God is in the details, but often He lets us choose the details of those details.
I think sometimes we feel a little forgotten by God. And even though we know, deep down, He really is there and He really is listening, our temptation to lose faith is replaced by seeds of resentment – why won’t God answer our heartfelt prayers for the things that we think we need?
I know (and you know) that God is aware of our trials. He hears us when we pray and even though He doesn’t remove our trials all the time, He will give us what we ask for when we don’t ask “amiss.” Asking amiss is asking for things we shouldn’t, but that gets complicated when we’re not sure what is and isn’t appropriate to ask for. We’re not entirely sure what God’s plan for us is all the time…
For example, I prayed and begged that God would heal me after I was paralyzed, but no. Here I am, almost 16 years later, typing this newsletter message with unsharpened pencils weaved between my paralyzed fingers. (Check out my typing video here 🙂 )
And through other spiritual insights, I’ve learned that being paralyzed is a trial God needs me to have so I can learn stuff and do stuff and serve people in a specific way.
We all want to serve Heavenly Father and accomplish our purposes here on Earth, but I think we want so much to be on board with God’s plan that we don’t allow ourselves the luxury of asking for any extra specifics at all, fearing that we might ask “amiss.” We want God’s plan to roll forth unobstructed and so our prayers are absent of any request…unless it’s a big request, usually the removal of a major trial, and in those “big” instances, often the Lord’s answer really is no.
But even when God won’t remove a trial, He’s still listening. And He will give us what we want, not just need, to live happily as we ask for the special details that will (reverently) enhance our life in a fun way. Some non-amiss things we ask for could include peace, joy, temperance, patience, meekness, the ability to recognize tender mercies, friends, faith, duckies…
That’s what I said when my 2-year-old told me what she needed. Duckies? We were at Deseret Industries to drop off a donation and get my two girls a toy. Not to brag, but we’re kind of the best parents in the galaxy and our kids can get whatever they want from the DI toy aisle 🙂 . They’d worked hard all day, they had cleaned the church building, did their chores, and sorted through their toys and clothes to choose things to donate – and a toy at DI was their reward.
But the day really had been very long and my 2-year-old was exhausted. She lay half asleep on my lap as I pushed around the aisles looking for the “duckies” she said she wanted. She had seen them – somewhere – in passing. We searched and searched. My husband and other daughter were searching also. We asked my 2-year-old several times if she’d like something else, but no. Duckies. She wanted duckies.
Whatever that meant.
I have heard that the loudest prayers in heaven come from mothers for their children and surely my silent prayer shook the heavens as I pleaded for Heavenly Father to help me find the duckies that my daughter had seen and wanted so badly.
The duckies were neither needed for the life’s work of my 2-year-old, nor would they play a major role in her purposes here on Earth, but they were something important to her tired soul on that particular day. And because they were important to her, they were important to Heavenly Father. He knew about all of the trials she faced at that time – not just her exhaustion and impatience, but also added hardships she was currently experiencing like potty training, her struggle to be the youngest, her confusion about when Santa Clause was coming back, and back pain she was experiencing at the time.
God is very much aware of my daughter – and all of us! And He is truly in the details of our lives. But I think He gives us the liberty to choose some of those details.
My husband was very much done shopping for toys at DI and was already at the front of the store with my older daughter. I tried explaining to my 2-year-old that I was so sorry, but I couldn’t find the duckies. I was so sad as we started to leave the aisles of assorted dishes and toys. My daughter’s whimpering cries were breaking my heart.
But then, in what can only be described as a miracle, Daisy shouted, “Der dey awr! Der awr du duckies!” And there they really were. On the end of a shelf, tucked behind some baskets, were white ducks painted on a blue box with a handle. I almost cried.
I told my daughter that God cares about what she cares about and He gave her the duckies that she wanted so much. We hadn’t asked amiss.
God has a plan for each of us and we each have a work to do while we are here. It’s important to understand how trials are needful and how they help us to do what God needs us to do and to be who God needs us to be. Each of us needs to figure out how we can serve others because of our trials as Ulisses Soares says and to “look around and reach out to the sheep who are facing the same circumstances and lift them up and encourage them to proceed on the journey towards eternal life.”
And as we accomplish our missions here to serve and lift others, God gives us some wiggle room to create some of the special details of our lives. He cares about what we care about. And He wants us each to have some “duckies.”
So, at the start of this New Year, my challenge for us all is to accept the trials that God won’t remove, use those trials to lift others who are facing the same circumstances, and allow ourselves the luxury of creating some special details in our lives as we ask, reverently non-amiss, for some “duckies.”
Keep on Rollin’,