There was an article making rounds yesterday about a “Mysterious Priest At An Accident Site.” Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.
Done? What’s your thoughts?
Was it just a coincidence, twist of fate or was it the answer to someone’s prayer? Did God decide to just show up because someone prayed that it would happen? Can we conjure God?
I’m sure you’ve heard it somewhere before. “Let’s all pray that God will show up and bless this place, food, person, situation, heart, etc.” We all join hands, close our eyes and whisper a fervent prayer that God will come to us. Maybe you even did it in the privacy of your home, sitting in your car, hiding in the closet or while looking for the match to 15 different socks while standing in the laundry room.
First, I believe that God will do something exactly when He intended to in accordance with His will and purpose for your life.
Second, God doesn’t show up in response to our prayers. He’s already there. He’s in the car accident. He’s in the waiting room. He’s in your car and probably shaking His head at that jerk that cut you off too. He’s beside you as you kiss your child’s feverish head. He’s looking at your jam-packed calendar with you as you feel overwhelmed. He’s beside you in the football game (although I can assure you He doesn’t have a favorite team) He’s beside you when you are crying alone. He’s there when you are afraid to speak up.
Do you see where I am going with that?
That girl in the wreck didn’t conjure God to show up because her prayer was more important than yours; He was already there for her, just as He is for you.
The purpose of our prayers is not to force a miracle, but to comfort us in times of need by drawing closer to the One who desires you. It’s an avenue for us to share what’s hurting, what needs healing, what needs some help and where we need some hope with the only One who can possibly understand our journey. It is not a 911 phone call, but rather a 1-800-talk-to-me call.
The unanswered prayer or feeling of being alone is not because He didn’t feel like showing up or maybe our prayer wasn’t worded correctly or maybe we just weren’t worthy of a miracle. The unanswered prayer is simply a reflection of a plan designed before our birth that we won’t understand this side of Heaven.
Lost a job, lost a child, lost a spouse, lost your health, lost your hope….these things aren’t a time that He abandoned you. These are the times that He reaches down and says “I know you don’t understand. I know you don’t ‘get it.’ I know it hurts. I know you are losing hope. Give it all to me and I’m going to carry you through it. All these things are not to hurt you or destroy you, I love you way too much for that and this is breaking my heart that you are hurting, but I’ve got a plan to use all this hurt inside you for something amazingly good. You may never see it in your lifetime, but it will be there and it will all make sense.”
I love that this story was made public and not swept under the New’s desks because the possibility of a miracle was mentioned. I love that it makes us (all walks of beliefs) consider the option of an angel or God showing off.
I shared a story on FaceBook the other day about my own little answered prayer this week. My husband and I had just pulled into the WalMart parking lot with our 57,000 kids. The youngest had an accident and for some reason, I was without baby wipes. I searched frantically through the back of the SUV for a baby wipe, so I could change her before we went in. I asked the kids if there were any up in their seats. Nothing.
Right when I was about to give up and just run in to buy some, a woman in her late 70s walked across the parking lot aisle to offer me a ziplock bag full of wipes. She had no children with her and I don’t know how she heard me, but there she was in front of me with a smile.
I’m confident at that moment, somewhere in our own city there was someone praying for healing, hope or something much bigger than diaper wipes. I’ve prayed much bigger prayers than diapers wipes and there was no miracle at that time.
So why was that need met?
I have no idea. No brilliant flash of divine understanding.
The only thing I know for sure is that God was already there and for some reason the wipes were part of a much bigger plan. I’m also assured that I don’t really need to understand. Besides, how could I possibly comprehend His plan that stretches across eternity and I only get a possible 100 years on this Earth?
So in your moment of desperate prayers, whether that be for diaper wipes or for a priest to pray with you in the middle of a tragic accident, know that He is already there and working His plan. You aren’t conjuring a miracle, you are playing your part. God isn’t absent and waiting for you to invite him in. He is already there and just waiting for you to lean on Him, rather than your own understanding.
Categories: August 2013 Diary Entry