose for my life.  I try my best to give in to His will, because I know that is the only path to safety and true happiness.  Some day I hope to be allowed to return to the shore and to stay there for a long, peaceful spell, but for now, I am still out to sea.”

My sandbar was not what I expected it to be…

I was hoping for the sale of our home and a move to Omaha by family, but the Lord showed me something different. I was so tired of swimming these past nearly 10 months so I asked God,

 “Can’t I please have that sandbar.” I pleaded, “I just really need that sandbar.” 

I felt The Lord whisper peace to me, that a time of rest was coming. So I eagerly anticipated the sale of my home.  

When that did not happen I began to question “Why?”

Why was I prompted to try and sell it and a slew of other things that I knew I had felt impressed to do and that had lead me to that obvious but evasive conclusion…

It wasn’t that I had misread the promptings, 
it wasn’t that The Lord had mislead me,
 the fallacy was in my ability to interpret the end result,
 in my ability to see the Lord’s plan

 so I asked Him to show me, and this is what He said…

 “I gave you the sandbar you asked for… HERE is your sandbar.” 

As I opened my eyes, I began to see the many blessings that were allowing us to stay, and how those blessing had occurred as the direct result of the things I had been prompted to do.

I had pulled the house off the market allowing me to work on somethings in a more measured approach. Miraculously the tuition was paid at my children’s school allowing them to not have to switch schools and giving me a smaller environment to better monitor one of my children who was struggling. I had good friends in my life and then I recognized the additional ones who were sent to me. Financial concerns were settled for a while with some unexpected income. I even realized that the work outside, the hard physical labor, was good for my soul and my emotions. 

I had been given added strength to do what needed to be done.

I had time to study and to reach out to others. I realized that the kids and I were in a good place on so many levels. Moving would have created stress, selling things of emotional significance that I can’t take with me would have born its toll. Starting a new school and me starting school would have been too much too soon. 

He said, “You see you had your sandbar… you just didn’t recognize it.” 

So, here I am finally grateful after all of the fretting. Finally seeing how much easier it is to just turn it over to Him and wait patiently upon Him. He will not let us sink, His hand is right there so at the last possible moment he can pluck us from the sea and give us rest for a time. Although I can not stay here forever I’m grateful for this time to build up strength for the swim ahead.

 

Questions to Ponder:

1. How does humility and trusting God affect our ability to get or recognize answers to prayer? 

2. How does patience and waiting on timing God affect getting answers?

3. How can gratitude help you recognize hidden blessings?