My husband and I just got back from a long vacation trip back where we grew up. We visited with 24 different families that we are related to. We traveled a total of 3,000 miles by car. While we were there we celebrated Memorial Day, attended an 80th birthday party, and attended a wedding. In between those events, we talked with a lot of family, and hugged, and laughed. It was a wonderful trip!
Although we attended 2 church services during our trip, and I attempted to pray each morning (as is my habit), my prayers and my time with God were often cut short by family outings. Driving home at the end of our trip, I realized that God needs to be in all those events and family gatherings. Why is it so hard for me to remember to include God in the busyness of my life? I know God wants me to “pray continually” (1Thessalonians 5:17). Part of that is praising God for the wonderful things in my life. I had much to praise God for this trip, as we enjoyed visiting family, and nothing major happened to detract from all the love and fun. I had prayed before the trip that we have a good, safe, loving visit. He totally answered that prayer! I did feel that my prayers were sporadic during this trip. I needed to reconnect with God. After all, He is my Father, and this was a trip about famiy.
So driving home, approaching Atlanta in pouring rain, and wanting to get past Atlanta before stopping for the night, I decided to pray. I was anxious about finding a hotel, and driving much further in this rain. So I prayed for exactly what we needed, “God, we need a hotel, just past Atlanta, that will cost no more than $65, where we can arrive there by 9pm, that will be clean and have a comfortable bed, and be quiet, so we can get a good night’s sleep”. Then I decided to trust Him to answer, and I would relax, and not worry. I sat back, enjoyed the music on the radio, and helped my husband (who was driving) watch road signs.
As we drove past Atlanta, the rain stopped. I saw a sign for a Quality Inn at the next exit. We often stay at Quality Inns, so I said “Let’s take this exit”. Right at the exit, was the hotel. We drove in, and asked about a room. They had rooms, and the cost was $62 including tax and fees. That was right in our price, so I said, “Yes, let’s take it.” When we got to the room, it was easy to get to, was clean, mostly quiet, and yes the bed was very comfortable. It even had a refrigerator, where we could stash the stuff from our cooler, and refreeze the ice packs. Even though I had neglected to ask for a refrigerator, God knew we would need one. At this point I told my husband about my prayer, and I said, “God answered my prayer, and even provided a refrigerator”! We got ready for bed, and had a restful sleep. In the morning, we were ready to drive the rest of the way home.
Now I want to remember this experience, and try to include God in all my activities, and talk to Him about all my needs, and thank Him often for all He does. I am a member of God’s family, so I really should talk to Him more often, and listen to Him more, and praise Him every day. Maybe then I can begin to understand how to “pray continually”.
I am writing this post on Father’s Day. On this Father’s Day, I want to remember my heavenly Father. “God, you are a superb Father. You have always taken care of me, even when I ignored you. You listen to my prayers, and you always answer, although I sometimes do not like your answer. I know that you only bring what’s good to my life. I thank you for protecting me from evil. I thank you for comforting me during illnesses, and when I am sad. I thank you for giving me a home to live in, and food every day. You are an amazing Father, and I love you. Happy Father’s Day!”
Now, what can you thank your heavenly Father for? If you like, I would love to read your comments of thanks to God in the comment section below. Or maybe you would rather quietly tell Him in prayer…