My mom prayed for everything. No matter how big or small, she prayed over every need in her life. Including parking spaces.
I remember many a Saturday spent with my mom and little sister, trundling around the parking lot of a Sears or a Kmart or a Zayre (remember Zayre?) in my mom’s big, maroon van. She would peer over the steering wheel, scanning the lot while she implored the Almighty for an open space, preferably something near the door.
A simple prayer, “Jesus, give us a good parking space.” And she said it just as earnestly as any prayer over a big Thanksgiving dinner or a sick relative or a frightened child. She wasn’t just filling the empty space with words. It wasn’t a vain oath or blasphemy. She was praying.
And sooner or later, a space would open up. And she would look my sister and me, eyebrows up, like someone who was looking over a straight flush. “See there?” Another answered prayer.
Why do we hesitate to take everything to God? Because some things just aren’t big enough to bother? If we only take our big concerns to God, I think that reveals that we don’t understand how really big God is, and how small we are.
What’s a problem that might be big enough to take to God in prayer? Where to go to college? Who to marry? When to have kids? Whether to take the job in Schenectady or Sheboygan? Sure, those are big deals.
Did you know that the hurricane that makes up the big red spot on the surface of Jupiter is the size of three Earths? Three. And I don’t just say that to make you glad you didn’t take the job on Jupiter, but to offer some perspective.
If God is the holy, almighty God that the Bible says he is — the God who set the planets in motion, who manages the nuclear reactions going on inside of every star, who decided the speed of light and the strength of gravity — imagine how far He has to stoop just to acknowledge we exist.
Yet stoop He does. And more than that. He actively seeks a relationship with us. Yearns for it. Died so we could have it.
And He wants to know our problems. He asked us to pray about them. Now, there are problems that we worry and sweat over constantly, day and night, sometimes all our lives. And there are other problems that we think aren’t really worth mentioning. But when God looks at those two kinds of problems from His throne, with His infinite perspective, is there really that much difference between them?
I don’t think God ever asked us to decide which cares were big enough to concern Him with. It is miraculous that He’s concerned at all. The more we take to Him, the more miraculous it is.
Mom glorified God not because she relied on Him for small things or big things, but because she relied on Him for everything.
Mom knew how to pray.
And, she loved babies! So here’s a little something in her honor, on her birthday.