I have learned that God is always faithful to answer prayers, just not always in the way that I might have asked. Usually His way involves more work than I would like, but His way is always more beautiful than anything I could have thought of.
God has been showing me lately the verses in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that talk about how everything is useless if we do it without love. The verses give examples of great things Paul could do, but then say that if he does them without love they are worthless. I have been thinking about the things I do every day, and whether I do them with love. When I am sweeping, mopping, folding clothes, or doing dishes, am I doing it with love? And can the girls see that I do these things because Jesus loves them? Or do they see me doing them because it is my job?
At my church there is a program called the Sending Program that trains and sends missionaries. I am currently in this program, and am extremely blessed to have a mentor, Beth, who is walking with me through the process of figuring out where God is leading. Yesterday I was talking with her through Skype, and she asked how she could be praying for me. I immediately thought of this, and asked her to pray that I would do the small things with love, and that I would be able to have conversations with the girls about this love that Jesus has for us.
This morning after breakfast, we split up the chores we had for the morning to clean the house, and one of the older girls and I got to clean the patio outside. The patio is huge, and is swept and mopped every other day. I’d like to say I love doing this, but to be honest, there are other chores I would chose over this one. (All of them. Haha) Anyway, we went to work, and things were going pretty well, until the puppy decided to join us. For those of you who know me, you know how much I like dogs in general. (Not a lot!)At first he was just digging in the trash can, but then he decided to roll around in the mud and run around the patio. The floor was so dirty, that both of us were frustrated, but we had to laugh also. After an hour of sweeping and mopping the patio, it was even more dirty than when we started. And I wanted to send Choco, our dog, to live with all of the other dogs on the street.
Instead, we locked him in the bathroom, and started over again. And then as I was mopping the floor again and talking with the girls, God reminded me that trying to clean my heart by myself was like mopping with a dirty dog running around. It’s pointless, and will probably just make everything dirtier. But God, in his goodness sent Jesus to clean us so that we didn’t have to do it on our own. He locked up the dirtiness, and cleaned us himself. And we just had to ask him to do it. I was able to talk with girls and share with them what God was teaching me through mopping the patio, and the older girls got it. They understood the frustration of cleaning in vain, and are that much more thankful for their savior, Jesus.
Within 24 hours, God answered our prayers, and showed himself to be a faithful and loving God. He opened doors for conversations, and made himself known through the small things that I don’t consider important a lot of the time. Praise God, who made a way for us to be clean, and is faithful to show Himself to His children! Please pray for the girls, that God would continue to open doors for conversations, but more importantly that He would open their hearts to understand this great love! J