How often lately I am finding that I respond more out of fear than I realize. Life is very big and bold and truthfully many times more out of my control than within my grasp. For instance, late last week, as I headed home from a very busy day, I witnessed the person up ahead of me hit a dog on a very busy street during rush hour. The poor dog was noticeably injured, but well enough to run off the road and into a nearby apartment complex howling and limping greatly. My heart cried as I pulled over, stopped the car, and then waited until it was safe for me to run across the same road – cars speeding to get home for the evening. A lady in the apartment complex about two stories up saw the accident and tried to direct me to where the dog had run off to, but after about 20 minutes of calling and whistling, also being joined by a couple who had also seen the accident, we were unable to locate the poor animal. My heart broke – I had no control to fix that which was hurting the poor creature. I had no control to fix the pain I and several others felt over the unforeseen events that drew us together. All I could do was pray. Yet, in the moment I knew that prayer was my only resort, I was reminded that I wasn’t praying to an unseen, imaginary being – hoping against hope that my “belief” would be enough to make a difference. No, I was praying to the God who said in his word:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” Matthew 10:28
As I considered this, suddenly I also remembered that God said in another part of his word:
“….The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results….” James 5:16b
I wasn’t praying to an unseen, imaginary being – but I was praying to the God who fashioned that dog, and who was hurting as much as I was at its injury. I was also praying to the God with whom I had a close relationship. Suddenly a situation that seemed frightening as I felt out of control to make a difference, soon became safe, as I realized that I could not only gain the ear of the one who had control, but also gain his heart. His daughter was speaking, and he very much cared.
Did I ever find the dog? No, sadly. But I was able to pray with the woman who hit the dog. And I was able to share with her that I knew the One who knew where the dog was and cared about it deeply. I could also share with her that this God to whom we were praying together, was kind and caring, and able to do something about it. With that perspective of truth, life suddenly didn’t seem quite as big and bold and out of control any more. It suddenly seemed very safe. Thank you, Jesus!