As is often the scenario, thirteen people of a variety of ages scrunched into a space better suited for eight, in a familiar restaurant for breakfast after church one Sunday morning,
The busyness of the restaurant and the various conversations going on at the same time, competing to be heard above the others who were also dinning, was for me a bit much. Maybe I was tired; maybe I was tired of people.
I had just come off of a few days of shopping with a friend, visiting long into the night with my sister, attending a highly anticipated yearly reunion with old friends in the city I grew up in, lunch with a few high school girl friends, dinner with more friends, a very emotional celebration of life with about 500 in attendance, and a fun and chaotic few hours with our children and grandchildren.
I am sure some of you can relate to the weekend overload I experienced.
Sunday morning “after church foyer talk” is sometimes brief because of family schedules and plans. But on a recent Sunday, a common and all too familiar emotion was conveyed by a sweet woman of God as I asked the usual question, “How are you?”
Although this woman’s joyous countenance was reassuring, she offered a facial expression and comment that I could relate to.
“Oh, I am wonderful, but there are so many family concerns and needed prayers, aren’t there?” she said.
Her face lightened again as she went on to say, “What a gift we have to be able to pray. “What hope do people have who don’t know God?”
I agreed with her and we said our well wishes and goodbyes. But I have been pondering this thought over and over since that encounter. There is so much pain all around us; hurting marriages, illnesses, death, wayward children and grandchildren, mental disorders….the list goes on and on and on.
No one this side of heaven is free from it. What is the answer? My friend is right. The answer is prayer.
Prayer is a gift, a privilege, a confidence that gives us a joyous countenance in the middle of all the pain.
“Fearlessly and confidently and boldly I draw near to the throne of grace that I may receive mercy and
find grace to help in good time for every need – appropriate help and well-timed help,
coming just when I (and others) need it.”
~ Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)