I started praying for a family I’ve never met a few weeks ago. Thanks to the internet, I learned that a Christian artist I’ve followed for a while suffered a tragedy. Her daughter, one year younger than my oldest, had a seemingly minor fall which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
Doesn’t news like that just jostle you when you have kids of your own? It feels impossible — the reality that these precious children we raise could leave us in mind or body in a split second fall. Doing normal things. On a regular day.
I started praying for this little girl, and led my daughters to pray for her, too.
Then, a few weeks later, my youngest needed extra snuggles, so I was laying in her bed with her, and I heard my oldest daughter from the other room praying out loud. She started praying for the little girl to be healed, as we had been praying for weeks, and then her prayer changed.
“Jesus … actually, can you just come back? Yes! If you would just come back, the little girl would be healed and her mommy and daddy wouldn’t have to be sad anymore … I have to do school in the morning. What was your favorite subject in school? Well, you didn’t … WAIT, you probably did! You had to have your hand cramp and have your day be so long! Why did you do that? You could have just stayed in heaven …”
I cried. And I’m crying again now. What a prayer.
How often do I forget Jesus’ humanity? How frequently do I pray a list of demands rather than praying with the humility that would ask questions like, “Why did you leave heaven to come here and live this life of pain and suffering and the hand cramps of carpentry? You could have just stayed in heaven …”
You know how the Spirit answers that why question, right?
“Because I so love you …” (John 3:16).
And isn’t that what we’re all wanting to know?
I spend a lot of time teaching my daughters about who God is and how much He loves them, but my 8-year-old daughter’s prayer last week taught me. He is so powerful that He can change anything for any prayer at any time. And He’s so approachable that we can talk to Him about His favorite subject.
So, pray that God will help you teach your children about this glorious mystery of a God who loves broken people. Pray that God will work wonders. But also pray that He’ll help you see and learn from these little children, about the kind of faith that knows He hears.
Scarlet Hiltibidal is the author of Afraid of All the Things and He Numbered the Pores on My Face. She lives in Middle Tennessee.