On my way into church from the parking lot I realized that my pantyhose were rapidly becoming knee highs.
I continued talking to my friends as if nothing was amiss, but inwardly I was praying that I would make it to the safety of a nearby restroom before the top of my pantyhose sagged below my skirt. My prayer was answered and I was able to hike up the hose and tuck the elastic-weary waistband into other undergarments. On my way into the sanctuary I considered that, given said dilemma, I might need to worship less enthusiastically than is my custom. That is easier said than done at our church.
While one cannot modestly assess pantyhose progress in public places, I felt as we neared the end of worship that I was holding up well. What I had not anticipated was the Spirit moving during the sermon. When our pastor asked for those desiring prayer to come forward, everything within me wanted to respond.
But I was held captive in pantyhose prison.
I knew that God could meet me right where I was, but I longed to pour out the desires of my heart in prayer at the altar.
Instead, I sat down.
As the service concluded, a new friend, Clara, took one look at me and asked, “Are you ok?”
“Yes” I said, all the while trying to gauge the current status of the pantyhose problem. I decided that they were up—literally—for the walk to the car, so we began to make our way through the crowd.
Along the way we stopped to greet more friends.
As Clara and I waited for the rest of our group, she asked again, “Are you sure you are ok? Is there anything I can pray about for you?”
I don’t know Clara well, but I do know she is a woman of prayer. So I told her what was on my heart. Without hesitation Clara commenced to exhort me in the Lord. She rattled off a succession of Scripture verses that could not have been more perfectly suited. She encouraged, she blessed, she spoke truth into my life. And she concluded with a promise to pray for me concerning the very reason I had longed to go forward.
When I arrived home I gratefully removed the problematic pantyhose, which obviously took little effort to bring down. As I sat on the edge of my bed, Clara’s sweet exhortations flowed through my mind. And I smiled to think how committed God is to reaching out to me when I am not “up” to reaching Him.
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24 NLT)