Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just Ask Him

One night last summer, my son brought me a present. The three of us had been hanging out by the campfire until well after bedtime, listening to crickets and gazing at stars.  We were three peas in a pod, growing in the red clay of our backyard, watered by popsicles and lighted by fireflies.

Now, it's balmy enough on an Alabama summer night, but add to it a smokey hot fire and a good layer of bug spray and you have painted yourself...sticky. The boy, bless him, abandoned us for the house when it was time to clean up. But when he trudged back up the hill toward me with a secret sweet on his lips and dirty little hands hidden behind him, I thought, "He loves me. He's brought me a Diet Coke. I am a most-favored mother." 

I held out my hands to receive my gift, that sweet cold nectar of caffeinated goodness.  What I got, though, was a toad.  A fat, nasty, wriggling, toad.

I am afraid of toads.

I am convinced that the greatest desire of every single toad living in this world today is to jump on my face and stick there unrelenting with its nasty little claw feet.  Also, I'm pretty sure that if I were to squeeze one, even just the tiniest little bit, it would ooze...something- I don't know what, but something.  Yuck. 

Just the thought makes my adrenaline flow like the mighty Mississippi.  Fight or Flight?  I'll take flight, please.  So I dropped the toad to the ground and did a screeching heebie-jeebie dance right there at the top of the hill.

The boy was delighted.

There aren't many things that scare me. Toads. Grotesquely broken bones.  Maybe that creepy chick crawling out of the TV in the movie The Ring, but not much else.

Well, also the words, "Honey, I have cancer."  Those scare me.

It wasn't too long after the toad incident that my husband spoke those words to me, standing in our bathroom, stunned pale and faltering. It scared him too. And that scared me the most.

We know that God is in control of all things. We know that what the enemy intends for death, God brings to life. We know that God has peace that surpasses all.  But we don't know how. And that filled our home with heavy fear. What if God's idea of 'OK' is not the same as ours?

Fast forward a few days to another balmy night when three more peas in a pod planted themselves at my doorstep. Eleanna - calm with wisdom and confident in knowing, Melinda - scrappy and bold and steeled for battle, and Nina - beautiful with joy and praise pressed down and running over.

These women came to pray over me and my family, right there bathed in moths and porch light. They came to claim Christ's finished work on the cross for me, to clothe me in God's armor, to rebuke fear in Christ's name.  And they came to thank God and recognize his goodness when I was knocked too nearly breathless to say it myself.

When I walked back in the house, the heaviness was gone.  My husband, not knowing anything spoken on that porch, said to me, "I feel better now."

Of course you do.

Three women came to speak words of prayer over us. But words are just words; they have no power over life and death. Someone must have heard and given life to the words.

God heard and God breathed life.

Provider God.

Healer God.

Father God.

Abba Daddy God.

Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, 
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us 
in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Through the cross, we have the amazing privilege in Christ's good name to approach the one true God with boldness and in confidence. This is the beauty of it, y'all.  Do you know this?  I mean do you really, truly know it? 

With borrowed righteousness in hand, we can ask for what we need as rightly as Jesus asked in the Garden of Gethsemane, and God will embrace our prayers. There is nothing we can't petition him for, no need that will tire his great love for his beloved, no want or fear that we cannot lay at his feet- not Diet Coke or toads or scary movies or even cancer. All of it lies in the palm of his hand, and he desires to give good and holy gifts to us, to give them to you child of God, because he loves us.