I remember the day my husband called me and asked if God could use children to answer prayers. I was struck by confusion and curiosity and asked him to explain the situation. He told me that he had been praying and that while he insisted that God did not need to answer him, he was concerned with the issues that were on his mind. Okay, that seemed like a normal prayer. I would not have added the “you do not need to respond” part of the prayer as I have come to expect answers to my questions, but my husband will admit he is new to this whole “prayer thing”. My husband continued to explain that after he had settled into his location to wait for help, a child came up to him. She had been playing on the opposite side of the room around a small corner, but that she seemed determined despite her mother’s insistence to return. The little girl looked and my husband and simply said, “Everything is going to be all right.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes, God can use children to answer prayer.”
“Do you think that is what happened?” My husband was stunned and shocked by the exchange.
“Probably.” I answered.
That was a year or two ago. More recently, my husband asked if he was tuned into the right channel. He was concerned that although he was praying and asking for guidance, he did not feel like he was getting any answers. I should add that I feel like God talks to me often, sometimes in order to make requests that I really do not want to fulfill. I do, much to my annoyance, but for my husband it feels as if he is not tuned into the right frequency.
What does this have to do with Lent? Well, in Jeremiah 7:23 it says, “but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”
In order to obey God, you must know and accept what he wants for you. My husband feels partially lost because he does not hear God’s commands to him. How was I supposed to explain that learning the difference between God’s voice and my own will took time? How was I supposed to explain that I had spent periods of my life dedicated to reading and studying the bible? And I accept that I will never feel qualified to explain biblical concepts. How do I explain that even now I experience long silences, usually because I am up to something I should not be doing? I paused for a long time and decided to say exactly what I was thinking.
“How can I improve on those things?” He asked.
Sarcastically, I answered, “You just did.”
I explained that the first step toward a relationship to God was to want to have the relationship.
God calls us to be his people. He has made a way for that to be possible. The crucifixion of Christ tore open a veil that had been closed to the majority of the world. It is now our job to seek God and be willing to answer the calls and demands he asks of us through our shared frequency.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.