Before I go on there is something you need to know about me. I am not one of those “let’s stop and pray about it” type of people. I have often wished I was, but I’m not the guy who thinks to stop and pray when bad things are happening. Well, at least not out loud. Inside I am often caring on a dialog with God and myself so I generally pray when things are stressful, but I rarely ever am the person who suggests that the whole group pray.
I think it one of the big reasons is that I am scared of what will happen if we all pray and then things get worse. I guess I am afraid of God letting me down. But that is a whole other longer issue that I need to work through.
Today Nathan and I ended up out in a very open parking lot virtually all by ourselves in the middle of a very strong storm. I think I could have handled that (and Nathan would have slept right through it) if it wasn’t for the hail. It started small, but it wasn’t long before walnut sized pieces of ice were bouncing off our van. It was very loud and Nathan woke up saying, “Daddy, it’s loud!”
He isn’t a big fan of loud things and I could tell that he was very close to being upset. I was pretty anxious too, by now so I am sure that didn’t help his mood much. I tried to put on a brave face and turned on a DVD. That didn’t really help because the hail was so loud we couldn’t hear the DVD.
So I am sitting in the front seat trying my best to smile at Nathan in the back seat and assure him that everything was going to be OK, when all the while I am praying in my head asking God to really help things be OK.
That is when it hit me. How will Nathan ever learn that he can pray in times like this if he doesn’t know I am praying. I debated for a few minutes about the best way to let him know I was praying. Finally I just went for this conversation:
Me: Nathan, are you scared?
Me: Do you know who can take care of us when we are scared?
Me: Yes, but God can take care of us too. Do you want to pray and ask God to take care of us?
Me: OK, say, God will you take care of us.
Nathan: God? Will you take care of us?
That was it. Nathan prayed and even the cynic in me has to say that God responded. In the first place the mood in the van lightened considerably. Somehow we both knew we were going to be fine. In the second place the hail ended almost immediately and within a couple of minutes the rain let up to just a nice summer shower.
Later I made sure that Nathan told Meredith that God had taken care of us when it was raining. God will take care of us when we are scared. That is a lesson I don’t want him to forget.
I don’t want to forget it either.