Learning to Pay Attention

Just a few short weeks ago, I posted the story of the man who was in danger of drowning from a flood. Three times the rescue boat came to save him, but each time he refused their help saying, "The Lord will save me." The man died and entered into Heaven where he promptly asked Jesus, "Why didn't you save me?" Jesus replied, "I sent the boat three times."

Funny story! Not so funny when it happens in real life. Last weekend was rough. We battled everything from broken pipes and a flooded kitchen to lack of heat and rowdy neighbors with guns. Needless to say, by Monday I was a bit of a basket case! My faith had the fragility of a Fabergé egg. I was tired. I was weary. I was discouraged. A quick look in the bank account was all it took to throw me into a tantrum.

I cried as I prayed, "Lord, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I've asked and asked for help, and things keep getting worse. I can't handle it anymore. I need some help. I need money. I need firewood. I need repairs. Please, Lord, won't you meet these needs!"

A little while later my mother-in-law called to say that she was going to the store and wanted to know if I wanted to go with her. She offered to pay for the trip. Not wanting to put her in a financial bind, I told her, "No thanks," and went on my way waiting for the Lord to meet some of the needs I prayed about.

That evening when I went to take the potatoes out of the oven, I noticed we had another problem. I had put the potatoes in the oven 1 1/2 hours ago, but I had failed to turn the oven on. Dinner was ready except for the potatoes which had to be nuked in the microwave. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

"I'm so stressed I can't even think straight!" I cried to my husband. He listened to my cries and my frustration and then quickly pointed out to me that God had tried to help through my mother-in-law, but I had turned that help away. As much as it hurt to admit it, he was right. I prayed for help, God answered my prayer, then I turned it away because it wasn't the answer I wanted.

God, forgive me for being so stubborn and for not paying attention. Forgive me for not seeing how much you love me and try to help me. Help me to be gracious and accepting of any help, no matter what form it may take.

God will answer our prayers. It may not be the answer we're looking for and it may not come to us in the way we think it should come. But God will answer. It's up to us to pay attention.