He Hears Us All
This past weekend, my wife and I were abundantly blessed by our new, close friends, the plumbers. I sincerely wish that was their last name, but alas, it’s their profession. The plumbers “checked-in” to our residence on Saturday morning and did not “check-out” until Monday evening, and now they feel like family. I hope they enjoyed their stay at the Hawk Suites.
It’s Pretty Simple, Really
So, what happened? Pretty simple, really. Friday evening, I quickly discovered that we did not have hot water. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, by Saturday afternoon strong men were tunneling under our house. Before the tunneling commenced, the “surgeon” plumber had to be called to locate the source of the leak.
The guru entered our residence wearing a stethoscope large enough to hear the heartbeat of a T-Rex, systematically listening to the slab to find the culprit. I fervently prayed that the bubbling brook would be discovered near the edge of the slab. With each foot of tunneling costing as much as a top-of-the-line Michelin tire, I needed the diagnosis to be found in a measurement of “inches” rather than “feet.”
I trusted the Holy Spirit to intervene with plumbing groans that my distressed heart was unable to express. Thankfully, the leak was found four feet into the slab. My heart soared, yet my wallet was depleted. And such are the joys of homeownership. Truthfully, we consider ourselves very blessed to live in a time and place where trained professionals can quickly fix these problems, but if I learned anything last week, I learned that I went into the wrong business.
How Prayer Works
As the plumbers knowledgeably worked to fix our problem (which all things considered, was very insignificant compared to the substantial tribulations of our world), I pondered again how prayer works. I still struggle to understand, and likely always will.
While I was praying in my living room for the “plumber surgeon” to cost-efficiently find the leak in our slab, someone else in the world, or maybe just a few miles down the road at Baylor Hospital of Dallas, was praying for a heart surgeon who was about to perform quadruple bypass surgery. That does not even begin to count the millions of prayers being offered for insurmountable purposes and pleas, all at the same time. I cannot talk on the phone and send an email synchronously. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, but I cannot keep a real conversation going and send a text message concurrently. No one can.
Do you not think that the family of the patient undergoing heart bypass surgery, or the surgeon about to perform the procedure, would want God to care and listen more intently about that situation than my plumbing troubles? If the roles were reversed, I certainly would!
God Hears All Prayers
And yet, God hears all prayers with equitable concern and care. He may give different answers, but every plea uttered in Jesus’ name receives the Father’s undivided attention. For someone struggling to believe in God, or for a believer struggling to keep believing, that is a hard idea to accept. A large pill to swallow. How does it work? That is a fair question.
But as a very wise minister and friend reminded me this week, “That is the problem we face when we try to turn God into a much bigger version of ourselves.” God is God, and we are not. We are not supposed to understand, and that is ok.
There is a reason that the seemingly unpredictable, often anxious, but divinely inspired apostle Peter penned, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5: 7, NIV). ALL our anxiety. For our God, there is nothing too small and insignificant, or too big and troublesome. He can handle it, and He hears us all.
So, keep calm and pray on. If you feel compelled to keep praying for the well-being of our plumbing, that is perfectly acceptable (and appreciated). And if you the need a phone number for a good plumber…
Jacob Hawk, PhD, serves the Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bible and Ministry from Harding University and a Ph.D. in Christian Leadership from Liberty University. He is the author of five books: Image of the Invisible God; The Hawk’s Nest: 90 Lessons for Faith and Family; When Mountains Won’t Move: How to Survive a Struggling Faith; Blinded by Darkness; and BOLD: Statements that Changed History. Jacob produces a weekly podcast, Road Talk: Navigating Your Journey, which airs weekly out of his office. To follow along with Jacob Hawk’s writing and speaking ministry, visit www.drjacobhawk.com