Monday, January 21, 2008

Leaving No Fingerprints

Last week I went home and was fortunate enough to see some fruit of prayer. Every time I visit home it is weird because it is like I am reentering a zone of my old self and because I have been changed every thing is different, friends, family, etc. I go down and visit but don’t ever see anything overtly encouraging or memorable; it is just hum drum, “glad you are home” business. This trip was different. This trip I left Jacksonville with a full belly, I left satisfied, I left encouraged, and pretty pumped about what God had been doing while I was gone from that beautiful city. My brother lives in Tampa now and has a very nice job. So I flew in Thursday night and was able to go see my grandma (I call her Nana) and eat some Krystal’s (Like White Castle, but not disgustingly greasy or soggy). Friday morning I got up and was able to spend more than half a day with my step-dad, Danny. We met my little sister for lunch at Bono’s BBQ! There is nothing better than some good ol’ southern food when I go home. I love fried okra, but people think I am speaking another language or from a different planet when I mention it up here in Indianapolis. After lunch we ran out to the town center. It is a really high end outdoor mall in Jacksonville. We went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get some Jaguars gear for the game the following Saturday night. Lucky for us Jacksonville went crazy and over ordered Jaguar apparel so we found a heck of a sale. I got an authentic jersey that is normally $309.95 for $49.95 and a nice official NFL Reebok hat for $17! I was all geared up and ready to go watch the game on Saturday night. The whole day Danny and I were able to talk and just spend some good quality time together. I had wanted to restore my relationship with him, since we didn’t really always have the greatest relationship anyways. It was good to see how much God has changed him and how soft his heart had become. I was able to talk to him a little about Jesus and the difference between really following Jesus and practicing a religion (Consumer Christianity).

Friday night we left and drove down to Tampa to see my brother and his family. It was about a 3 hour drive. I rode with my mom. We had the best talk I think we have ever had. We talked about everything from how to handle fear of getting hurt in relationships (I’m horrible about getting involved at an arm’s length) to how God has been moving in her life. Anyways, I am sure it was the most memorable moment and one of my favorite moments with my mom! It was amazing to see how much God has softened her up and given her more of a desire to seek Him. Anyways, as we were talking I was just looking out the window thanking God for showing me this (I was laying back in my seat relaxing while she was driving, that is how I was able to look out the window). I got goose bumps because of just listening to her speak and just being able to bond with my mom.

After we got home from Tampa on Sunday I decided I really wanted to talk with my sister about some things that concerned me about her life. We ran up to a Starbucks close to my mom’s house and talked the entire way there and back. We didn’t just talked about surface things either, we talked about some deep stuff. She has been reading Proverbs and praying for God to show her things so she can know what to do or where to go in her life right now. God is actually showing up too and she acknowledges it!

All in all it was a great trip, an unforgettable one for sure. The reason I write any of this is not to give some kind of chronological progress report but to expose a greater truth I realized after reflecting on all this. Often times I find myself only praying for things that I have a direct contact with, a way to get involved with or touch. I’ve been praying for my family for almost 2 years now. I would find myself really discouraged because I couldn’t see what God was doing, it’s like I didn’t trust it because I couldn’t see it. I was very fortunate to see a little fruit of my prayers last weekend. It made me realize how faithful God is and how praying for others to come close to Him is a prayer He will always want to answer. Blind faith in prayer is difficult, but God gives us these brief moments to see what He is doing as a gift and thus should make us pray all the more (even though we do not have direct contact). So next time I pray about things I will pray, step back, and trust in Him, trust He is in control and will do what is best. Do you ever feel like this, like praying for things you don’t have contact with or are not directly affected by is pointless? May you continue to pray and trust God is listening and always active and in control. We do not always have to leave fingerprints on our prayers, but we must always trust God will leave His on the situation.

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