I've gone back to school - the school of prayer, that is. My understanding of prayer is so little that I find that I do so little of it. And so I've asked the Lord to teach me about it that I might grow. A lesson came last night.
Caleb and I got our wires crossed. I thought he'd be home at his normal time of 5:30 but forgot that he said he had a job to do after finishing at the carpenter shop. So the clock ticked on and on, and my worry grew and grew. At 6:43, I couldn't stand it anymore. With every moment I was becoming more controlled by fear and less by the Spirit. I called on the Lord to help me trust Him, to protect Caleb and to bring him home soon. And then I did something I don't ever remember doing before. I asked God to bring him home in 10 minutes. 6:53. As soon as that thought was launched, I pulled it back with apology. "Forgive me, Lord, for ordering You around. I will trust You no matter what time You do or don't bring him home." The returning answer was this: He'll be home at 6:53. I immediately tried to justify those words as my own wishful thinking. But a firm confidence of 6:53 remained in my heart, and I knew the Lord had spoken them.
I sat on the couch and lost myself in a book for a bit. It wasn't long until I heard the rumble of Caleb's truck in the drive. Looking at the kitchen stove, the time said: 6:53. With a shake of my head and tears in my eyes, I humbly thanked God that He would so graciously and specifically answer my prayer.
The lesson? God used that circumstance to confirm in my heart that He holds every moment of every day in His hands. He knows where my children are at 6:53 and 2:08 and 11:56. He's with them and loves them and is right there no matter what. And as for prayer, maybe I ought to start laying out a few more of Gideon's fleeces and getting a little more specific in my prayers. The One who created time certainly has the ability to bring the answers in right on time.