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30 March 2017

#PrinceofPeace: Prayer

The Lord used my son's prayer for protection on his baby strawberries to teach me a powerful lesson on trust, and how He cares about my small matters. #PRINCEofPEACE

One afternoon several years ago, I helped my son, then about 3, to plant some strawberries in a section of our garden that we had designated as his very own. He buried the strawberry roots we'd bought, he carried his little watering can over to the hose and then back to the garden to give them their first drink. And every day he checked to see if they were up above the ground yet.

As happens sometimes in the spring in our area, a few days later there was a huge storm. High winds, hail, possibly tornadoes... this storm meant business. As I tucked my little son into his bed on the second floor of our house, I mentioned to him that the storm was very bad, and that it might damage his little baby strawberries, and I reassured him that, if it did, we'd replant. Then I listened to him say his prayers.

"Heavenly Father, please protect my baby strawberries."

I gave him a kiss, and when he was asleep, I headed downstairs to my computer to keep an eye on the storm: there are some days where our second-story bedrooms are not my favorite thing, and I don't sleep through bad storms very well. Fortunately, this one wasn't far away, and I wouldn't need to stay up ridiculously late to watch the storm and be able to grab my boy and head to the basement if things got too exciting.

The storm was everything that the forecast had promised. I watched it dye the map red as it passed my parents' town, sixty miles to the west of us, and began to approach our home. As it pushed past their place, the whole storm began to rotate, so that, rather than being hit by the center of the storm, as it originally looked like would happen -- and would have been the usual pattern for weather coming from that direction -- the storm began to shift a little south, and the northern edge moved closer to our home. As the shifting storm arrived in our area, I was amazed. Zooming in on the radar map, I realized that, in all that violent red and orange storm, there was a small green square, where it was only gentle rain, about two blocks by two blocks. And that square stayed centered over my house as the storm rotated on that spot - almost like an eye. Looking out the window, there was nothing to tell me that the storm was a problem: if I had not seen the forecast and watched the map, I would not have known that it was a bad storm. I sat and watched that storm for several hours, first because I was worried about needing to take shelter in the basement, then later because I knew that I was seeing a miracle that had come in response to my son's prayer.

"Heavenly Father, please protect my baby strawberries."

I have pondered the lessons of that evening many times since then. The forces that arranged that miracle were sent in motion long before my son actually said his prayers at bedtime: God knew what he was going to ask before he asked it, and had set in motion the answer long before. There have been times where I wanted to pray for something to happen, but thought that it was too close, too late for anything to affect the situation before the critical moment. But God isn't limited by time the way that we are: He knows the end from the beginning.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
-Matthew 21:22

Little things matter to God: a preschooler's baby strawberries are important enough for Him to move a huge storm. Even though the strawberries were easily replaceable. I've become aware of His help in a many little things: when we were potty training He warned me many times daily to take my daughter to the bathroom before she had an accident. I realized, after I broke my pizza stone, that I'd missed a prompting that would have saved it. He'd sent that prompting three different times, and three times I'd meant to act on it, but got distracted and forgot. Still, my pizza stone was important enough for Him to worry about, even knowing that I was going to miss the message until it was too late.

One of the lessons I've learned from bad guys in the scriptures is the importance of asking. Laman and Lemuel didn't understand the things their father was teaching them, but when Nephi asked them if they'd prayed about it, they gave a familiar excuse:

We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
-1 Nephi 15:9

The willingness to ask -it's even a commandment that we ask- is one of the significant differences between Nephi and his brothers. One of the big lessons for me in the strawberries that the Lord saved for my son is that God not only cares about small and simple things in the abstract, as they affect His grand designs, but that He cares about my small matters. The minutia of my life is something that He is aware of -- and He works with it to both teach me to trust Him, and also to make my life run more smoothly. We can take even our small concerns to Him; He cares.

Learn the #PrinciplesofPeace from the #PrinceofPeace mormon.org

1 comment:

Anne Chovies said...

Cool experiences​! I like this one.


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