by Susan Stillwell
My daughter Sarah has an affinity for boots. When she went away to college, I noticed a lot of her cute coed friends wearing UGG boots, so I decided to surprise her with a pair for Christmas. I found a beautiful pair in a style I hadn’t seen before—camel colored, tall profile “Bailey” boots that had roll-down tops and cute buttons on the side. I paid more than I’d planned, but I knew she’d love them.
That is, until a few weeks later when she emailed me a link to the boots she wanted: chocolate brown, short, and plain. Not even close to the ones I’d already wrapped with shiny Christmas foil. I consulted with her dad and brother who, like typical men, told me to give her the ones I bought and not worry about it.
Yeah, but what parent wants to give their kid the wrong gift?
The internal debate continued as Christmas drew nearer. To return them, I’d have to make a day trip out of town. Before the holidays. In iffy December weather. So I took the guys’ advice, kept the Baileys and hoped for the best.
Christmas morning arrived and Sarah ripped into her big shiny box. Digging through the tissue paper, she froze when she saw them.
“BAILEY BOOTS?” She squealed, “How did you know I wanted BAILEY BOOTS?”
“But you asked for something else!” I fussed, “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted the Baileys?”
“Because Baileys are expensive and I thought they cost too much. But they were the ones I really wanted.”
I wonder if we don’t sometimes pray that way. Too many times, really. We aim low, afraid to tell God the true desires of our hearts because we think we might be asking too much.
But is there such a thing as “too much” for the all-powerful, all-sufficient Creator and Sustainer of the universe? The reality is that even when we aim as high as we can imagine, it doesn’t even come close to what He can do. What He might want to do.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… – Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)
As Paul penned those words, I wonder if the Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of Jesus. If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him (Matthew 7:11)!
What if we expanded our prayers to sound like,
“Lord, You know I have this specific need/concern. I’m dreaming of [insert your big dream here]. But I trust You to provide for this in the very best way, and in a way that’s unmistakably YOU.”
Open-ended, audacious, and expectant. We might end up with some really cool boots of our own.
Susan Stilwell makes her home in the Virginia mountains and is a member of Word Weavers Online. This Hokie majored in Computer Science and spends too much time on her devices. Family and friends make her life full, and that spills out into her community.
Besides wandering in the mountains, she teaches, speaks, writes, and dreams about her next trip to Israel.
Connect with Susan on Twitter, Facebook, or SusanStilwell.com