Let’s be honest! Most of the time when we come to God in prayer asking for His intervention in a specific case or event in our life, in the farthest limits of our minds, we have already figured out the ideal way for Him to answer that prayer. Nevertheless, while our list of options for the Lord to answer our petition may seem pretty obvious and feasible, God—in His infinite wisdom—choses to answer in ways we never expected, as I experienced.
In 2015 I ventured into the entrepreneurship world with my first startup—a delivery service and home healthcare company. After a long and exhausting interview process, I finally found a suitable gentleman to become my first delivery guy. He was a little over 50 years old, a foreigner legally eligible to work in the country and with a great desire to provide for his wife and son. He had all the safety certifications required and had delivery experience in the route I needed him for. Everything seemed to indicate that I had found the ideal candidate. After discussing the work contract, I hired James.
As business operations began, every day I would pray for God to protect me and the venture from any harm or danger. In an attempt to create a comfortable work environment for my first employee, I told James he could take the motorcycle home. This would facilitate his transportation to work. Getting to our office required him to take two different buses and a cab. Allowing him to drive the bike home seemed like the right move.
Each day James showed an amazing proactive attitude. Customers would give him good tips (which were not required) for his good service. And as I began planning to hire new drivers, I was confident that I would promote James to a supervisor role.
One afternoon, I arrived home from work with my wife. As I got out of the car, I realized there was a nail in the right front tire. It was 4:30 pm—rush hour. I told my wife that we would wait until 8 pm, when traffic wasn’t as heavy, drive to a car shop close to the house and get the tire fixed.
As we headed back home after getting the nail out of the tire, my wife and I were enjoying a pleasant conversation, when all of a sudden a disturbing image forced me to pull over on the side of the road. Perplexed, my wife asked “What’s wrong?” I responded, “James is at the gas station to your right.”
Why all the drama? Because James was buying gasoline for the motorcycle (trying to cover up what he had used), driving it out of his work schedule without letting me know. Where does protection and answered prayer come in? As I previously prayed for protection, God chose to answer in an unconventional way. I had driven my car for four years and never had a nail, a spike or a flat tire. Never! Some will call it coincidence, but the truth is that God decided to put a nail in one of my car tires to reveal my employee’s dishonesty.
Was I disappointed with James? Of course! But greater than the disappointment, was the excitement of knowing that Jesus had my back as He worked in unconventional ways.
Most of the time the Lord chooses to answer our prayers through nontraditional events so that we can have the absolute certainty that it is His work.
As children of the great I AM, we have the assurance that when we call on His name, He will answer us, showing us great and mighty things (Jer. 33:3). Why should we expect that God—who is accustomed to performing powerful miracles to answer His people’s prayers—should conform to the limited and powerless options of our tiny minds?
That strange way He chose to provide your needs or answer your petition, is His way of eliminating any doubt in your mind that He did it. As you come before the Lord in prayer today, do it with the full assurance that there’s nothing too hard for Him (Jer. 32:27). Let go of options, let go of suggestions. Simply said—let go and let God!
—Johann De Dier is a writer and editor of a youth magazine for the Panama Union.