Welcome Man, it sure is easy to get frustrated and bogged down when we don’t see answers to our prayers as quick as we would like them. We can even get sad, depressed, or angry. I found myself struggling with this earlier in the month. I even addressed this in my prayer journal. One day, in my openness with God I said, “I feel the exact opposite of faith right now.”
Food For Thought If you have followed me any in the past eight months, you know that my prayer life is very important to me. I pray about everything. I often see quick responses to some of these prayers, like when I’m having car issues or if we need funds for a home repair. I am so thankful for these answers and how they build up my faith. Other times I see answers to my prayers in a few days, weeks, months, or it may take years. Meeting and marrying my husband was an answer to a prayer, but it was not a quick answer and there were a lot of answers of “No” along that journey, for which I am now very thankful. My personal experiences, study of scriptures, and devotional time have all helped me build up my level of faith. I’d like to say I have a LOT of faith in God and His power. I do, really, but my actions and behaviors often do not reflect that belief.
On a day-to-day basis I have a lot of things I pray for…our home, our health, our safety. When I say “our” I am referring to my husband, daughter, and myself-my immediate household. I also pray for protection over different aspects of our security and finances. I pray for friends and family in their times of illness or need. I pray for people who probably don’t even know I pray for them, and that’s certainly okay. Then I have my personal goals and dreams that I offer up in prayer. “Dear God, please help me achieve this.” “Dear God, please help me get to this place in my life.” “Dear God, can you please give me what I want?” This seems to be the place where I run into the most issues with my faith. I have faith and believe that God will protect us in all of those other areas, such as health, safety, and general provision, but when it comes down to my personal requests, my faith seems to get a little fuzzy. Sometimes I think it’s because I feel selfish praying for myself. I feel like I shouldn’t include my own wants and needs in the midst of prayers for friends that are battling issues much bigger than my requests. Then, I also think things like, “What makes me so special or great, that God should just give me whatever I ask for?” Well, nothing, of course. It’s about faith. It’s about the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. It’s about belief and commitment to scripture. It’s about knowing and trusting in His provision. But yet there are still “those” days. In the midst of my own little pity party, I felt like I had no faith, but it actually was faith that brought me to my journal that day.
If I was really at a moment opposite of faith, I would never have pulled out a prayer journal where I pour out my wants, needs, concerns, and praises to God. If I were really at a moment opposite of faith, I would not have laid out my requests before God, once again. If I were really at a moment opposite of faith, I would not use the words, “Thy Will be done.” If I were really at a moment opposite of faith, I would not have asked, and believed, for God to remove wants and wishes from my life that are not meant for me or not good for my future and my family. If I were really at a moment opposite of faith, I would not have received incredible peace following that prayer, which is still with me more than two weeks later.
No, it’s not the opposite of faith I was experiencing. I was, like so many other times in my life, experiencing impatience. I have experienced a wide variety of time frames on answered prayers, so I know that God’s timing is best. It’s just so easy to fall into the instant gratification mindset, that we often mistake delayed or slow answers as failed prayers or “no” answers. My word of the year is FAITH and I am spending a lot of time studying and contemplating on faith. One of the key lessons I have learned along the way is that I cannot grow my faith if I do not also work on my patience. For me, patience is the missing link on those days when I feel like the opposite of faith. I’m glad it’s something I can identify and work on, and I’m certainly glad that it’s not actually the opposite of faith.
Today’s Scripture My personal Bible study for February has been on faith. I’ve called it Faithful February. Today I read Romans chapter four. I’m going to share a couple verses I read this morning for the last day of my series. I love how the chapter reflects on the faith of Abraham, but then ends with how this faith credited to righteousness is also for each one of us.
Romans 4:5 “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Romans 4:18 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.”
Romans 4:23-24 “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”
Today’s Recipe While I was feeling the “opposite of faith” during my bad day, I was also feeling the opposite of Wellness Wednesday. Opposites are not always a good thing, but we’re going to reverse it today. Instead of a healthy recipe, I’m going to give you this “so bad, it’s good” recipe of Pulled Pork Tot-chos. If you like the idea of Tot-chos (using tater tots instead of nacho chips), be sure to take a look at my recipe for Buffalo Chicken Tot-chos! My family loved that dish, so when we had some leftover pulled pork from last weekend, I thought we’d mix it up a little with this different take on nachos using some of that delicious meat. Check out my recipe for a slow-cooker, tomato-free pulled pork recipe here. If the pulled pork is already prepared this is a quick and easy dinner. It also makes a great game day recipe!
Pulled Pork Tot-chos (8-12 servings)
- 1 32-oz pkg frozen tater tots or potato puffs
- 2 cups pulled pork (with or without sauce)
- 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz jar cheddar cheese sauce
- 1 8-oz pkg shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Toppings as desired-shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, Pico de Gallo, sliced olives, ranch dressing, sliced avocado, etc.
Prepare tater tots according to package directions. Heat up pulled pork, black beans, and cheese sauce in separate containers. When tots are ready, prepare the tot-chos by layering tater tots, pork, black beans, cheese sauce, shredded cheese, peppers, and onions. Everyone can embellish their tot-chos with the toppings of their choice!