Isn’t she beautiful? Look at this face! You can not help but smile when you look into those warm brown eyes.
When I saw this canvas print today, I had to bring her home. Once I tell you the story, you’ll understand. Earlier this month I read Psalms 50:10 “God owns a cattle on a thousand hills.”
I began to ponder that verse, meanwhile, I was reading the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The author explained how his church plant was in need of finances and so he prayed “Lord, sell some cattle for us.” I thought that was an interesting way of praying. So I tried it.
Earlier this year, I began to sense God was wanting me to give up coffee during Lent. (Lent is season prior to Easter. Often Christians will fast or give up something of significance to help to redirect the focus on Christ. My prayer was that I would crave God more than I crave coffee. And boy-o-boy do I crave some coffee! For more details see the post titled “Third Day.”)
Since January we had been slammed with one substantial expense after another. So I tried the cattle approach. I began praying “Lord, your word says in Psalms 50:10 that you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some cattle for us. Lord, I thank you in advance for what you are about to do. I love you too, all the more. Amen.”
I believe God loves bold prayers. I believe that according to Matthew 17:21, some situations are only resolved through prayer and fasting. I also believe God loves it when we quote His own words back to him in prayer (so he knows we were paying attention while reading). I also believe God has a deep desire to answer bold prayers. I wonder if God gets bored with the routine prayers of “God bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and keep us safe….” I’m not saying those prayers are important, but I just wonder if God elbows Christ and the Holy Spirit and the angels and says to them, “Wait! Did you hear that prayer? Now that is a bold and crazy prayer. Come on’ let’s show her what I’ve got!”
God has been selling cattle for us! Not just once, but on five different occasions so far this month! The finances have arrived by a variety of ways and each time I stop and say “Thank you Lord for selling your cattle for us!”
Not only has God answered my short-term prayer of meeting specific financial needs, but He also answered a prayer that I’ve been circling for years regarding my husband’s job. I believe all of this is a direct result of fasting and praying big bold prayers!
Today while parked in the carpool line at school I was reading Circle Maker and daydreaming about naming this massive cow print. The name Ebenezer leaped off page 186 and into my heart. In Hebrew Ebenezer means “stone of help.” “Thus far the Lord has helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12. I knew right then and there that this cow print would be called Ebenezer. Since I have a tendency to shorten people’s names I will call her Ebbie for short.
In 2013 God reminded me that He is Jehoviah Jireh, “The Lord Who Provides.” In 2014, the cow print will be my Ebenezer…my Ebbie. This painting will be my visual reminder that I while I was fasting from coffee I prayed for God to sell some cattle and He did! Just as Samuel prayed, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” I know He will continue to help us!
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12