Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When It Seems Like Your Prayers Aren't Being Answered

On a Saturday, he rented a U-Haul and called in a favor with my cousin.  I took the kids down the street to the library to get them out of the way, but they weren't done by the time we got back.  Moving a piano is hard work, and once they got to the house, they realized they needed more help.  By the time I showed up with a  half dozen kids, my brother had joined them, and together those three moved a nearly 200 year old piano into my little house.  

And I started thinking about answered prayers.

My prayer life was nothing much before I had little ones.  Entreaties to help me become a better person every once in awhile, or requests for my parents to understand me. Those were the concerns of my life pre-kids.

Enter a few little rascals, and before you know it, prayers erupted from me at every turn.  If anyone needs an example of how to pray without ceasing, one ought just look into the life of a Mother.  Praying over meals, over feverish foreheads, over bruised shins and over stubbed toes.  Prayers while touching doorposts, putting the day away.  Prayers for husbands, working hard each day.  Prayers for strength, patience, kindness, help.  Prayers to be more like Jesus.

Prayers when you've been standing at that sink 2 full hours and your hands are dishpan prunes.  Prayers when you walk groaning floorboards at 2 am with a weeping baby.  Prayers for understanding when your spouse does something you truly do not get.  Prayers that you don't even realize you are saying over math homework and a pouting 3rd grader, over laundry, while dusting cobwebs from the ceiling.

Mothers toss a whole lot of prayers heavenward for many things, large and small. I'm not sure about you, but I tend to lose track...and sometimes don't even notice when those prayers get answered.

When we wake up another day, and everyone is healthy - do I realize it is a prayer answered?  When the doctor shows me just there, on his xray photo, how the bone grew back so beautifully after 3 weeks in a cast?  Do I realize it when the baby gives me a blessed 8 hours rest at night, or when I see those two boys playing peacefully together for 2 solid hours?

Honestly, I don't notice.  I focus on the big things that don't seem to be answered - the mammoth worries of life.  But while I'm preoccupied with those things, I fail to see the little blessings sprinkling down in a daily deluge of God's abundance.

So when my heart desired piano lessons for my kids, but it seemed impossible with no place to practice, I prayed.  And promptly forgot.  And when I got the call that someone wanted to give us a piano, something inside me woke up and remembered.  

Perhaps that's it.  We pray and then forget.  For piano lessons, for siblings to get along, for health.  But God, He never does.  He remembers the desires of our little human hearts, and in His own time and His own way, finds the perfect way to answer.

We haven't started lessons yet.  I'm looking for curriculum and hoping to teach them the basics my (rusty) self.  But each time I walk past that piano, I think about answered prayers.  And realize that so many more of my prayers are faithfully answered than I have ever before imagined.  Each and every day.

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