One day last summer I decided to dig deep and attack that stack of old boxes in the corner of our garage. Now, you may picture a neat as a pin garage with an unsightly mess of boxes in one corner. Not the case. Our garage is decidedly unsightly in most corners. I have always fared more on the neat freak side, but my husband is a creative and doesn’t make time for such mundane tasks as garage cleaning. I used to say, “I do the inside, and you do the outside.” That was my convenient way of avoiding the evolving job of garage overhaul.
It was there in the garage that I found God in a box.
I made a deal with myself that I would stay focused and not loiter in the boxes of old memories. Sure! The first box I opened was filled with old letters from loved ones. The letter on top caught my eye, as it was a letter from my dad’s mom, Grandma Marguerite, who had passed away years before. Grandma Marguerite was a fierce prayer warrior. I know that she prayed without ceasing for her son, my dad, to be saved. That prayer has yet to be answered. However, what I found in that box showed me without a doubt the mighty power of prayer.
I could see the letter had already been opened, but I had no memory of ever reading it. I noticed the date atop the letter was 1993. It had a poetic quality.
My sweet Granddaughter,
You have been heavy on my heart.
Yesterday I woke up and prayed to God, “How will I know she is ok? I have no idea where she is or how to get a hold of her. I haven’t heard from her in months. Please let me know she is ok.”
God smiled at me.
Today I woke up and prayed to God, “How will I know where she is? I haven’t heard from her in so long. Please, God, just let me know she is ok, so my heart can be at peace.”
God smiled at me.
Then the doorbell rang.
I answered the door and there was a young man holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
They were from you!
The note read, “Thinking of you, Grandma. I love you.”
And I smiled at God.
I sat down and wept. If you read my first blog post, Rebirth, you know what an utter mess my life had been before Jesus. My early twenties were spent running from my broken past, my family, and my inability to deal with all of the above. When I was twenty-one years old, I ran all the way to New York. I partied with the right crowd, got into all the best clubs VIP style, and rarely slept. I certainly didn’t call my family much, although I missed them so much it hurt. Too much time had already passed without contact. What would I say? I would party the pangs of guilt away. I would wake up in cold sweats, worrying about them worrying about me. The distance I created seemed beyond my control.
One wintry morning in New York, I woke up and Grandma Marguerite was on my mind. I couldn’t shake her. I could literally feel the weight of her worry pressing down on my heart. I tried to fight it most of the day, but finally gave up. I went to the corner flower shop and sent her flowers with a brief note. I remember how relieved I felt when I sent it.
I sat in the garage that hot, summer afternoon stunned at how God had used me to answer the prayers of His faithful child, my grandmother. I was awed by the majesty of His power and the compassion of His soul.
How could I not remember this letter? It’s almost like God was saving this moment for me. God’s timing…
I didn’t even know him then.
But she did. She cried out to Him and He was there. Nothing could keep him away, not the hundreds of miles, not the granddaughter who was a lost soul…nothing.
And He is there for you,too, waiting for you to cry out to Him. Nothing can keep Him away…nothing.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7