"The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer." (Psalm 127:1 NIV)
This has been one of the coldest winters on record for North Texas, and we are due for MORE cold and snow this week. With a cold front blasting its way in our direction, yesterday wasn't the best time for my son to announce he had lost his winter coat. It wasn't in our coat closet (where he said he hung it by the way.) We didn't find it at his taekwando school. And it wasn't at the lost and found at his middle school. The coat had simply vanished. Searching everywhere with no success, I feared Jack's coat was gone for good. Rationally, I figured it had either been innocently misplaced by my son or permanently "borrowed" by someone else. Either way, the coat was gone and we would likely never see it again. My son, however, took another approach, choosing faith rather than fear. "Don't worry Mom," Jack said calmly, "God knows where it is. It will turn up."
I considered the wisdom of his words with care, and decided to take my son's lead. Dropping him at his taekwando class, I drove home and prayed, "God. Please direct us to Jack's coat. He will be so cold without it. Help us to find it. There's a storm coming. I don't want him to be without his coat in this cold." Sure enough, Marty, who was driving home from work, felt led to go to our church and look for Jack's missing coat at the youth area, where Jack spends a great deal of time. Dark and empty, it was unlikely the coat would there. Still, Marty walked through the unlit shadows of the youth worship area and was led straight to Jack's coat. Barely visible, it was hiding behind a speaker on the stage, ripped and in need of minor repair. But, what had been lost, now was found.
I used to mistakenly believe that God was not interested in the mundane details of my life. Underestimating the love of my Heavenly Father, I failed to take my challenges and concerns to Him. Instead, I chose to worry and fret, working feverishly to solve my own problems. Somehow, I had misplaced my trust in my Heavenly Father, as I relied instead on my own strength. Wandering in the darkness of anxiety, I felt lost and alone. Fortunately, God is patient with His children, and He refuses to leave us alone in our misconceptions regarding his generosity. As I learned to pray specifically in all things, I found God was always there to listen and advise. With eyes of faith, I am now able to see the bounty from every prayer I give to God.
For the truth is, there are no petitions too small or too big for God. In His goodness, God hears every prayer and answers every one offered in faith. Sometimes He is able to say, "Yes" and we rejoice. Still, other times, He compassionately says "no" in order to give us something better. Never is a petition or a request ignored or left unanswered. God is never too busy to listen to His children and He delights in our prayers, as it is through prayer that we demostrate our dependence on Him alone. As believers, we are called to obediently pray and faithfully believe that God will indeed answer our cries when we call. Whatever is lost can surely be found when we fix our eyes on Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are amazed how You love us and listen to our prayers. So often you surprise us with your compassion and love demonstrated towards us with answered prayer. Let us never forget to take our concerns to your loving ears. Help us to watch for your movement as you seek to show us your mercy. Give us faith to see your wisdom when your answer is not what we hope for or expect. Thank you for hearing us from heaven.
Reflection: What do you need God to help you find?