When I was 5, I got caught sneaking into my lovable neighbor’s home in order to get a fistful of candy from the dish I knew she kept on her coffee table. Hmmm…maybe she was the first person to pray for me.
Or maybe it was the lady across the street who I—at the ripe old age of 6—declared to her face that she was STUPID. Or maybe it was the mother of the little boy I heartlessly bullied in 4th grade. Thankfully, my heart of stone was eventually removed and replaced with a heart of flesh at age 15.
Perhaps my heartless self and the misdeeds of my youth were all part of God’s plan to elicit prayer from the faithful on my behalf. Prayer that proved effectual—even if it was done imperfectly or apart from complete trust that it would be answered.
And perhaps, all the events of this past year (and many more past and future difficulties) are God’s call to his kids to continue in obedient prayer; a call to demonstrate faith anytime we cannot see what God is doing, and especially when we don’t like what is happening.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55: 8-11
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Never in the wildest dreams of those waiting for the Messiah did anyone conceive the plan that God had in store. They were graciously and poetically warned in Isaiah 55 how very differently God’s thoughts and ways were from their own. Even so, many missed recognizing God’s biggest plan of all—when His Word did accomplish what He desired and did achieve the purpose for which he had sent it.
Never in our wildest dreams can we fully understand what God is up to in the year 2020 or beyond. We must acknowledge our own frailty, humanity, and inability to see what purposes God is working out—and exercise faith—like those saints who have gone before us throughout history.
And read Job. After living an exemplary life of faith, he was severely tested. If anyone had reason to “curse God and die” it was Job. Instead, after prolonged suffering, questioning and hearing from God—who doesn’t exactly answer his “why me?”—Job finally proclaims:
I know, Lord, that you are all-powerful; that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know. You told me to listen while you spoke and to try to answer your questions. In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:1-6 (GNT)
God is good. The cross of Christ proved that. God is all-powerful. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to sit at the right hand of The Father proved that. God can and will use anything—even bad things—to accomplish His good purposes. And one day He will return. May He find us faithful.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
by Kathy Burleson, MomsHooPray”Matriarch”
Three final thoughts in 2020:
1. Become this website’s 125th follower and be added to our rogue’s gallery of winners receiving fun UVA themed stuff! (open only to “official MomsHooPray roster participants.”) If you’re not sure, “follow” first, then go to this link, and fill out the form.
2. Watch for December and January emails sent to all registered MomsHoo’ asking for your voluntary, confidentially kept prayer requests to be compiled, and emailed only to those who also participate.