Posted by: karanoel | October 19, 2010

A wacky kind of thankfulness

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phillipians 4:6

This year, my family and I have been learning a new (well, new to us), ridiculously effective approach to prayer. Instead of harassing the heavens with the same request day after day, we have been asking God to meet whatever need it is, thanking him that he is going to meet it, and leaving it there in his hands (as opposed to talking to him about it and then walking away with it tucked neatly under our arm). We then go about enjoying his company. When tempted to beg for that same thing as though he didn’t hear us the first – or tenth – time, we go back to thanking him.

There does seem to be a need for persistence, but it’s got to be persistence of the right sort. The sort that decides we are going to rejoice in the Lord always (have you ever noticed how many freaking times the bible tells us this?). I don’t really get everything that goes on in the spiritual realm when we do this, but it feels like, through faith, a pathway to heaven is cleared and God is freed up to do the work he does so well.  Not only do things get accomplished, but we get to rest all the way. To illustrate, I would love to share a few delectable examples from our household during the span of one week this summer. They may be a bit strange, but are most certainly true.

My mom’s watch went missing. She is not attached to many material things and would be fine without her watch, but she really loved it and didn’t want to have to buy another one. There had been cleaners in our house the day it disappeared, but she refused to point the finger. Instead, she presented her request to the Lord and then thanked him that he would show her where it was. Every time she was tempted to ask again or strive to find it, she came back to thankfulness. In a dream a night or two later, she saw her watch tucked in the cushion of the armchair in our living room. She woke up the next morning and went straight to the armchair she saw in her dream, expecting to reach down and feel the silver links but, alas, it wasn’t there. Instead of griping or doubting, she went back to thanking God. A short while later, it struck her that we have an identical armchair sitting across the coffee table from the one she checked. When she reached behind the overstuffed cushion of that chair, lo and behold, there was her watch tucked away just as she saw in her dream.

I was doing some online grading for a high school. Though I was familiar with the program, I couldn’t remember where to find my team of students so I could grade the right assignments. I felt thwarted, annoyed, and frustrated. And perhaps a bit dull for not remembering. I was driving myself mad recklessly checking every nook and cranny of the seemingly relevant tabs. As a very last resort, I decided to ask God to help me. I sent up an unemotional thanks that he would work it out, and took a nap. As I was waking up from a luscious sleep, I saw in my mind a picture of my computer screen and my eyes were drawn to the second tab from the left which said “Rosters.” I thought, “Of course – rosters!!” So I flung off the blankets, grabbed my computer, and opened the program. To my dismay, the second tab from the left was called “Communicate.” Having nothing to lose, I clicked on the tab. Right there, before my very eyes, was a link to Rosters, which turned out to be very thing I needed. Now it would be easy to say that it was in my mind all the time, and maybe it was. But what I know is that I was wearing myself out trying to get there. Instead I was able to rest, quite literally, and let my daddy provide.

Last story. My (human) dad was going to order something one night over the phone, and realized his wallet was missing. He prayed and had and immediate impression that it was in the trash. It was late and my mom, who rises before dawn, thought it could wait until the morning when she could help look. But Dad felt an urgency. Unfortunately all the wastebaskets had been emptied into the big ones outside and rolled to the curb for an early morning pickup. Bless dad’s grimy hands for going through those trashcans out on the curb in the very dark night – vertigo, jacked up spine, and all. He found his wallet, exactly where he knew he would, and was kept from a whole lot of unenviable work and needless trouble.

So the moral of the stories seems to be that when we put things in God’s hands, we can rest knowing he will lead us in just the right way at just the right time. The end.


Responses

  1. I love how faithfully you listen to God’s providence. It is a good lesson to let go and let God. I needed to hear it!!

    • I really don’t listen so faithfully, but I’m blown away by the way that He provides every time I do. More stories even today – seemingly little things but He is using them to bring me into a place of deeper trust and gratitude, which I imagine will impact my outlook on the bigger things. Go God! 🙂


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