I didn’t think much of this small pittance. I only saw it as failure on our part. A failure to grow it more, add more, provide more. So I was totally caught off guard when she came to me in tears of gratitude. Didn’t matter that the amount was so small. She drew more from our love and intent behind the action than the result.
Sometimes we get so caught up on how things appear on the outside. Lately I’ve become very aware of how this manifests in our words and how we interact with the world. We worry about how we look in the sense of how others will perceive AND judge us. We worry about how our family appears to others, be they neighborhood or family friends or our church family—worrying how we are perceived AND perhaps judged there as well, especially when we are mismatched.
I’m learning that those things I’ve spent so much time worrying about often don't mean squat. In fact, when those thoughts or concerns creep in, I find myself saying, “I don’t care.” Or, “It doesn’t matter.” What matters is what God thinks.
And that’s what I felt like my daughter showed me yesterday. She showed me an unexpected perspective. God’s. Didn’t matter that the result hadn’t turned out the way I wanted it. She received something from it that I never expected.
Validation that she mattered..
And that’s truly what we want, isn’t it? As moms. As wives. As God’s children. We want to know that we matter, that our efforts makes a difference in the lives of those we love, like our children coming to know Jesus and walking in a faith relationship with Him that continues to grow and grow, right?
But what I’m also learning (and a bit painfully I might add) right now is that the results God has planned are so often different than what we think. At times they even seem counterproductive, like when God brings the most amazing fruit from our failed attempts.
Like when our weakness makes His strength all the more apparent.
My daughter received something much more meaningful than money from her parents’ meager attempts to provide. She received the intention in our hearts, to want only good for her.
And if that’s our hearts as parents, think about God’s heart for us, His children. When God shows up, we are validated as His children. We grow in our faith and trust, which brings us more boldness and freedom.
And His heart for our children is even bigger than ours. All those things we pray for our children—God wants them too. He wants them to know who He is. He wants them to know His goodness. He wants them to have a relationship with Him that rocks their world for Jesus.
I love what the second part of James 5:16 says:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
My friends, we are the righteousness of Christ. That’s part of our inheritance, part of the trust fund Jesus set up when He died on that cross for us. We receive it when we ask Jesus to save us and as coheirs with Christ, we bear His righteousness.
So our prayers are powerful and effective. Statistics will try to tell us how ineffective we are, and based upon our own ability alone, they are probably true.
But the prayers of the righteous are effective because they are powerful and ongoing. The Greek word for effective is the same as the word we get energy from: energeo. And if you pay attention to the law of physics, energy continues to work. It doesn’t diminish or run out in a defined system.
In other words, our prayers don’t just peter out and fizzle. Every prayer of the righteous is ongoing, present tense and working. So in God’s system of prayer, righteousness and energeo, we are effective and our loved ones will be affected.
Those are statistics worth noticing and caring about. Ones we can believe and trust because God is the fuel behind them. And I’ve never known Him to run out.
You have my heart and prayers!