Friday, November 23, 2012

Answered Prayer

My husband, my son, and I went to my sister’s house to spend Thanksgiving with family.  She lives nearly two hours away, which isn’t a big deal, but I’d never driven it before, and was a little leery of driving it in Thanksgiving traffic.  My biggest fear was that there might be tule fog on the way back.  I had been a passenger in a car in tule fog before... I did not want to drive in tule fog.

The week leading up to Thanksgiving found me answering the common question, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” with the request to pray that there wouldn’t be any tule fog, and for a safe trip.  As you can tell, I was a little anxious about it.

Thanksgiving came and it was time to make the drive up.  We got my one-year-old and his peripherals all packed into the car and set off.  All-in-all, I don’t think there was really enough traffic to slow us down on the way up, and I didn’t see anyone swerving, so God put my mind at ease about Thanksgiving traffic on our particular trek.  The hardest part about it was likely trying to find a parking spot - which was really quite easy as soon as I noticed that my sister was trying to direct me into her driveway.

To make a long story short, we had a wonderful and blessed time at their home, and enjoyed meeting her husband’s side of the family.  My son got to meet a cousin who was only a couple months younger than he.  He melted hearts when he reached over and hugged his cousin.  Time flew by and it was now time to make the drive back.

Here came the moment I had been anxious about... would there be any fog?  Worse, would there be tule fog?  My family was a little worried, too.  We stepped outside of their comfortable home and into a mist... of fog.  I looked about in worry and dismay, trying to gage how thick it was.  The street lights lit the fog in a damp yellow haze and I found it difficult to make out the house across the street.

Well... it wasn’t as bad as tule fog, but it certainly wasn’t a light fog.  I didn’t know what it would be like on the road.  My sister offered her home to stay the night, and I was tempted to accept, but my husband wanted to go home.  So we headed out with the promise that we’d return if we encountered tule fog.

I could feel my anxiety rising into my chest as my husband navigated me out of the neighborhood.  The fog wasn’t getting any better.  What if I couldn’t see someone walking across the street?  What if we got far enough that we couldn’t turn back?  What if the fog thickened around us instead of being a wall in front that we could turn around and avoid?  I tried to keep calm and not think of the what-ifs as I drove; an anxious driver isn’t a very good driver.

We got onto the highway.  I could see the car in front of me... I could see a car a fair way behind me... I could see the street lights lighting other city streets with their yellow glow.  This wasn’t so bad.  But what if... no.  Don’t think about the what-ifs.

About a minute later, the fog cleared, and the yellow lights made pools on the black streets instead of in the air.  I could see the moon like another yellow pool of light in the sky.  We left the city behind and the stars shone tiny points of light through my window to form their constellations.  No fog.

I breathed deeply, trying to rid myself of the effects of my anxiety.  I could just see God smiling down at me and saying, “You see?  I know what you need.  I could have taken care of you in the fog, too.  But just to show you that I love you, I took it all away.”

We didn’t encounter a single bit of fog the rest of the two hours home.  In fact, it didn’t even take two hours, because there was so little traffic.  Not only did He answer prayer about the fog, but for most of the ride home, I had only two other cars around me, and they were even going about my speed.  It was an easier drive back than it had been up.  God is so good.

The fact is, He always answers our prayers.  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes (often it seems to be most of the time) His answer is the hardest one to take:  wait.

God knows my fears, my cares, my desires, and my needs.  He also knows just how to allay my fears, take on my cares, align my desires with His, and meet my needs.  It is toward these ends, as well as for His purposes and glory, that He will answer yes, no, or wait.  I have no reason to be anxious.  So I am thankful for answered prayer.

But just to show me His love, He didn’t prove to me yet again, that He can lead me through what I am fearing.  This time, He let me off the hook, and just said, “I love you.”  Because it was His good will.  

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