“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
After writing my last entry about “bucket lists” I remembered a list I wrote close to 28 years ago. It was early spring when I wrote it; we were preparing to return to the States after living in England for three years. Those years had been wonderful for our family. We lived a fairly sheltered life in the center of a village where our daughters attended the local schools. It was my husbands only non-flying job in his Air Force career so he was actually home on a regular basis. This afforded us time to plan trips both with and without our children. We were grateful when we finally found a church to grow in that was actually an American “mission church” that ministered to a half-British and half-American military congregation. There was a part of me that didn’t want to leave; part of me that was actually afraid of leaving the sheltered life that had become so dear to us. Knowing our move was inevitable, one morning I wrote what I called my “would like” list as a prayer that reflected the things that I thought we would need. Some of the things on the list included:
- An older chest-type freezer like my grandparents had (because they seemed to freeze better.)
- A large capacity washer and dryer with a bleach dispenser.
- A house over 2000 square feet. (A place large enough to store the dishes I had collected somewhere other than under our bed!)
- A burglar alarm installed in the house. (We were hearing about all sorts of things going on while we were away. My husband was going to be flying again so I figured an alarm would help me sleep.)
- A bedroom for each of our children.
- A pet. (We had never had a dog or cat. I felt convicted that our children were old enough to take on that responsibility.)
There were more items on the list but I don’t remember what they were. I found that writing those things down to the Lord helped me to sort out my fears and perceived needs. When I finished, I read the list one more time, folded it up and promptly forgot about it.
That summer we moved back to the States with three children, no car and a house to find. We ended up living in a two-bedroom trailer for several months that didn’t have air conditioning. It didn’t seem to matter though because we were out most days with a realtor looking at houses. We found a home to buy and (of all things) found out the owners couldn’t take their tabby cat named Peter with them. If we didn’t take him, Peter would have to be put down. Up to that time, Peter was a very pampered cat which would be changed radically as our family invaded his space. I had forgotten about my “would like” list, but considering the alternative we couldn’t say no!
Like most moves, it took a while to settle in and get the last boxes emptied. Late that fall I found the list I’d written in England. As I read it I was totally amazed . . . every single thing I had logged on my “would like’ prayer list came with the house right down the “large capacity washing machine with a bleach dispenser”! It was a humbling moment for me. What I had prayed many months before and had forgotten, God was faithful to provide. Peter adapted and was loved by our family and lived to a ripe old age.
I write this to encourage you, no matter how big or small the challenge . . . PRAY! Over the years I faced far greater personal challenges as well as helped others with their problems. I have learned that PRAYER is the most important thing we can do because it delights God’s heart when we trust Him. I can’t guarantee that God will give you everything you may put on your prayer or “would like” list; but I can assure you that He hears your prayers and is worthy of your trust. The bottom line in all of this is? GIVE THANKS AS YOU PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7