When Chris had given up the will to live, being in a group home 2 hours from us, we knew we had to move closer to him so he could see us weekly instead of the once a month we were then able to do. If he saw us weekly we knew he would regain the will to live, and mom's home cooking would put back that 35 pounds he had lost when he lost the will to live.
Lesson 1 - Circumstances required us to act
The fear was he would die 2 hours away from us. Do we bring him home to die? They wanted to discharge him to a nursing home to die. How could we do anything in ministry and care for him, both full time jobs. Faith does not ignore facts, it realizes faith can change facts. But it still deals with facts. Abraham and Sarah knew in the natural how old they were, yet with a revelation from the Lord, they knew facts were about to change. We had to face facts; Chris had lost the will to live and was dying. We had to act and act now.
Lesson 2 - We had to think through the fear
We knew we had to do our part to think through the situation before going to the Father. For years I've made the practice of following the instructions of Philippians 4:6, first, Be careful for nothing, THEN make your requests to God with thanksgiving, THEN peace will come to you and guard your mind and heart. I often wrestle with thinking things through, dealing with fear, worry, emotions in my mind and only once settled, THEN do I make my requests in prayer. This may take a second or it may take 2 months before I pray.
But we had to work through the care, the fear, the worry - what to do? We were 50 years old, didn't want to rent as at our age we needed to build equity. We had some cash to put down on a house, but it was the summer of 2008 when the economy and stock market crashed, along with numerous banks, AIG, GM, Chrysler and Wall Street companies, and mortgages were impossible to get during that 1 month period we had to act. Each broker's reply of 'we aren't making any decisions right now' was crushing.
Lesson 3 - After doing our part, mentally going through options, THEN we prayed
OK Father, we said...we can't do a bank mortgage, that means the seller has to carry a note. The town where Chris' group home is, is rather poor and it would not be wise to buy a house there as once we had it, it would be near impossible to sell later. A house between Tulsa and his group home makes sense, but we don't want a condo or neighborhood tract house. It needs to be in the country, handicapped capable, owner carry, within 30 minute drive of Chris' group home.
Lesson 4 - Ask the Father for revelation of His will
With those natural decisions made and the fear dealt with, we were able to pray those exact things. Immediately in prayer I saw a map of northeast Oklahoma, with a map of Grand Lake, and an oval highlighted on the west shore, northwest part of the lake. Then it zeroed in on a spot in the oval, and I saw a white house surrounded by trees, a wheelchair ramp to the front door, a gentle sloping yard, and then it zeroed in more to inside, and I saw a corner room that was Barb's own room, and a handicapped equipped bathroom. Then it disappeared.
Lesson 4a - Continue to do what is right in the natural, facing the fear
I told Barb about it, and told her I was going to drive around the area a couple days to search out everything EXCEPT what the Father showed me. I drove all around Grand Lake of anything within 45 minutes of Chris, focusing on a radius of just 30 minutes away...I saw either very expensive homes for sale with realtors, or shacks for sale by owners, and those were few and far between. Everything was over $200,000 which was above our $500/month budget.
Lesson 5 - Act on the revelation - that action, faith, is your heart's response
On day 3 I told her having eliminated everything in the natural, which I needed to do for my own peace of mind to know I had done all in the natural I could, I purposely went to the area I'd been avoiding - the place the Father showed me in the vision. There I followed a line on the GPS to a small neighborhood of small homes and manufactured homes, and right at the dead end of the neighborhood road was the house I saw in the vision with a 'for sale by owner' sign in the front yard.
I immediately called, but had to leave a message. It turned out the owner had just put that sign in the yard before they left for an out of state trip for a week. When I didn't get an immediate call back the mind started swirling. Once we made contact, they rejected our offer. I told Barb I knew what I saw, I know the Father's voice, and I still had peace even though our offer, which was a price the Father told me to offer, was rejected.
Lesson 6 - Stay on the revelation, hover over it, keep it in your heart and go about your business.
Can you imagine the opportunity for fear? Once we learned with a sudden realization one day, that Chris had given up the will to live, I or we had been making twice a week visits to him to get him up, fed, and out, which helped on a temporary basis to give him hope. The group home's plans to discharge him were put on hold. But now that our offer was rejected while I was certain I had heard from the Father, what were we to do? I told Barb we will wait and let the Father deal with the situation, for it was His problem since He was the one who showed me the vision.
We were changing planes in Dallas when the call came - the sellers, Baptist Pastors, changed their minds, feeling impressed of the Lord to accept our offer though they had been offered tens of thousands more - but they wanted to be obedient and also wanted it to go to someone in ministry.
Lesson 7 - God shows the completed, mature answer/work
We've been here now 6 years, and only now is the house starting to resemble what I saw in the vision. It did have a wheelchair ramp to the front door already - the seller's mother was in a wheelchair so they built it for her use. But only now with the addition of Chris's handicapped equipped bedroom and bathroom, will Barb also get a corner room for her office - in knocking out the south wall by necessity it meant creating a space for another room adjacent to Chris'.
When the Lord appeared to the then Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus, the Lord told Paul (through Ananias*) he would share the Lord before kings - that didn't happen for decades because the Lord usually shows us what can be, the mature and completed work. That is why I saw our house fully equipped - I never thought of it until it became clear we had to make changes to his care, then Barb reminded me of the vision - and we are amazed. (*Acts 9:10-17)
According to your faith be it unto you
Barb and I could have resigned ourselves to Chris dying. When the group home administrator told me they needed to discharge him to a nursing home to die, we could have said 'yes'. We could have mourned the soon passing of our son, watching him waste away, and all the while asking the Lord 'Why?'. We would have done that because in the natural there were no solutions.
We could have said we could not rearrange our whole lives and the church body & leadership in Tulsa for our son, and let him go. But instead, we looked to the Father for a solution, and I stood there with the administrator begging for time, laying out to her how 1 or both of us would come up at least 2x a week to restore his hope, and if they didn't see a change in Chris within 2 weeks then we'd agree.
In I Kings 17:9 during a famine, the Lord tells Elijah to go to a certain woman in Zarephath; "I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you." Elijah knew heavenly provision had been commanded, but the widow chose fear, for when Elijah came to her she told him she was preparing her last meal and then they were going to die. She turned however, and gave up fear and hopelessness, choosing to believe Elijah, and as a result lived on continually multiplying flour and oil for the duration.
We cannot blame her for she was looking at the natural world; Famine, 1 meal left, and already near death. But once she laid aside fear and started thinking 'outside the box', towards the heavenly solution Elijah presented, she saw a miracle in spite of the circumstances that plagued the whole nation. Provision was there IF she refused fear, if she looked to heaven for a solution she had never considered.
My hope is that in reading my story and this series, is that you will see the many opportunities we have for heavenly provision in our lives and those we love or care for. Though it may mean great difficulty and change even to the lives of those you love - yet it is your provision. Fear presents 1 story and it can be according to that fear or those circumstances. But for those willing to reject fear - I mean truly reject it by taking time to deal with it until you get revelation from heaven, and NOT carry it through your prayers to the 'Amen' - there is supernatural provision and growth as a person, and as a person in Christ.
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org