Life As I Have Seen It
I have this theory about God and prayer. I think that sometimes God answers small prayer requests from us just because he can. I’m not talking about earth-shattering, world-changing prayers. I’m talking about prayers so small that there is not even a butterfly effect. These prayers, God answers simply because he delights to do so. These prayers become personal jokes between you and your Heavenly Father.
Let me explain.
It had been two years since I had seen my sister or her husband. Since flying into Seattle rather than Portland saved them more than a hundred dollars each, I volunteered to drive the extra distance to get them from the Seattle airport. I nearly changed my mind when they told me the time their flight was getting in. But it had been so long since we’d seen each other and we were desperate to be reunited.
After making the obligatory stop at Pike’s Place Market and ordering coffee from the closet-sized, original Starbucks, we made our way on down the coast. Clint and I often visited the beach near Newport, OR, and this would be my only opportunity to show them “our spot.”
But as we approached the coast, the slate-gray clouds were pregnant with rain. As we pulled into the parking lot, thick raindrops intermittently pelted the window.
Discouraged, I asked them what they wanted to do.
We decided we would jump out, I’d point to the highlights and then we’d hurry back to the car and be on our way before the rain got too bad. That was the rain-altered, agreed upon plan.
Or, “God, is there any way that you can hold off the rain while we’re here? This is the only time that we could come.” I stated this to him as if he hadn’t already known it. “Please? Just hit “pause” and then you can start the up again as soon as we’re finished.”
“Amen,” the three of us said in unison.
We got out of the car and headed to the staircase with stairs that seemed to have no end, which would take us down to the sandy shore. As we approached the stairs, the rain stopped and the clouds rose. The sky was still gray, but it no longer felt threatening.
We walked along the shore. We touched sea anenomoes and spotted a purple starfish in a shallow tide pool. We climbed up huge boulders—the same ones that the couple had had to be rescued from by the Coast Guard. And we stared out over an ocean that seemed to go on forever.
Strong waves shattered against the rocks. We took off our shoes and let the sand depress beneath our feet and I have no idea how long it was—an hour and a half? Two hours? We leisurely walked and climbed and laughed our way up and down the beach until we felt like leaving. We made memories that have become possesions to treasure.
I reached the never-ending staircase before the others—this staircase seriously gives Jacob’s ladder a run for its money—and as I stepped on the first wooden stair, I noticed that it was speckled with raindrops.
“Guys! It’s raining!”
I was so amused that I actually took a picture.
And we said a prayer of thanks.
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
You entertain your heavenly Father. When Christ bore our sins upon himself, when the temple curtain tore in two from top to bottom, it gave us an all-access pass to the Father and restored the fellowship with God which was destroyed by sin.
Because we have been saved by Christ and covered in his righteousness, the Father looks upon us with love and delight.
There have been times when I have remembered that moment on the stairs and I have said out loud, “Do you remember the Stair Day when you paused the rain for us? That was a good day.” And I smile. That moment has become a personal joke between my Savior and me. My sister and brother-in-law remember it as well, and we often recall that day together.
There are other days in which I say, “Ok, God, it’s time to find my keys again.” And we always do. “God, please let there be no cops on this road right now, because I am running late. Again.”
God thinks that you are absolutely ridiculous, and absolutely wonderful and He delights in you because He made you the way that you are.
There are snapshot moments that God is eager to delight you with, if only you would ask.
When is the last time that you asked God for something small?
What type of relationship do you have with God? Can you ever picture Him smiling at you?
What are some of your “personal joke” memories with your Savior?