I recently had the experience of being on the receiving end of an answered prayer I hadn’t even had a chance to request.
Maybe it was just dumb luck, some might suggest. Maybe things just worked out, well, just because.
Maybe; it all depends on whether you’re viewing life through the lens of faith.
A couple weeks ago I received an email from one of the religious sisters who heads up the Studium program at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. The program offers a place of solitude for scholars working on projects. I attended Studium the previous two summers but didn’t apply this year due to doubts I would have a project worthy of the program this time around. But I had promised a friend who would be participating that I would go there for a few days during her visit to see her.
Enter the email, which went something like this: “Something has come up and we have an opening at Studium for you, if you’d like to stay a few extra days and work.”
By that time, a project had come into view that had not existed earlier in the year when applications were being accepted. It involved a looming deadline, and others counting on me to meet it. It wasn’t something I could approach at my leisure. Despite my best intentions, I had not yet found the mental space or energy in my busy summer to tackle it. Sustained concentration would be required and the opening hadn’t come. A quiet panic was beginning to settle in.
Within hours after receiving the note, a plan began to unfold. Childcare with the in-laws was arranged, a few other details were reworked, and within a week, I was off to Studium.
It was on the drive there, while stuck in traffic, that I realized I was in the middle of an unspoken but answered prayer. Thank you. Thank you! I whispered to the God I knew was near, already feeling the tremendous lifting of a burden I’d been dragging around for the past month or more.
I can’t help but think about the marks of a good marriage here. When spouses are at their best, when their own needs are getting met, they’re more inclined to anticipate the needs of one another and take action to enhance their spouse’s lives. It’s a sign of true, unconditional love.
In this case, God anticipated my needs then followed through with some Divine work to set things in motion, just like my friend’s husband who gets up early and starts the coffee for her.
It doesn’t always happen this way. In fact, I don’t ever remember such a strong feeling of certainty that God not only knew my heart better than I but anticipated my needs. He probably does this all the time, but I’m not always aware. This time I was fully aware, and flooded with gratitude.
Q4U: When has God anticipated your needs?