This morning at church, we finished up our teaching from the book of James. I took a deep breath when I saw our message notes. We were going to be starting off with Chapter 5, verse 13. That means NOTHING to you, I know. So let me tell you this. My birthday is May 13. That would be 5/13. And if you were to ever spend any time in my head, you would know that I love to see 513 just about anywhere. Billboards, phone numbers, license plates... oh yeah, and especially in the Bible.
So there it was on our message notes... just sitting there in answer to my late night of fear and anxiety about the future. After an hour of crying to a dear friend on the phone... it was a message that seemed to be aimed right at me.
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray."
I listened to our pastor as he joked about how, when we're hit with a dilemma in life, we set our minds to solving the problem. We google it, we research it, we get advice from friends and neighbors... and then, when all else fails, we pray. I do that. So often. I forget to just stop with the stinking thinking and just pray. It was clearly a message I needed to hear today.
Then we went about our day. As the day wore on, I began feeling a bit more anxious about our move and about all the changes that were coming. And then I just got this wild idea... we needed to pray somewhere where we could "see" God.
We took a little drive.
We turned up a street that leads to the back side of the Way Up Hill... a hill I've conquered on a few occasions. Locals call it the Way Up Hill because, well... it's WAY up, of course. To one side, we could see the sun turning a vast stretch of the Pacific into gold. The Channel Islands were lined up on the horizon to the west, floating above the water. Hot air balloons hung below us to the south. To the east, the full moon was just becoming clearer over the hills and valleys surrounding the lake that suddenly looked like a puddle. Dotting the landscape were hundreds and hundreds of houses.
None of them ours.
I hugged the kids and told them that, as much as I wanted to tell them I knew exactly where we were going to end up and what was going to happen in the next few months, the truth was that I didn't. I told them how sorry I was that I couldn't make them feel more secure about that, but that this was going to be a time in our lives that we would have to have a lot of faith... and that we were going to have to pray. So we did.
We prayed for guidance.
We prayed for courage.
We prayed for wisdom.
And you know what? I feel less overwhelmed now. That alone is an answer to prayer.