The gist of the story is this. Things are not looking good in Israel. Ahab (or Mean King Ahab, as he's known at our house) and Jezebel are king and queen. The people were confused about spiritual matters. Jezebel had brought in her gods and her religion. The True God seemed lost in the haze.
Elijah was the Lord's only prophet.
Elijah called for a showdown...a showdown at the Mt. Carmel corral.
The "odds" seemed pretty bad. Jezebel and her god, Baal, had 450 prophets. God had 1.
The contest is set up in favor of Baal. Elijah talks smack. Baal gets the first opportunity to score.
Then...nothing.....Nothing....NOTHING..... Baal is not a real god.
Now, it's Elijah's turn.
His weapon is a simple prayer and a heart for the people who have lost sight of God.
Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.And God answers BIG TIME! And the people see for themselves the awesome power of the TRUE GOD.
If you aren't familiar with it, go read it. Really. It's a good one.
Now what does this have to do with me?
Cupcake has had a wild spiritual journey in her (almost) 7 years of life. When she came home, she was openly hostile to God talk. At the same time, she absolutely adored church. She instantly knew these people were safe and friendly. She love, loved, loved the music.
But stories of Jesus?
"No, thank you."
Eventually, she came to like two Bible stories.
1.) Adam and Eve, and their big mess-up.
2.) Jesus blessing and loving on the little children.
Except for these, Cupcake will not allow me to read the Bible to her.
You see, Cupcake has trouble trusting people. That translates into having trouble trusting God.
She is confused about the true character of God.
For the past two years, we have prayed that God would reveal Himself to her in ways that she could understand. We've prayed that she would find Him trustworthy and good.
So, Tuesday night, we were up late after an evening swim. Cupcake was sitting in the chair with me, winding down a little before we put her to bed. I noticed it was 10:00 and I decided to flip on the TV and watch the local news, which is a rare treat for me. The top news story was of 4-year-old Alisa Meier, who was abducted from her yard about 70 miles north of here. A parent's worst nightmare.
It was too late. I couldn't undo what she had heard.
I watched my beautiful little flower shrivel up. Her eyes got wide as saucers and her breathing changed. Her body tensed and I could see her pulse pounding under her eye. Fear, wild fear, showed on her face.
She retold the story in her own words to make sure she understood. Then, she asked in a quivering voice, "Is that in America?"
This horrific tale hit too close to home. She has lived through similar experiences. We've worked overtime convincing her that she is safe here and no one will ever take her away.
Then it was time for bed. She asked me to pray for Alisa.
Most of the time, I pray in a very non-presumptuous, non-specific way when I pray with Cupcake. I pray for the presence of God and the peace of God in the situation, no matter what happens. I don't usually pray for a certain outcome, because I don't want Cupcake to confuse my desires with God's bigger plan. Sometimes, God answers "no" and we just can't understand why. Bad stuff happens.
The "odds" were stacked against this little girl. It had been 29 hours. The police just reiterated that after 24 hours, the chances of finding her alive and well go way down. The only lead they had in the case was the testimony of her 6-year-old brother who said it was a man in his 20's in a black car. That's it. That's all they had to go on.
With a heavy heart, I got down on my knees and prayed.
Oh God, You know where little Alisa is. Please hold her in Your arms and protect her. Lord, please let the bad guy change his mind. Let him drop her off somewhere safe so she can come home to her mom and dad. In Jesus name. Amen.Then I lay down next to my scared little girl, ran my fingers through her hair, and prayed some more.
I went to bed with stomach flipping for little Alisa, for my own daughter.
Oh God. I just put You on the spot. Cupcake needs to know that You are real and powerful and that You love lost little girls. She needs to know You answer prayers. Lord, if something happens to that little girl, she may never trust You. Please, God.
Then next morning, Steve woke me with the good news. Alisa had been found safe and sound. Her abductor had gotten spooked and left her at a car wash.
Thank you, Jesus! You are the God who loves little girls and who answers prayer!
The cool thing is: God had answered our prayer before we even prayed it. She was found at 9:45 Tuesday evening! What a lesson for my little girl!!! And her not-so-little Mamita! :-D
He put one more brick in the foundation of her faith. He gave her one more reason to trust the Savior that loves and cares for her.
Now, I don't want you to think that I'm so self-absorbed that I believe it was my prayer that saved the day. The God I serve works on a cosmic scale. He paints on a canvas that is outside the scope of what we can grasp. His plan involves entire communities. He is at work in the lives of every single person who was affected by this kidnapping. He works within the dynamics of families, and yet, He reaches and teaches us on a personal level. He speaks to the heart of the individual. He is doing this at the same time using the same situations. This is merely my perspective from my little earthly view. I know He cares deeply for Cupcake and she needed to see His power and goodness at this stage of her life. He loves little Alisa and her family and I'm sure He is at work in their lives, as well. I know that He also works in our lives through tragedy and disappointment. This time He chose a happy ending.
Blessings to you,