She received God's loving message: Even when times are hard, I’ll help you through them.
byDec 5, 2013
I was packing up to leave the architectural firm where I'd been working. Into a box went my templates, triangles and scales, with the picture of my daughters, Julia, three, and Laura, a newborn, on top.
This will be a real change for me, I thought. Now I'd be home full-time with Laura and Julia.
My husband, Chris, was also an architect and we worked at the same firm. When Julia was born, Chris and I were able to work out a schedule so that one of us was always home with our daughter.
When Laura came along, I expected our routine to continue as before. However the firm had other plans. My bosses said if I wanted to stay I had to work full-time. So now, sadly, I was leaving.
Chris and I talked for hours, trying to figure out how to handle our budget on his earnings alone. Money would be tight. Before Laura was born we had bought a fixer-upper. Now we’d have no money for any of the renovations. The mortgage payments would be a stretch. And I would have to tell Julia we couldn’t go to the movies or buy new toys.
As our lifestyle changed, I found myself feeling uneasy about the future. I couldn’t help wondering how we’d make ends meet.
After lunch one afternoon, I promised Julia we’d bake chocolate chip cookies, one of our favorite inexpensive pastimes. Julia helped me mix the batter and spoon out the dough. I slid the cookie sheet into the oven. But when I opened the door to check on them later, the cookies weren’t done. I turned the oven on and off. I checked the pilot light. It was lit, but the oven wouldn’t fire up. My heart sank. Now there’d be no more baking until we could squeeze money for repairs out of our budget.
The next day, when we were watching one of Julia’s favorite videos, the screen went blank. Sound came out, but there wasn’t any picture. “Now the TV?” I almost wailed.
Julia’s big eyes stared at me. “It’s OK, Mommy.”
When Chris came home we fiddled with the TV for a long time to no avail. A repairman was out of the question. We’d have to do without.
At lunch the following day I complained about the whole situation as Julia ate a peanut butter sandwich and Laura napped. “I’m not sure how this new arrangement is going to turn out,” I said out loud. “And now all these things are going wrong. What are we going to do?”
Julia said, “Mommy, why don’t we pray about it?” “What?” I asked, flabbergasted. I hadn’t realized she was listening. “Why don’t we ask God to fix things?” she said. “He can do anything you ask Him to do.” Chris and I had taught Julia that God listens to our prayers and answers them.
I wish it were that simple, I thought. But if my three- year-old wanted to pray, how could I say no? So we bowed our heads and held hands right at the kitchen table. “Lord, our TV is broken and so is our oven. Please help us get things working again,” I said. “And please take care of us in our new situation.”
As I started to wash dishes, Julia skipped around the kitchen. “Let’s make cookies now,” she said.
“But honey, you know the oven is broken,” I said. “No, it’s not,” she insisted. “God fixed it. Remember?”
“God will help us in His own time and way,” I tried to explain. Then I went over to the oven and turned the dial. “See, it’s still broken.” I opened the door, but to my utter surprise, the oven fired up right away. “I can’t believe it!” I exclaimed. Julia just shrugged her shoulders and smiled.
I walked over to the television and flicked it on. Once again, sound came, but no picture. It was then I noticed one of the adjustment knobs wasn’t in its usual position. I was sure that I had turned that knob before. Might as well try it again, I thought. A quick twist and the picture came on, clear as day! Just as clear was the message now conveyed to me by a loving God: Your future is in My hands. Trust Me. Even when times are hard, I’ll help you get through them.
A minute later, Julia and I were in the kitchen mixing batter as the oven heated up. I watched my daughter struggle with the mixing spoon, stirring the eggs and butter and sugar and flour. As I stroked her hair, I felt more relaxed than I had in weeks. Sometimes, I thought, your mommy needs a reminder about who’s in charge of our daily lives. Thank you for showing me the power of a simple prayer. And the reassurance of knowing that God does make house calls.