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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace



Trust the Gardner


"Mom, I'm not sure God answers prayer. I'm just not sure anymore."


Emerson was hanging out with me in the kitchen. She was talking; I was washing dishes.


"Why?" I asked.


"Because Jonah's not walking. We prayed and prayed and he's not walking."


"But Emerson," I said, "he is walking! Haven't you seen him taking steps? God is answering our prayer! We must keep praying. Sometimes God takes time to answer our prayers. He always has a reason for waiting or being slow. We must have patience and keep praying!"


Emerson would not be satisfied. "…but I don't like the way God is answering. Jonah's not walking right. He's wobbly, and he walks slow and funny. God needs to make him walk like he used to! I remember when Jonah would get up in the mornings and run downstairs and give everybody hugs. Now he can't run at all…"


Tears stung my eyes. I have been holding those memories in my heart, too:


Jonah bounding down the stairs,


Jonah running across the yard dressed as Daniel Boone with a bow and arrow,


Jonah playing at the park, out-running his brothers.


It has been a struggle for me -- this new normal -- but I didn't know it was a struggle for this little 6 year old.


Emerson kept talking, "…and did you see my face when you told me Mrs. Jane died? All I could do was cry. We prayed for her, too…" Her voice trailed away.


I stopped washing dishes and looked into her sad eyes. The past few months have been hard for her -- for all of us. Since December, we've been praying that Jonah would walk again. It's been a long, hard, painful process, but he IS taking steps.


However, coupled with this struggle was the death of a dear, dear friend. Mrs. Jane died quickly and unexpectedly, of brain cancer. Our whole church prayed for her physical healing, SO MANY churches prayed, but it just wasn't God's plan. She has left a huge emptiness in our family. We will see her again, but we miss her now!


I sighed and put down my dishrag. "Emerson, you're right. It seems sometimes that God doesn't answer prayer. I know how you feel. But it just isn't true! God's just different. He has a different mind than we do -- God Himself tells us that...


"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,"
declares the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts..."

Isaiah 55:8-9


"You know, my girl, we might be praying one way and God is answering another way. The fact is that God IS listening, and Jonah IS walking…maybe not in the way WE think he should. But every day of Jonah's life, God is doing a miracle of strengthening -- in his legs and also in his "walk" with God!"


"As for Mrs. Jane…well, we prayed that God would heal her and He did. She is in heaven, complete and whole and at peace and happy. If we gave her a choice to come back, do you think she would?"


The sunny Emerson that I love so much came back in that moment. She laughed out loud and began to dance around the kitchen.


"Are you kidding? NO! Mrs. Jane would say, 'Leave Heaven? No way! I've got too much dancin' to do!'"


Lost in the hope of Heaven, Emerson danced out of the room.


I just love that girl.


Shortly after that conversation, I wandered out to the garden. This spring there is one friendly robin that has somehow decided that we are friends. As I work in the garden she follows me. If I come across a worm or a slug, I will throw it to her because she's never far away. Either my little feathered friend will eat what I throw or fly away with it to her nest nearby. Then, she will happily return and begin hopping again behind me, furrow by furrow, checking the dirt that I have turned over.


That particular afternoon as I was working in one patch of the garden, I noticed the soil was covered in ants. I mixed in a little ant killer as I worked the dirt. I hadn't seen my robin friend all day, but then there she was, flying down from the big tree next door. She began happily hopping along, poking through the dirt where I had just put the ant killer. She pulled out a worm and a grub, and continued following me down the row.


I thought about that ant killer. What if it poisoned the robin? What if she passed the poison on to her little ones in the nest above me? I tried shoeing her away, but she didn't understand. She would fly out and then come right back, again poking through that same deadly patch of dirt where I had been working.


Finally (though I was a little annoyed), just to protect my little friend, I moved to the other end of the garden and began digging there. The dirt was untouched by ant poison or any chemicals, so I knew it would be fine for her to dig and dine there. The robin stopped and stared at me from across the garden. I knew she didn't understand. The patch of dirt I had moved to wasn't as moist and there were not as many grubs or worms. She poked around in my original patch of dirt, but only half-heartedly now. Finally she joined me on the other end of the garden and followed me there, hopping up and down the rows.


I knew what was best for her.


When I pray, I pray for God's best, don't you? That's the whole idea of prayer, isn't it, recognizing that God is the only One who can help? God knows what is best for me. He is the Gardener of my life. I am the trusting robin.


Sometimes when I pray and God answers, I think…


What??! God, do we have a communication problem?? That's not what I prayed for!


I don't always understand. I'm not always impressed with the answers He gives or the journey He puts me on. But He knows me perfectly and He loves me completely. He does what's best. He really does.


Do you have a need? A heartache? A request? Trust the Gardner. He may totally NOT do what you ask, but He WILL do what is best…for you, for your loved one.


His answer could be a matter of life and death.


Trust the Gardner.



Copyright © 2013. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com


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