By Tom Moorse
If you are like me, you pray to God often about the challenges you are facing. We feel we have a clear picture of how to resolve those issues, and if God could go along with our vision, well, then everything would be perfect! But often, that’s not what God does – and I have learned to be thankful for that. Time and time again, I have prayed for an outcome that I thought would be the best possible answer, only to see those prayers go unanswered. And just when I have started to lose some hope, God does answer those prayers – but not in the way I imagined. It often turns out that His answer is so much better for me than I could have even imagined. My answer was superficial, where His answer addresses details I had not even considered.
Similarly, I have found that there turns out to be many more steps in getting to the completion point when taking on a challenge than I had initially anticipated. And I have found that it's good that I didn’t know how many steps were involved because if I had known, I am not sure I would have had the strength to start.
Here are three stories to illustrate these lessons learned.
I recently received a kidney transplant. When I went on the transplant waiting list, they told me it would be about a 5 -7 year wait. Of course, I chose only to hear the 5-year number. It turned out to be an 8 year wait. During that time, I needed to start dialysis treatments. For me, those treatments were 3 times a week, 4 hours each time. I was on dialysis for 5 ½ years. That is approximately 850 dialysis treatments. If I had known it would be that many treatments, not sure I would have had the courage to start.
As for the transplant, I was so lucky to have so many people praying for me. 5 years came and went. 7 years came in went. At 7 ½ years I got offered a kidney – but it didn’t turn out to be a good match, and so I waited. Then just when I was feeling low and wondering if it would ever happen – I got the call. And it turned out to not be just any kidney – but the right kidney for me. This kidney has worked well for me from day one. I was able to get out of the hospital a couple of days early. Sometimes the kidney doesn’t “wake up” after transplant and the patient must continue dialysis for a couple of weeks until the kidney is fully functioning. I did not have a single treatment. God had this covered all along.
Westbrook Church Building
I have been working with Pastor Kevin (and several church boards) for over 6 years on the building. Again, if someone would have told me the multiple hurdles that would be encountered along the way – I am not sure I would have signed on as part of the building team. Issues with the county, issues with funding, issues with a pandemic – there has been no shortage of challenges. There were so many people praying, we were sure we were doing what God wanted us to do, yet it was hard not to lose hope and question if this was truly what God had in mind.
Well, this summer, everything finally fell into place, and we are now well underway with construction. As it turns out – if we had started building in 2019 as we had hoped, we would have had a building that
we could not fully utilize during the pandemic. But instead, God’s faithfulness and His plans have us positioned to open the building in late spring, early summer of 2021. We are hopeful that the virus will be winding down at that point, and we will be able to open the doors wide to welcome our community. God’s plans have turned out to be so much better than our plans.
I lost my first wife, Jennifer, to pancreatic cancer in 2011. You can imagine this was a life-shattering event for my 11-year-old son and me. I felt like everything we had been building had been destroyed – and wondered how you go about rebuilding a life. In time I prayed that God would guide me to someone to share my life with, someone to accept Mitch and me as we were.
I had an idea of what I thought I needed, wanted in a new wife. What I got was so much more than the narrow vision I had in my mind. We are convinced that it's God that brought Kimberly and me together. I got a wife, a partner, a best friend, a supporter, and a salve for a wounded heart. She represents to me God’s faithfulness. She is a gift to me from God. She has been patient with Mitch and me. You can imagine coming into a home with a teenage boy that lost his mom is tough, tough position to be in. Yet, she has prayed about it and has led with patience and grace.
Her relationship with God is an inspiration to me. She shows me every day what it means to be in relationship with God. And now she is not just a blessing to me, but also a blessing to Westbrook.
It's easy to see how God’s plans were so much bigger and better than mine.
We all face challenges every day. It could be health, could be our work, our family, or any number of things. I want to encourage you to pray to God about what is on your heart. Be faithful and patient. Even when it seems God is not hearing you or acting in your timing – you can be sure that God is at work on your behalf. And what he has planned for you will be more than you could have imagined.