June 26, 2012
You may have noticed that I didn’t send out any “ruminations” last week. I have been inundated by emails asking where the words of wisdom have gone?! Well okay, maybe I haven’t gotten any emails… and “words of wisdom” may be a stretch, but what follows is the next installment.
Bear with me as I recount two quick stories. One evening, 20 years ago now, I came home late. I walked into the kitchen to find Ellen standing at the sink washing dishes. When she turned around to face me it was obvious that she was very distraught. When I asked what was wrong she held her hand up and showed me that her diamond was missing from her engagement ring. To be honest, that seems to be a much bigger issue for women than for men. I was sad for her but frankly… well… you get the idea. I sat down to eat my dinner and prayed this prayer… “Lord, I know diamonds don’t mean that much to you but it’s important to her. If you could answer this prayer for us to find it I would be most grateful.” I barely got the “Amen” out of my brain before my eyes caught a flicker on our kitchen floor… there it was. Understand that she had been cleaning that day and her hands were inside the couch, in the sink, and mostly all over our house not to mention the fact that she had swept the floor looking for the illusive rock. The likelihood of finding that diamond was SLIM.
Now let’s jump forward to 2 weeks ago. Ellen and I were laying in bed reading when she let out a short cry… once again she showed me her ring finger… the diamond was gone. Neither of us thought it would be found this time… I guess we felt like we were living on 20 years of borrowed time. But I prayed once again. 10 days went by and no sign of it. Then Alissa was cleaning the kitchen floor and once again, there it was under the lip of a floor cupboard.
My question is this: does God really care about this stuff? And maybe more important is it okay to pray about lost diamonds? I mean the world is filled with starving and diseased adults and children! Is it really alright to pray about our abundance? One would think that at some point there have to be inappropriate prayers right? For example praying that we might prosper at the expense of others seems to be outside the bounds. Or that God might bless our sin. Or trivial prayers like “Lord let me breath in, now breath out, now in, now…”
Frankly, I’m not really sure how to deal with these things at times. In the case of the lost diamond for some reason God chose to honor my prayers. Why God didn’t allow thousands of other “diamond losers” to find their compressed carbon I don’t know. Ellen reminded me that if I knew the answer to that question I would know the mind of God. I don’t like it when she knows more theology than me!!
So, what to do, what to do? I guess at the end of the day we recognize that God is a relational Being. He wants to know His creation and to carry on a relationship with His children. Maybe it’s not unlike our own children… we listen to them… even when their words are not the least bit interesting to us. Why do we listen? Because we care about them and love them! I guess if we are going to err, we should err on the side of prayer and let God figure it out from there. I suspect He’s capable.