This morning, as I was trying to study and prepare my lesson, I could hear my daughter upset and talking with her mommy in the other room. Some times when I try to study and prepare, I can struggle to not be deafened by the roar of distractions around me. Sometimes it is hard to block out the rest of the world around me in order to draw close to the Lord in my devotional, study, and prayer.
But this morning, I was taught a valuable lesson. When I began to pray and consider how to handle the situation, instead of asking Mia to “be quiet” or for them to “try to get along” – I asked Mia to come into the closed room where I focus on my morning time with the Lord. I hugged her and asked her gently and lovingly what had her upset, to find out that it was a tiny bow missing for one of her toys. She couldn’t find it.
I asked her if this was something that was stealing her joy and her happiness this morning, and she tearfully confirmed my suspicions. I asked her if she thought that God might have something better for her, and we hugged and spent a moment together. Then I got up and helped search for this thing that was so tiny that it was practically impossible that we would ever find.
I walked through asking her where she had played, and we began stepping backwards through where she had been. As we were both there on our hands and knees together, searching, we had a moment outside our normal morning routine. And daddy found it. And she was more excited about learning HOW I searched and found it than the actual toy itself.
I got to teach her how to search and find things. And I explained that I prayed to God for wisdom and guidance as we started searching. And we said a prayer of thanks afterwards for God giving us that time together this morning, for teaching us something new, and for delivering us from a situation that could have robbed us of our joy and happiness. Instead of finding a toy, it was about a moment in time together – a rare and unexpected blessing on the morning of Feb 3, 2016.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:8 ESV
God knows what we need even before we ask Him. So our prayers aren’t about us letting God know what we need – they are about God revealing to us what we need.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
James 4:3 ESV
The next verse explains that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” – giving us more evidence to remind us that He has something better than treasures of this world for us. He wants us to seek and receive eternal blessings, the fruit of His Holy Spirit so that we can then pour out His love into the lives of those around us.
You see, I didn’t pray, “God, please give us this toy so my child will stop crying and I can get back to my studying.” That prayer would have been focused on the things of the world and on myself – and not long ago, that was how I looked at prayer. But He has something better for us than just things and stuff – He offers us moments where we can teach patience, self-control, kindness, and love to ourselves and to others in how we help each other in our actions, not just our words.
I remember those times when I’ve said things like, “You just need to be patient and you’ll find it” – even as I’m impatiently hoping that the world around me will just quiet down long enough so that I can “hear from God”. And I’m humbled by the events of this morning. My soul is blessed by the lesson of this morning – not what I “taught Mia” – but by what the Lord taught me.
You see, God knew what I needed even before I prayers prayed -,and it, want about finding the toy, it was about finding Him, it was about letting His work be done this morning. It started out with me wondering how I might be able to instruct and correct my daughter’s behavior – and it ended up with me in wonderment about how my heavenly Father used it to correct and instruct me.
He knows what you need this morning, even if you don’t.
He has opportunities ahead of us today to love and serve others, and for us to learn and grow in the process.
I wonder how many times I don’t have his eyes to see the needs around me, even as I am asking to grow closer to Him. I am humbled by how many times I have let Jesus Christ become a mental exercise instead of the heart exercise that He is meant to be.
All those people goin’ somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see