When Leslie went looking to buy a family home–a dream and prayer for over ten years–she noted some sales people showed her some one-of-a-kind features. Close enough to Christmas that the shiny ornaments were packed in the stores next to the Halloween ghouls, Leslie held fast to the vision of a home for her family with a Christmas tree twinkling with lights in the living room.
“What’s this?” she asked when a realtor showed her inside something that could only be loosely categorized as a single-family residence.
“You’re kidding. It looks like an RV toilet in a closet.”
“And what’s that smell?” she wanted to know.
“The slaughterhouse. But today is windy. Most days, you won’t smell it.”
“No, thanks. It’s not what I had in mind.”
Sales people and mortgage bankers had sized up her skinny portfolio as a single mom with two school-aged children and said the same thing, “This is all you can afford. You don’t have enough income or a big enough down payment.” So instead of what she asked and prayed for, most showed her shacks.
Not Mary. The new sales professional welcomed Leslie with enthusiasm and really listened.
“It has to be a three-bedroom house in a decent and safe neighborhood.”
“Righty-O! I can do that!” the realtor promised cheerfully.
“Here’s one!” she pointed at the computer screen. “But it’s financed under a government program. Let’s see if you qualify. Yes! As a ‘moderate income’ family!”
As the realtor, Leslie and her sons walked through newly refurbished house, her eyes opened with surprise. The living room even had a fireplace where the stockings would hang.
But government programs have different criteria, the realtor explained. “All the names on the contracts go into a hat, and then they draw a name.”
Hers was not the first name. But a few weeks later, Mary called again to say the first contract was turned down and Leslie was the next one as they checked her credit.
While talking about Christmas wishes with her sons, one asked,
“What about you, Mom?”
Leslie sighed. “It’s been a long time wishing, but if it’s God’s will, may we have that house of our own.”
The day after Christmas, Mary called her to say, “The house is yours if you want it!” Leslie cried.
Not long after, the small family walked the length and breadth of the land that showcased their family home. To others, the yard looked like dirt. To them, it looked like possibilities. And miracles. And proof of the persistence of prayer.
Jesus himself promises, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 77-8.
Leslie had prayed about a family home. The one God chose for her was even more than she expected.
But it was as Jesus promised. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake. If you…who know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! [Matthew 9-11 NIV].
Ask, seek, and knock. God delights to give you your heart’s desire, but it will be in his time. Keep thanking him, praying and believing! His answer will be extraordinary – and like Leslie’s, it will be the best answer – and nowhere near the slaughterhouse.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]