…..And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
I had a rough week last week and had a great talk with my daddy in the midst of my angst.
He listened… he sympathized… and then he said, “Honey, I know it’s hard, but you’re right where God wants you to be – you just have to give it all to Him and trust He will see you through.”
As he said that to me, I was reminded of something I wrote years ago about a lesson I learned from my little guy when he was only 4. Today I want to share it with you because, if I need an occassional reminder of how to pray, I bet you could use the reminder, too.
Here it goes:
The other day my kiddos and I were eating lunch. I cut up a fresh avocado, squeezed a little lemon juice over the top, sprinkled a little salt and pepper, and then laid it out for them to dig in. My big girl ate some, my middle girl ate some… but my 4-year old little guy said, “Oh, no thanks mommy.”
“Seb, you have to eat some, honey. Just a piece. I promise you’ll love it.”
Not quite believing my promise, my boy stuck a slice of avocado with his fork, cautiously brought it to his mouth and barely stuck out the tip of his tongue to “taste” it.
“I don’t like it,” he said.
“Seb, you haven’t even really tried it yet. You’ve got to put the whole thing in your mouth to really get the taste of it – and you’ll love the lemon and the salt and pepper on it.”
His entire body slumped over towards the counter as he closed his eyes, squinched his face and quietly fake-cried at my request.
“Come on, just one piece,” I encouraged. “It’s so healthy for you – and you know mommy wants you to be super strong and super smart. Right? So, just take a bite! You know I only give you what’s good for you.”
I let the conversation end there and turned my back to wash the dishes so he could have privacy in his anguish over the avocado. A couple of minutes later I turned back around and he was sitting there with the avocado on his fork about three inches from his face. “Well, are you gonna eat it?” I asked.
“I will, I will,” he said with a concentrated look on his face. “I just need to wait because I prayed God would make it taste good, okay?”
My heart melted as I silently watched. Three seconds… four seconds…
“Wait… wait…,” he said. Then his eyes popped open, “Okay, it’s ready!” As the taste hit his mouth he closed his eyes tight; I watched and waited trying read the expression. The second the avocado crushed between his teeth, he eyes shot open and he busted out with, “Mommy – He did it! God made it taste good!” His face was lit up; he eyes were gleeming with excitement His prayer had been answered; and, he swallowed the avocado down and headed outside to play.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” And, Phillipians 4:6 instructs, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” These are just two of the many examples from the Word instructing us to bring EVERYTHING to God… and I have no doubt “everything” includes our simple avocado prayers. Why? Because it’s in the mundane, unsavory parts of our day where a small whisper seeking help from our Father can turn something unappealing into something savory for our soul.
Now, did God actually transform the taste of the avocado from between his first tongue-touch and his actual bite? Maybe… maybe not! But, here’s the deal: even if the avocado itself didn’t change, my boy’s heart changed – it changed from being focused on the ‘problem’, to being focused on the One with the power to make all things better.
Dear Sweet Father – oh, how I love you! Thank you for my precious boy’s heart that is a perfect example of the innocence and humility you call us all to have. Thank you for the reminder that everything matters to you – everything. From heartaches that are about to burst us open, to the minor irritations that simply give us pause in our fast-paced days. Thank you that Your ears are open to our whispers for help, and thank you that Your eyes search throughout the earth to strengthen those of us whose hearts are truly fixed on You. You are a great and mighty God and I jump for joy in all things – in everything! – knowing that you have plans to prosper me through every one of my avocado moments. May our prayers keep our hearts and minds fixed on you. I love you. In the precious name of your Son Jesus, Amen.