“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto Thee. Hide not Thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline Thine ear unto me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.” Psalm 102:1-2
After taking a certification course to advance his career, a colleague of mine could not find a job in the field of his certification. A native of the West African country of Nigeria, and a naturally persistent guy, he began feeling the anguish of unemployment. With his savings dwindling, and bills piling up, he began his daily prayer ritual of asking God for a job, with the certainty that his new certification would speed up the process of finding employment. In addition, the certification offered a much anticipated opportunity to travel across the United States. But unfortunately, no new opportunities arose.
He began to consistently ask God for a job —any job where he could use his newly acquired certification status. One day after his regular prayer session, the phone rang. Like most Nigerians, he preferred the balmy breezes of any warm climate; and with fifty states to choose from, he was certain he would be recruited to work in one of the Southern or Western states in the country. When he answered the phone, the recruiter on the other end asked if he was interested in an out-of-town assignment. “ --Oh yes!” He answered excitedly. “Where?” He asked, wondering about all the possibilities. “ --Alaska.” The recruiter answered. “But,” he continued, “--You have to be certified!”
It was an obvious answer to his prayer, so he took the job.
He laughs while telling the story because he says,
“It never occurred to me to be more specific when placing my petition before God. Of all the places I could have chosen, Alaska was definitely the last place on my list. To be honest, I was so desperate; I would have gone anywhere there was work. Although I was truly grateful, when I got off the phone, all I could do was laugh. God certainly has a sense of humor. I stayed in Alaska for the winter. --Yes, I experienced winter in Alaska; elk, moose, and reindeer burgers! All along I knew that God would not have given me something I could not handle!”
Sometimes we neglect to acknowledge when God answers our prayers. We dismiss the events as mere coincidences, when in fact; it is the very hand of God within our circumstances. My friend could have dismissed the recruiter and the offer to live in Alaska for the winter; but he did not. He recognized the blessing in his life and pursued his destiny, earning more in the few months he was in Alaska than most people earn in a year.
Now when he tells the “Alaska” story, he reminds people to be a little more specific when asking God for a particular blessing. He tells everyone:
“If you are not interested in going anywhere, then make certain you don’t ask for just anything. Because, if you do, there’s a really good chance that you will get any-thing!” L.
Study Reference: Psalm 102:1-2
From: "An Answered Prayer." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Victoria Metaxas