Is God Ignoring Your Prayers?

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She thinks that God isn't answering her prayers. Instead, God shows her this.
She thinks that God isn't answering her prayers. Instead, God shows her this. (iStockPhoto | Manmuth)

After procrastinating far longer than I'm willing to admit, I finally assembled my list and loaded my boys into the car. Costco bound, where buying in bulk is a lot more fun than PAYING in bulk, but I could put it off no longer.

Having always come up with ways to make mundane responsibilities exciting, I proved my "go with the flow" mentality as the boys squealed with delight upon seeing super-hero costumes in a large display near the entrance. My mind stayed on the grocery list, but my legs carried me to the display as my ooohs and ahhhs chorused with those of my boys.

As luck would have it, a well-meaning sales associate just happened to pass near us, mentioning it was a brand-new shipment and it was a good thing we were there, because they'd be gone soon and there wouldn't be another order coming. The horror on the faces of my children looked as if someone had stolen our car and we'd have to walk home with groceries on our backs. Total dismay, and even though they know not to beg, their eyes hadn't learned the lesson as well as their mouths.

After a short mental conversation with myself, I justified the purchase as I knelt down to their eye level, carefully explaining that in order for me to buy these, they'd have to be a Christmas present. Not an early Christmas present, but rather a present they got on Christmas. They heartily jumped, squealed and agreed as they picked out the one they wanted. Trevor, 8, began rethinking this situation as I finished up the grocery list. As we neared the register, the questions erupted. By the time we were in line, desperation had set it.

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Clutching the costume to his chest as he begged, "Please Mama, I promise I'll still be happy at Christmas! Please, Mama! Please! Please don't make me wait, I'll just be miserable! I'll never forget that they are there, somewhere, and I'm not getting to enjoy them. Please don't make me wait, Please!" He even tried a little manipulation as he pulled away from my arms with eyes set, determined to do whatever necessary to break my will so I would give in, granting him his own way. The pleading continued until I could tell he was working hard to fight back the tears. Cupping his face in my hands, I reasoned with him. I explained that surely it'd bring him peace to know that I have it, no other kids could buy it and it was waiting just for the right time to be his. "Doesn't that make you feel good to know that?" After a split second, he firmly voiced his answer, "Noooo, Mama. That doesn't make me feel better! Please! I just can't wait!"

At this point, I knew reasoning was out the door, so I knelt in front of him (We are obviously free entertainment for anyone who shops at Costco) and laid out the law. I explained with sternness in my voice that I was buying this because I knew he would really enjoy it. I loved him and wanted good things for him, but he had to believe me that on Christmas morning, as he unwrapped it, he'd be so extremely thankful that he waited. It'd be worth it. With doubt pooling in his eyes, I closed the book at that. "Trust me." He had to trust me that the wait would be worth it.

As we left the store, I'm sure they were chattering, but my own thoughts were louder than their voices. I suddenly realized that I have been guilty of the exact same thing.

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