This morning I stayed home from church with two children who are feeling a little under the weather. We’ve all been passing this virus around the house. They were mostly better, but I thought that I would keep Z(6) and S (11) home for a little extra rest. T(1yo) stayed home with us as well.
My little flock thought that we should sort of have church at home. We decided to watch a sermon online from the church that we used to attend. It was very enjoyable watching my youngest three children crowd around the computer monitor for a look at Pastor Gregg. The one year old employed a step stool to stand on~ not because she needed it but because she loves to stand on step stools. There was almost no fidgeting. No pleas to go to the bathroom. Just peaceful listening.
First we listened to the sermon from two weeks ago. It was about prayer. “Can we watch another one, Momma?” We watched the sermon from last week about the prayer of Jabez~ more on prayer. It was good stuff. Gregg spoke to us about how no prayer is wasted. God hears every one. He spoke about the scripture that describes the angels holding golden bowls which collect the prayers of the saints, which then mingle with the incense and rise to God. He spoke about being diligent in our prayers and not giving up in asking God for the salvation of those around us. Then I hear S saying, “Momma, can we watch another one?” Z was done with church~ one hour of teaching was enough for her. So S chose a sermon from this summer. He listened intently, but did not seem as captivated as he was by the sermons on prayer.
When we were finished with our “three church services,” we began to get lunch started. That’s when Husband called to see if we needed him to pick anything up from the store on his way home. However, before he got to his business about the store, he greeted me with, “A miracle happened!” (Now that’s a show stopper.) “We found Lorie Dog at church!”
Let me explain about Lorie Dog. I bought this cute little beanie dog for Z from Target when she was probably 2 1/2 years old. She named her Lori Dog after her favorite friend, Lorie. At that time, Lori was an “early twenties” member of our internship program at church. She loves children, and my painfully shy Z fell in love with her. Z had to have really loved that doggie to name her after Lorie! Sadly, Lorie moved to the other side of the country close to two years ago. Lorie was a favorite friend of all the girls in our house, including me! It was a sad day at our house when she moved. Shortly after that sad day, Lorie Dog went missing. After many tears and much searching, we still could not find Lorie Dog. We have since emptied most of the house and put it back together again in many cleaning and de-cluttering expeditions. We searched every nook and cranny of the church. We asked family and friends if they had seen her. Still no Lorie Dog.
To add to the drama, we have all had this nasty virus for the last two and a half weeks. A couple of us were only sick for two or three days. The rest of us got sick and stayed sick for a week to two weeks. We even missed Thanksgiving at all the grandparents’ houses. (Now that’s serious!) Z had been feeling better, but then began to again feel tired with a sore throat. Friday night as Husband was tucking her into bed for the night, Z prayed through her tears that God would help us find Lorie Dog. She has never given up hope on little Lorie Dog, even though she has also acknowledged that we would probably never find her.
Flash back to Husband’s story~ After church C(13) was walking by the Lost and Found box when she just happened to notice a tiny dog head sticking out from under a coat. Mind you, she was not really looking at the box. She just noticed out of the corner of her eye. C has a doggie identical to Lorie Dog, and so she recognized her right away. Upon further investigation she found that it was, indeed, Lorie Dog. She still had Z’s name proudly on her tag. Lorie Dog had come home! (insert Lassie music here)
We gathered the entire family around to share the news of the miracle. Husband instructed C to show us the miracle. C slowly pulled the little doggie from her hiding place. Z’s eyes widened as she launched forward and grabbed her Lori Dog. She was so happy! She was grinning from ear to ear. Everyone laughed with joy! C told Z the whole story. We stood together in the middle of our dining room and shared how cool it was that God demonstrated all of the lessons that we had just learned that morning about prayer. All the siblings told Z that they were so happy that God brought her Lorie Dog back. It was a sweet moment. The shocking part was that Z did not even remember praying for Lorie Dog two nights ago!
Just moments later, Z had disappeared. I went to see where she had gone. She was doing exactly what I had suspected. She was in her bed holding her special doll along with Lorie Dog~ and crying. I asked why she was crying. She said, “I’m just so happy to have Lorie Dog again.” I don’t think I have ever seen a 6 year old crying tears of joy. The tears were streaming down her sweet face~ tears of happiness and gratitude.It was, indeed, a Christmas miracle!
The sweetness of the Father is simply striking. What a tangible reminder that He cares for us all. What a poignant reminder that God moves in our prayers. It is not just “Bible-ese.” It is truth.
So why do we not live as if it is true? Why aren’t we more diligent in prayer? If the Father is pleased to grant our small desires and wishes, wouldn’t He be even more pleased to grant us the “bigger, more important” desires. I guess the bottom line is that there are no big or small prayers in God’s eyes. He cares about our hearts and about revealing His glory to us so that all will come to Him.
My prayer is that we will all let Z’s Christmas miracle be a lesson for us. We must be diligent in prayer. We must not give up in prayer for those in our lives who do not yet know Jesus. Above all, we must pray. It pleases the heart of God. Isn’t He sweet?