Prayer has been all over my map this year. In teaching, in being taught, in reading, and even in applying, trying, failing, and succeeding. I was remided yesterday about how “informal” we can be with God in terms of the whole “process,” but how much He just loves to hear from us and also, how much he longs to answer us.
At the beginning of September, we start a new Sunday School “year” at our church. Being the team leader for that ministry has put me into a number of situations, but the one I love the most is raising up new leaders into spots of ministry that are just right for them. While I say that, I also love the opportunity to watch these people be raised up by others… it’s a wonderful opportunity to watch miracles in action. This event yesterday showed me both sides of this, how prayer fit in, and how wonderful God is to us.
One of our preschool classes (the one my son is in, it so happens) has been in need of a helper for the teacher. It’s not at all that Kelley (their teacher) can’t handle them – she does an excellent job at that – but we feel with any age of kids, it’s just best to have a couple adults in their – for a whole number of different reasons. Kelley was one we were able to pray in and raise up about a year ago, I think… she was hesitant at first, as I think it was her first time at something like this, but it didn’t even really take “convincing” on our part. We told her the opportunity, told her we thought she was “our girl,” gave her the time she needed, prayed and prayed and prayed, and she stepped up to the plate, and is hitting home run after home run after home run with these kids. I love it. She’s one of my favorite success stories on raising up the right person for the right ministry opportunity, instead of just filling “the spot” with a warm body… even with 2 and 3 year olds.
So we’ve been talking about getting her a helper again. Sara, my Preschool Leader, writes up a job description for me. Not just one of your standard “you need to be comfortable with diapers and misdirected pee” job descriptions, but one highlighting the importance of ministering to these kids at this young age, the “setting” into which this helper will be placed (definitely a “helper” spot not a “co-teacher” or anything like that), and we are prepared to share it with the church on Sunday in print and in word.
But Oh, how God flipped this one around on us! I got a reply to a generic email I sent yesterday from Kelley that starts off like this:
“Guess what??????? I have a helper!”
How great is that. We haven’t even announced our announcement yet, and God has filled the spot. What I’m loving even more is that he used one of “our recruits” to recruit him! She goes on in a later email:
“He said he had been thinking about it but didn’t say anything and he came in Sunday to help me so from then on I was thinking about it and then I talked to him last night. What a PRAISE”
I LOVE that! Part of the back story to this, and really the real reason I wanted to write about this, was because I “threw up a prayer” to God about this very class, and even this very guy, about a week ago. Not a “God, please put it on Josh’s heart to step into this or let us convince him” type of prayer, but just a “Hey God, what about this guy?” type of prayer… and it never went beyond that – at least not with me. But behind the scenes, in the realms of heaven, prayer, and the Holy Spirit, i picture it like one of those little chain reaction things where you start off tipping over a little domino, and in the end, a toaster pops out a piece of toast, butters it, and puts in on your plate, ready to enjoy… I don’t even know if I was that first domino – I really don’t think so or even care – but it’s just amazing to see the chain reaction of prayer and trust, even in the little things we throw up to God for him and let him “manage.” Even in the prayers we don’t take time to consider how well we can put them together. Even in the prayers we aren’t even all that serious about.
At last count, there were at least 4 people, plus our new recruit, that were involved in this this past week… some just in prayer, others in writing up job descriptions we’d never need except to highlight God’s resourcefulness, and others to encourage, to ask, and to take that final step in bringing the new leader/helper into the fold. I love how this has all worked together, and it’s reminding me again about how important, necessary, and wonderful it is to not have to “manage” all of this on our own.