I learned something new today. As I knew before, nothing is sacred to toddlers and preschoolers. They don’t understand we would sometimes like to be alone. But I didn’t realize those moments can bring up important conversations we need to have with our little ones.
Caitlyn walked in on my today while I was, *ahem*, indisposed. Often I will fuss at her for that. But today she had spilled something and needed helped wiping it off her arm. Then, out of left field, comes a theology question.
“Mommy, every time when I go stinkies, some little ones stay on my bottom.”
“Yes, that can happen.”
“I wish God didn’t let that happen.”
“Why, when we pray and God always hears us, why doesn’t He always do it?” asks Caitlyn.
“Well honey, you’re right, God always, always, always hears us. And He always answers our prayers. Sometimes He says Yes, and He does what we ask. Sometimes He says No, because He knows something better for us. And sometimes He says, Wait and later we see Him do what we asked.”
And off she went. I know part of what she is thinking about. She really wants another baby brother or sister. She is baby crazy. I have been telling her she has to ask Jesus. Personally, I don’t know how God is going to answer that one, but I do know she has been asking. She declared the other day, “I asked Jesus for a baby brother, but I haven’t gotten it yet.” I hope our conversation today helps her sort it out in her mind. I love that she already knows He always hears her. I pray nothing ever shakes that. I hope she continues to ask. Jesus tells us to ask. “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted to you.” Mark 11:24 New American Standard Bible.
But beyond her questions about prayer, another thought came to mind. Just as she asked her question at a messy moment, answers to prayer aren’t always neat and clean. Jesus healed a man using mud made by mixing in his spit and putting it on the man’s eyes. “And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth….When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes….And so he went away and washed , and came back seeing.” Mark 9:1, 6, 7b Back in 2nd Kings, God used the dirty river Jordan to heal Naaman of leprosy. (2nd Kings 5:10-14) The river Jordan was disgusting, Naaman asked why he could not use one of the other rivers that were nicer, but the direction was to go into the river Jordan. When he went into the mire, he came out clean.
Does God sometimes ask us to be in the mire, to be in the trenches? Yes. Do we always like it? No. Do we always understand it when we are asked? No. Do we always understand the answer? No. But He tells us to ask and obey. I would prefer it never be messy. I like neat and tidy. I selfishly pray for clean, but also pray the Lord will walk with me in the mess of life and guide me when I don’t understand the path. I pray He will also guide and direct you, even when the way is messy. May we trust Him in the mud and the sunshine.Survive til you Thrive!