August 2012 Devotional
Trust in the Lord
Hello. My name is Diana Williams.
I am happy to be with you.
I want to read a Bible verse for us to think about: Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." A wonderful verse.
Recently a friend asked me, "Pastor, what do you think about unanswered prayer?" My reaction was honest: "I believe prayer is not 'unanswered' but we often get an indiscernible answer of 'Wait' or even 'No, I have a better plan.'" After telling my friend that and the friend leaving, I got to thinking. Sometimes in my prayer life, I've prayed for little things. "Help me find my shoes," or "my keys." I do find them and I know God answered. I've prayed for great big needs, for example, "My dear friend has been sick so long. Please don't let death come. My friend has children, many responsibilities, a wonderful life." But the friend has remained ill. I've thought a lot about this.
As an example, my frantic prayer, "Dear God, please help me! I can't be late to a funeral. I'm preaching. They'll be waiting for me, but here I am and it's the wrong place. Right name the family gave me, but wrong place. Don't let them be worried. They are already grieving. Help me get there at the right time, please." Right away a man came over and asked me if I was looking for the second place of the same name, except one added "West" and the other, "East" which I didn't know. He told me it was two blocks away. I drove fast, praying more. It was past starting time. I asked God to make them start late, or something good like that to help me. When I arrived I saw many cars parked, and rushed in. The husband of the deceased woman was so relaxed. He greeted me and said, "We can't start yet because several family members aren't here yet." No one was worried. All were at ease. I prayed, "Thank you, God, for having them start late, so that I am 'on time' for the funeral."
Why does God answer my little prayers and not yet the great big, whole life-affecting prayers? Could it be God is showing us by answering the small ones, "I'm here. I hear you. I understand you. I am acting. Trust me."? I think maybe by answering the little things we pray, God is helping us build up more and more trust in God. Then we will have enough trust for bigger things when they happen.
About 12 years ago my family and I decided we needed a dog. Researching and deciding on a breed, I then read advertisements and picked a seller. Then I took my boys and drove out into the country, to a small farm. When we got to the right place, I saw a man was sitting under a tree. He waited for us to approach, then took a little notebook and pen from his pocket and wrote: "Looking for the puppies?" He was deaf! I signed to him and his face lit up with a big smile. He was thrilled. He ran to get his wife. We visited for a bit. Then they asked me, "Are you deaf?"
"No," I explained. "My parents were deaf so I've signed all my life; it was my first language. I have many aunts and uncles also. My parents taught at a school for the deaf. I grew up in the deaf world. Today I have many deaf friends." That made them happy. They showed me the puppies for sale, and I selected the one puppy who was greeting me. And I knew this was God's way of proving to me: "I know you. I know your first language, first people, first culture. I will never leave you, never forsake you. I am acting. Always answer your prayer." So I learn to more and more trust God with my whole heart and not lean on my own understanding.
I believe the same is true for you. We are all God's children. Let's pray for small things and large things, and as we see God working in the small things, our trust will build up more and more. We look back over our life at big things we prayed before and now see how God worked. And we trust more and more. Know God in little and large ways telling you, showing you: "I'm always with you. I see your prayers. I know your language. I know your thoughts. I know your feelings. I act, working for you, doing what you need. Keep your hope alive! Trust me!"
Will you pray with me?
Amazing, involved, faithful God, I trust you. Help me, help us all, to trust you more. Help us trust you, God, with all our hearts and not depend on our own ability to understand. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen