There is a conversation in the movie Evan Almighty where "God" is talking to the mom about answered prayer.
"Do you think that when you pray for patience, God zaps you with patience or does He provide opportunities for you to learn to be patient?" "When you pray for your family to be closer together, does He zap you with warm fuzzies, or does He provide opportunities for you to grow as a family?"
For many years now, I have been praying that God would bring my children, their spouses, and my grandkids closer to each other and closer to Him.
Not long after I began praying this way, my middle daughter and her husband went through a very trying time. A lot of pain, a lot of anger and a lot of doubt that their marriage would survive. They have not only survived, but are closer to each other - and God - than ever before! They're now expecting their 3rd child. I'm a happy Nana!
About 2 years ago, my oldest daughter and her husband lost their jobs. Thankfully, they had a good savings built up that helped them through for a while. Then things got tough. They have had no choice but to rely fully on God. Son-in-law is now back in school with a great job lined up. They have come through a very difficult time, humbled and closer than ever, knowing that their God is in control and loves them!
Last May, my youngest daughter left home under very harsh circumstances. Stood flat footed in the middle of the living room, told her dad, brothers & I that she didn't want to follow the rules any longer and was leaving. She took her backpack and headed down the road. Rocked my world! It has been an extremely strained 9 months. She called her dad this week. First time since she left. She didn't actually repent (which requires change) but she did say she hadn't been living right and she realizes she hurt a lot of people. The door has been opened!
As much as I love as my children, it's amazing to realize that my God loves them more! His gifts are lasting and permanent. As hard as it's been to watch my girls go through tough times, it's comforting to know that His plan is not to harm but to prosper..to give them a hope and a future!
God answers prayer!!
Now - I've been praying for quite a while that the boys would "grow in wisdom and in stature and find favor with God and man....