It was like any kid conversation. A stuffed animal. Used to talk about feelings. But not a typical day. Not really sure why exactly.
I hadn’t felt God answering me. I hadn’t understood the good in many things. I was emotional.
The one place I felt effective many days was here, in one of my many counseling spaces; because I had been setting some boundaries, and after many years of taking it home, I was finally learning to leave it here. Not take it personal. Not take on too much. Too much that wasn’t mine.
“Oh, no the turtles hurt.” To which I asked what exactly the turtle did once he got hurt. “He asks Jesus to heal his wounds.”
I knew this was true. But I’m a skeptic in these situations now. I don’t trust where these questions come from some days. Where these conversations lead. I don’t trust that there could be an ulterior motive.
I don’t always like my doubting spirit.
“Yes. He may take a while to answer because he’s busy. But he always answers.” That’s what the child said to me. He always answers. He just takes a while. That was a solid answer. Because it was biblical.
He will bind up your wounds. He will answer when you call on him.
But see…I had been calling on him. For a REALLY long time. But I wasn’t so convinced he was listening.
And on that morning in particular, I was only focused on the things I couldn’t see. On the answers he hadn’t given me. On the prayers I just didn’t have the heart to pray anymore that morning, because I was so frustrated with the waiting.
Until I had someone say to me the very next day when I was discussing these prayers, and his silence, “Have you asked?” Of course I had. I had asked him every morning. Hadn’t I?
So on one particular morning, I asked him this: Lord, show me. Show me that all of this wasn’t for nothing. That all this praying and anything that I did for you will work out for your good. Just show me.
And I waited. And once again I heard nothing.
That morning we had a training at church. During our training we were placed into groups to share our thoughts on a number of questions. I can’t exactly recall one of the questions…the only thing I recall is the moment she pulled out the Bible. Her Bible. The moment she said, “I write little messages in it, so when I’m gone; they (her children) will have a piece of me, and will be able to know about Him, and what this means. It’s my legacy to them.”
I heard that, and then I heard this: “I told you, my word once sent out, will not return void.” It was a promise God had given to Isaiah that His Word would accomplish what He wanted it to-changed hearts, restored souls, for good, to bring light into the darkness. And isn’t that what I had been praying for all along?
And I lost it. I ran and hid in the bathroom and had a good cry.
Well, God hadn’t been silent. I was expecting my answer when I wanted it; and He…well, He answered during His time.
See, for quite some time I had written messages in a Bible also. I had given that Bible with all its messages in the hopes that His word would be understood, clung to, and touch hearts. I just couldn’t see the fruit, and it was bugging me.
Her Bible. His still small voice. It was a reminder, that the promise that God had been repeating to me from Romans 8:28, would be seen…even if I was not completely convinced it was true in this case. The promise that all things would “work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
So back to 7 year old faith.
He is working things out for good. He is healing. His spirit is working. He does hear us, and he is working on it; it’s just not in our time, it’s in His time. What we want right now, God knows…we may just have to wait.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t attach sticky notes, and messages to Bibles and continue our legacy. Sending out His word to fill the void.
In it…he’s still at work. If we believe like a child believes, and keep asking. Keep praying. Keep sending.