"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
February 12, 2020
Four days a week I babysit my nephew and his wife's two 1-year olds (not twins, but 4-months apart through adoption); as well as get their older two kids on the bus. Their oldest daughter is 11, almost 12, so I don't mind sending her out to the bus stop alone; but their son is 7 and is the only child who gets on the bus at his stop, so I don't like leaving him outside alone. That can be tricky sometimes with the two babies and cold or rainy weather!
The 7 year old is incredibly intelligent! He can read, with understanding, books that middle school age (or older) kids read. He will ask questions about things he doesn't know or want explanations of words he doesn't know the meaning of; then will use them in the right context later. He's truly a real smarty-pants! We have some interesting conversations in the mornings.
A few days ago we were sitting outside waiting for his bus. He asked me, "What is inner space?" I told him that I didn't know; and asked why he wanted to know. He replied, "Well, if there is an outer space, then there has to be an inner space." I answered that this was a question that he needed to ask his daddy; who also is incredibly intelligent and knows more information about a whole plethora of subjects than the average person.
He looked at me and said, "Aunt Loretta, my dad's not going to know! He's not a scientist!" I was thinking, "I'm not a scientist either, so why would you think I'd know?!?" I told him that his dad was really smart. He said, "Well, he's not a scientist, so he won't know!"
I actually went inside and googled it and found that there is no definite answer about inner space, and nothing that is clear. Thankfully, he has never brought up the subject again. If I were to tell him that there wasn't a firm answer about this subject, that would bring up a lot more questions!
Many times we feel this way with God. We have questions, and although we know that God is all-knowing, we feel like He won't have a clear answer for us. Perhaps it's because God know that should He give us an answer, it would bring up a whole plethora of other questions; and none of His answers are going to make us happy.
Other times, God may have an answer for our questions, but we fail to ask Him. He's just waiting on us to come to Him and ask, but we try to figure things out on our own; which often causes confusion and worry and fear and doubt and all sorts of emotions and turmoil. Perhaps we even talk things over with other people, but never have a conversation with our Father about our situation and questions.
God loves having conversations with us! He loves hearing from us and listening to what's on our heart, wants us to ask our questions, and loves spending time with us.
When I was single, I lived about 20 minutes from Daddy. There were times when I'd get busy with church and work and other activities, and fail to call or visit as often as he wanted. He would call me and say, "I thought I'd call to let you know that I'm still alive!" My response was generally, "I figured if you weren't that someone would call and let me know." That was Daddy's way of jokingly tell me, "Hey, I've not seen or heard from you for a while! I'd really like it if you'd stop by for a visit or call and talk to me."
There may be times when our Heavenly Father misses hearing from us, so He will nudge us or do something to let us know that He really would like to hear from us.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." Other versions of this scripture says, "Never stop praying;" "Pray constantly;" or "Pray at all times."
Many times we think, "Well that's impossible! We have things we have to do. We can't spend all of our time praying!"
But the truth is, we can!! It isn't impossible to be in constant communication with our Father!
For example, when I was younger people actually had home phones. When the phone rang, you would pick up the phone receiver and answer. You could lay the receiver down and go do something or talk to someone, then go back and pick the handset back up and continue your conversation. The connection was only broken when we hung the handset up.
Praying without ceasing is like having a phone conversation with God where you might set the receiver down from time to time, but you never disconnect!
Throughout our day we can take care of work and family or errands or whatever we need to do. But while doing so, we can have an ongoing dialogue with our Father. When we are driving down the road and see a beautiful sunset we can thank Him for painting the sky so beautiful. When we see an ambulance or firetruck, we can pray for those involved in the accident or wherever they may be going. When someone asks for prayer, we take a few moments and pray. When we wake up in the middle of the night with someone on our mind, we pray for that person. We have an ongoing conversation that never ends! When something happens and we have questions, we ask God.
But it also means that we take time to listen to what God is speaking to us. It's not a one-sided dialogue, but we talk, then we listen. The truth is, our Father is all-knowing and sometimes He may answer our questions, and other times He may choose to not divulge the answers we are seeking. Not because He's being mean or insensitive or doesn't know; but because He knows what is best for us and just simply (or maybe not always so simply), our Father just wants us to trust Him!
Loretta's nephew loves showing off his two 1-year-olds. And most of all, he loves it when people ask if they're twins. He says, "No, they're 4 months apart." Naturally, they usually ask how that works. "They have different mothers."
He usually tries to walk away at that point. It typically takes 2-3 seconds till the person he was talking to starts to wonder about the implications. And he likes leaving them puzzled. As Loretta mentioned, it's simple. They were adopted from two different mothers. In fact, from two different states.
So often, we get the answers we're looking for from the wrong sources. They only tell us one side of a story. And they are usually incredibly misleading. Even when we go to God for the answers, a lot of times, we hear the first part, then quit listening. And again, only hearing half the answer can be very misleading.
I have a hard time investing that kind of patience. But it's worth taking an hour or two once in a while to talk with God, and listen. Then listen some more.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
1 yellow cake mix (not a butter cake mix)
2 small instant chocolate pudding (dry)
1/2 cup oil
1-1/2 cups water
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together and cook for 80 minutes at 325 in a greased bundt cake pan.
German sweet chocolate bar
1-2 Tbsp. butter
Microwave ingredients to melt, then drizzle over cake.
Never underestimate the prayers of a child. In fact, we should encourage children to pray.
When I was probably 5-6 years old, my bus driver was going to have to drive the bus that evening to take kids to a basketball game. He was concerned because there was a chance of snow and ice. He asked me if I'd pray for him that they would get there and back safely, and I said that I would. Honestly, I don't remember this personally! But for many years afterwards, I heard him tell other people about this and how much it meant to him, knowing that I had prayed for him. He was probably in his 60's at the time, but had confidence in the prayers of a little girl!
When I babysat my great-niece, Jovie, we used to pray for one another. One time she had a cough. We laid down to take our daily afternoon nap and Jovie asked, "Will you pray for my cough to go away? It's so annoying!" I prayed and when I finished Jovie smiled really big and said, "I think Jesus is going to surprise me and take this cough away while I sleep!" Sure enough, that is what happened!!
We instill confidence in children when we pray for them, but also teach them to pray for us. Not only to pray, but to pray with faith expecting God to answer!
God is not in a hurry. You are.
It is why you are tired. It is why you are anxious, stressed, and disappointed.
Surrender your timeline in favor of His peace. - TobyMac
We love you!
Loretta & Jon