An accumulation of seemingly failed prayers and fastings are never things to delightfully look back upon.....
Neither delightful to the memory are the thoughts of failed hopes and dreams.....
But manifestations of God's gentleness in the midst of a Christian's crisis, will forever and forever be a theme of rejoicing to the Lord above.
When I look back upon the dates of September 1 and 2, in which all my hopes, dreams, prayers and fastings seemed to have merged into one gigantic mess of emptiness, I am left with nothing but tears.
But when I look back upon the date of September 3, I am left with tears of utter amazement at my first-hand experience of God's gentleness.
So, what brought about such a failure of prayers and fastings?
What were my failed hopes and dreams?
And what were the manifestations of God's gentleness in my particular situation?
First thing, though it was a righteous cause, I should never have given a prayer hearing God a deadline of September 1 to answer my spiritual intercessions. And I naturally assumed that all my prayers and fastings were my contributions to the spiritual battle at hand.
Secondly, I should have spiritually yielded up to God all my hopes and dreams of marriage.
And thirdly, I should have realized that an emotional battle when intertwined with spiritual intercessions generally NEVER, NEVER ends out well!
No wonder I was headed for both a spiritual and emotional disaster!
But where was God in all of this?
Yes, where was God during months of much intercession?
And yes, why wasn't God granting my natural desire for marriage?
Thus while I was experiencing much emotional and spiritual pain during the months leading to the first few days in September, it didn't seem as if I was experiencing much comfort from God.
But despite MY failings and MY feelings, God WAS there.....
.....when I drew comfort from the words of Christian contemporary music, it was because of His leading.....
.....and what is more.....
.....when the words from the Christian band "Harvest" were as morsels of food to my starving soul, it was because God was going to ultimately use their music in my life in a mighty way on September 3.
Thus it was so quietly, oh so quietly, that the gentleness of God was all along being interwoven in my life during the months leading up to those September dates!
Yet when September 1 passed me by with no evidence of God's having answered any of my months of intercessions and fastings, it seemed as if God had left me empty handed.
However, I had the music of the Christian band named "Harvest" to help sustain my soul.
But then on the evening of September 2, after having a frank conversation which resulted in the total destruction of my hopes and dreams of marriage, I was utterly devastated!
In fact in just 2 days it seemed as if all my hopes, dreams, prayers and fastings had gone through a tremendous fire and I was left alone to be surrounded by ashes.
So late at night on September 2, in a distressed frame of mind with both soul and now heart broken, I went to sleep listening to a local Christian radio station.
But God really hadn't left me empty handed. What is more, God really did care about my broken soul and heart!
And so about 4 a.m. on September 3, I began to experience the gentleness of God.....
And the first manifestation started so.....so.....gently:
.....there were no visions.....
.....there were no dreams.....
.....I simply just woke up.....
The second manifestation of God's gentleness was equally as gentle as the first, but it revealed the wonderfulness of His timing:
.....When I awoke, I didn’t just simply awake. I woke just at the time the radio station was playing a song by "Harvest".....
.....and as my soul clung to the song's words which I had just heard for the very first time, I got up and recorded the following in my diary:
"It is 4:00 a.m. and I just woke up hearing
a beautiful song being sung by the group
Harvest.....After work tonight, I'll go out
and try to see if I can find the words to
The third manifestation of God's gentleness then came to me as I prepared for work in the form of jogging my memory of three things that had recently happened:
.....He allowed me to remember a rare work related meeting that had occurred about a week earlier.....
.....He then allowed me to remember that the meeting had not been held at work but at a distant location and that the meeting had been held on the floor above the city's main library.....
.....And then, yes, then He allowed me to remember that after the meeting had ended I had briefly looked in the songbook section of the library and had checked out one book which contained a lot of contemporary Christian songs.
And so it was that:
.....in the midst of having both a wounded soul and breaking heart.....
.....in the midst of feeling unloved.....
.....in the midst of knowing that I wouldn't have anything to do after work on a particularly hard Friday except to go out and look for an unknown song sung by my favorite group......
.....and knowing in my heart I would NEVER FIND THAT SONG.....
In the midst of all of this thinking, I had the impression that I should look in the songbook I had checked out from the library to see if the song was there.
And so it was that about 6 a.m. on September 3, right before I left home to go to work, that the total manifestation of God's gentleness came into focus as I realized that God had already answered a prayer I hadn't even voiced:
.....for the song God had arranged to be playing at 4 a.m. on the radio station at the exact time He had me wake up was already in my possession because of earlier work related events which He also had arranged!
Praise His Holy name!