Monday, June 20, 2016

Answered Prayers

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was raised by pious parents and had a childhood filled with love and a multitude of good things. This young woman was taught by her parents to love God and to seek Him throughout her life. She was content to follow her parents' example and for a long time all seemed to be well.

But one day the young woman looked into her heart and saw an ugly creature hiding and making its lair there. She had had glimpses of its ugliness marring the beauty of her heart before, but they had been fleeting and had always left her uncertain as to what it was. This time there was no doubt; she recognized it for what it was - Pride. This creature had a firm grasp upon her heart and was slowly but surely dragging her further and further from her Heart's Desire. The young woman realized with dismay that she could not rid herself of the thing on her own, so she said a prayer, beseeching God to take the ugly creature from her at any cost.

God loved this young woman, and He looked upon her with tenderness. He heard her prayer and answered it again and again in many ways over the years, but His biggest gift to the woman was to send her a husband and make her a mother.

As time passed the woman had almost forgotten about her prayer, but she knew that the demon still lurked within because from time to time it would raise up its hideous head and show its face. And every time she saw it she would run to God once more and beg for His help. And every time, God heard her prayer....


This story does not have a proper ending because it is not over yet. I can't say how it will end, but I pray that by the end of my days, by God's grace, the evil creature will be ousted and unable to return ever again.

What I can say though, is that I am amazed by how faithful God is. I prayed that prayer many years ago, before I had a husband or any children, and looking back over the years since that time I am beginning to see His hand at work in ways that I never thought were possible.

If I had known then what I know now I don't think I would ever have asked what I did. I tremble to think of asking it now because now I begin to understand what it means. It is a fearful thing to look into one's own heart and to see what lurks there. Spouses and children have a way of acting as living mirrors, reflecting and shining light into dark places that had previously never seen the light of day. Most of those places are dreadful and some absolutely hideous. Having a family has begun to open my eyes to see that I must be willing to bear the reality of who I am without trying to hide or make excuses.

Knowing who I am and being forced to bear the burden of sorrow that comes with that knowledge and the knowledge of its effects on those around me is a hard thing. It weighs heavily on my heart sometimes, and I occasionally forget that He who is answering my prayer by showing me my own heart, is also the One who will wipe away every tear and who turns sorrow into joy.

I pray that I might remember, and keep that remembrance ever present, so that I might give glory to God, Who hears the prayers of His children and Who never lets them walk alone.