July 22, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Heather Allen –

It is late. A yawn slips past my lips. As I reach for a grocery cart, another mom pushes hers beside me. I smile at her gaggle of children. One of her toddlers stands at her side whimpering. She attempts to carry him with one arm and push her cart with the other. We trail each other from aisle to aisle. As we leave the cereal aisle and head towards paper products, my admiration grows. She herds her sleepy, slightly cranky crew with gentle correction. Her face is etched with exhaustion. Our carts pause simultaneously in front of the toilet paper. We smile at each other and attempt small talk. She tells me she just finished work and the cupboards were bare, so her long day is a bit longer. I silently wonder if she holds it all together by herself.

One of her toddlers reaches for me. I hold his chubby hands in mine. He slips them up around my neck, pulling me close. The yogurt on his face sticks to my cheek as he presses his face close. It does not matter, he needs a hug. Maybe I do too. The mom and I share a look of mutual surprise and joy.

My heart tugs. I remember what she needs, and I begin praying for her. For a few moments, my life is anything but ordinary.

Peter is in jail. James, his friend, is dead. King Herod finds favor with the Jewish leaders for harassing and killing the apostles. But the church is praying. While they gather together to intercede for Peter, an angel visits the jail and sets Peter free. At first he thinks it is a vision or dream, but moments later he greets those who have spent the evening praying on his behalf.

I have to confess, I do not understand how this divine conversation moves heaven to move on our behalf, I only know it does. I know Philipians 4:6 tells us to be anxious for nothing but to spend that energy praying instead. God’s word also tells us that confession brings healing and a persistent prayer life avails much. But then something upsetting happens in my life, and I pause over my contact list wondering who I should call first.

Ah I can be a silly girl. I have the King of heaven and earth asking that I call on Him. Why would I call a human first? His name should be the first on my lips.

I meditate on this. Convinced that the days I have lived extraordinarily are the days when I have responded to His presence, when my life has revolved around someone infinitely greater than I. This means talking to strangers when He prompts me and being willing to look foolish. It means choosing humility over self-image. It is hard. It is everything that my flesh would have me avoid. And yet, at the end of the day and at the end of my life, I do not want ordinary. I want to walk with Jesus, wherever He leads. Prayer is my response to His presence. It is allowing His thoughts to trump mine and His will to steer mine. It is servant-hood. It is finding my true calling.

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