My good friend Melanie, after working at an International School in Thailand for a number of years, is now working with young adults in Southern California. She recently wrote the following e-mail and readily gave her consent for me to share this ripe banana story with you here (Thanks Mel!).
Dear Friends and Family,
I have been asking you to pray with me over several things in the past few weeks, and I would love to share some of the answers and ways God is moving because of your prayers.
I have been praying for a place to live since May. In my prayers, I actually even wrote out a list of things I was asking the Lord for, but I also was asking Him to show me what He wanted to give me… The last thing on my list I asked the Lord for was a sign of His leading me to a specific location. Because the options are endless, I felt overwhelmed with the idea of trying to know and see His leading, so I asked that He would give me somewhere in the home a literal sign of Peace and Joy because that was the type of home I was asking Him for, a place of Peace and Joy. In my prayers I was asking the Lord to show me what things on my list were my ideas and what things might be His ideas. I was also wrestling with the Lord in regards to the standard of living He wanted me to be living in so as though to have a sensitivity to those I am ministering to. In my natural flesh there are many things I want that are not necessarily what He wants for me so by asking for the impossible (my literal sign of Joy and Peace) I was giving Him permission to show me what things on my list were my ideas instead of His by using this as a definite confirmation.
Last weekend the church secretary called me and let me know a neighbor had a back house (apartment size) that had just opened up for rent. The cost would only be $500 for rent and utilities (for anyone who is unfamiliar with the cost of living in this part of California, $500/month is an amazing price). As I went to go see the house last Saturday, I walked up the back steps to the little yard area and there in front of the house stood two signs: PEACE and JOY. Before even seeing what the house would be on the inside, I felt as though I knew the Lord was telling me this is where I am to live next. If it weren’t for the signs, I think I might have hesitated to see what the Lord wanted in this location because the house is small and it does not have an extra room for me to host any girls. However the Lord knows my need to come back and recharge after being with people as well. He also confirmed everything else on the list except the additional space for guests by an extra room, so I can receive that as my Father helping put some boundaries up for me in my needs to rest…