‘Ever wonder if God is really there? You pray and there’s silence.
Sometimes, it seems a prayer goes unanswered. Other times, the answer isn’t what was expected.
Am I the only one who asks God for help and proceeds to tell the Creator of the universe exactly how to answer?
Recently, God provided precisely what I requested.
A winter storm hit our area. Meteorologists predicted sizable snow accumulations and blustery winds. Those forecasts didn’t deter Chris from his plans. Before the first snowflake, our son headed out to a bowling alley seven miles away. His intention: to walk home.
Chris proceeded to leave, carrying a huge backpack.
Howie offered, “I’ll drive you home.”
“No, I wanna walk home.”
Howie didn’t repeat the offer. No point disputing Chris’s decision. Arguing with someone who has mental illness (MI) isn’t a good idea…reasoning with him isn’t usually possible.
Although rejecting the assistance made no sense, Chris’s mind was set.
At nightfall, the storm arrived with a vengeance. Gusts of wind created white-out conditions.
I couldn’t get the image of Chris out of my mind. I pictured him trudging alone, in the dark, on the side of a snow-covered road. Thoughts of cars creeping by on slick surfaces tormented me.
Will drivers see him in the dark? What if a car spins out of control right next to him?
I calculated how long it would take to walk seven miles in good weather. Two hours, at least. But, battling defensive linebacker- strength winds could make it much longer. The journey could take close to four hours.
“Howie, please pray for someone to offer Chris a ride home.” With bowed heads, we lifted up our hearts.
The night wore on. I couldn’t sleep. What mother can sleep not knowing what’s happening to her vulnerable child who has MI? Midnight came. Still no Chris. 1:00… 2:00…
Will I hear the front door open or the phone ring?
Finally, at 2:45 AM the door opened, telling me Chris returned home safely.
The next day, Chris told Howie someone at the bowling alley offered him a ride. He turned it down.
Where was God when Chris rejected the second offer?
He was providing His answer to our specific prayer: for someone to offer Chris a ride.
Surely, God knew we meant that we wanted our son to be spared the ice-cold trek home.
But, God demonstrated His ever-present care for our son. He moved in the heart of the person at the bowling alley. He honored Chris’s free will. And protected Chris as he trudged home in a storm.
It’s hard to understand why anyone would reject help and willingly choose to venture out into a storm. Yet, isn’t that what we do? We ignore God’s presence in our troubles. God says, “I’m here for you.” We respond, “No thanks…I’ve got it. Never mind…I know the way. I can handle this myself. “
We head into the storm, rejecting God’s assistance. Our Father knows how my husband felt when Chris declined his offer. He knows what it’s like to watch us as we struggle needlessly on our own.
God promised Moses and Joshua He’d be with them. With that promise, Joshua was able to assure his people.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).”
When you face a river of uncertainty, can you hear the words God spoke to Joshua? The Lord your God goes with you. Do you hear Him beckoning you to walk with Him?
Will you stagger alone, or stroll with your Lord?
Listen to Him call you as you watch Alan Jackson perform the song ‘In The Garden.’