Listen to this devotional:
Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)
We bought our first home eight years ago, and being in a new area, it has taken time to get the gardens in place. One of the last gardens to be done was the one that had been dug when we moved in. I finally decided that I wanted to try my hand at roses. I marked the garden out, and it was decided that I had room for four bushes in the chosen area. I picked one red, one pink, one yellow, and one orange, and after planting, I awaited their growth. Three of them began to grow quite quickly; one showed no signs of life at all. I waited and watched. One by one, the others began to show leaves and grow taller. My dad, who was a gardener by trade, came over to have a look, and he said that I would probably have to replace the one.
I told my husband — who then went and prayed for this plant. Within a few days, it began to show signs of life. As buds began to appear on the others, the one was still struggling. Finally, leaves began to appear. As the roses bloomed, it soon became apparent that the lagging bush was the red one. All summer, we enjoyed a tremendous showing of roses, three of the bushes growing to about three feet. Yet, the one hugging the ground produced many red flowers, but it was small in comparison to the others.
In late August, my dad passed away, and for a few hectic days, I had not noticed the roses. When I did, I noticed that the red one was not flowering. I prayed that I would have a rose to take to my dad's memorial service four days later. At the time, I did not pray for a particular colour. When the morning of the day of the memorial service came, the only rose bush of the four that was flowering was the red one.
God does hear and answer our prayers. Though my prayer at first may have been for more time with my dad, that was not in God's plan. God did hear my prayer for the rose, and gave me the greatest gift for that day for me. I have also been able to testify of God's goodness and greatness in our lives to many of our unsaved family members.
2 Corinthians 1:2-4 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for answers to prayer, and we trust in You that the answers we receive are according to Your plans and purposes. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.