I’ll never forget that day. It was four months ago, about eleven AM on a Sunday morning and already 95 degrees. And newscasters from around the world threatened twelve more degrees to come. The weight of the heat pressed on me, but my worries for my niece weighed even more.
She was living through an impossible situation and it wasn’t new. It had been going on for a very long time. Driving in my car on the way to meet friends for breakfast, I prayed for my niece and her family, pleading with God to help them.
Meanwhile I struggled against the desire to drive the two hours it would take to reach her family so I could… save them. I called it other things. I could be a comfort; I could provide a little money. I could proclaim God’s promises over them. From my available resources, it would be a sacrifice, but I didn’t care.
However I sensed the One to whom I prayed did not agree. Instead He helped me finally hear myself in my prayers.
I was begging.
And it made me sound as if I didn’t really believe God would show up for niece. Wow! I didn’t trust God to be a Father for my niece’s needs. Why? Why didn’t I trust Him with her, when I trusted Him with so much else? I didn’t know the answer to that question then, but I knew what to do.
My niece was in trouble and this was not the time to indulge in distrusting God. Her problems were bigger than I could ever carry or fix. I needed to be able to pray – freely, without distrust or heaviness – to her big, huge God.
So, while negotiating light traffic and looking for a parking place, I repented, I cried, and I laid all my cares for her in our Father’s big hands and His even bigger heart of love for her.
And then I waited.
How would the Holy Spirit show me to pray for her now, from this new place of trust in a Father who loved us so much?
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV)
Then, just before I got out of the car, I knew what to ask for. She lived in an even hotter part of California than I did. She has three small children. They don’t have air-conditioning and with this horrible heat wave, the need for it passed desperate a long time ago.
So I did it. Instead of begging, I got bold. While sitting in my parked car I asked the Creator of the Universe to give them air-conditioning. I imagined Him providing some extra money to get them to a movie theater and maybe McDonald’s after. Both have great air-conditioning, even if it would only be for a few hours.
After praying in this way I felt lighter in both meanings of the word light. The heavy burden was gone and in my spirit things looked brighter all around.
Brighter, lighter. Of course! My one word for this year is SHINE and one of the things I’m learning is to BE rather than to DO, as in Saviors DO, but Lights just ARE.
Jesus says to me that I am the light of the world and compares my light to the light of a city set on a hill. But what if someone’s hurting and needs me? How does light respond to someone else’s peril? Or pain? Or need! If I’m Light, doesn’t that mean I’m supposed to go to my niece and show her the way out of trouble?
Wanting to save my niece was natural, and if I indulged those feelings, I would have been appreciated and perhaps even applauded. It was much harder for me to resist those feelings and go with trusting in God instead. But the trust was worth it. I felt better and maybe my niece would get a couple hours of air-conditioning for the hottest part of the day.
As I got out of my car, I looked up at the sky and saw clouds. They were moving in kind of fast, but I didn’t think too much of it. I checked the weather temperature on my smart phone. It was so hot!
After a great breakfast and amazing fun with friends, we stepped outside the restaurant and I felt unexpectedly not-hot. A breeze wafted by my cheek, so I looked up. Way more clouds filled the sky than an hour and a half earlier. I checked the weather app on my smart phone. 84 degrees! I checked later on my niece’s city, 2 hours away. Same thing. 84 degrees!
I couldn’t believe it at first, but then it hit me and I started jabbering and crying to my friends about what He did. God sent my niece air-conditioning! And it lasted, not for a couple of hours, but for DAYS! Probably longer, but I don’t want to be accused of embellishment.
So… here’s to being, here’s to shining!
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Carla Porter writes, sings, designs architectural interiors and loves God, all in Los Angeles, California.
© 2013, Carla Porter and Whisper of Grace, all rights reserved.
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