I'm sure you heard about the "splash crash" of US Airways flight 1549 to Charlotte, NC yesterday. Taking off, a flock of geese were caught in the engines, and the plane went down in the Hudson River. Thankfully, the pilot's skillful maneuvering averted greater disaster, and the quick response by ferry and boat operators helped to rescue the passengers. The newscasts cited people testifying that, during this ordeal, many prayers were uttered throughout the cabin. Some, maybe many, of these prayers were spoken by people by who have never prayed before, but this desperate situation brought them to their knees. An old saying goes, "Nothing improves your prayer life like big trouble!" And, unfortunately, that is true. We often amble through life without any communication with the One who gave us life. That is - until trouble hits.
The real miracle here, I think, is not so much that people were spared death. The miracle is prayer itself. That the Creator of the entire universe would deem to hear our feeble cries for help is amazing. That He who set stars and planets into orbits is concerned with our baby's fever, our financial woes, our relationship problems, even our parking spaces! (Don't even tell me you've never prayed for a parking spot!) He is intimately aquainted with all our ways, and He greatly desires to spend time with us as a mother loves to spend time with her child. What if we never heard from our child unless he or she was in trouble? Wouldn't that be so sad? We love to celebrate their joys, their sorrows and their everyday experiences. And so does our heavenly Father. It's not that He doesn't know about what's happening. It's about relationship! He wants to hear about it from us, and prayer will build that relationship on our part. It will help us to know Him better the more we speak with Him.
Miracle in Charlotte
When I heard that the plane was destined for Charlotte, I felt the impact profoundly. Charlotte holds a very special place in my heart, having visited there last June for what has become a turning point of my life. I plan to share more on this in the future, but God's miracles were present at the She Speaks conference in Charlotte. The fact that I was even there was a miracle in itself. It was a conference for speakers and writers and women in Christian ministry. I have kept secret a desire to write a book for about 8 years when I found myself at this conference. At the end of the first day, I cried myself to sleep, "There is NO way that I am up to this task." My thoughts as I drifted off to sleep were that I would pay attention to the sessions the next day and glean what I could from the various speakers, but forget about my book dream. When I woke up the following morning, a single thought pushed through the haze. "Do not bury your talent. " I had one talent, and I did NOT want to be compared to the wicked and lazy servant who buried his one talent rather than invest it. I didn't give this much more thought, but my spirit felt lighter as I made my way to the sessions that day. The first speaker shared an uplifting devotion, and then I proceeded to a session I had previously selected called "Pathway to Publication." This presentation was a nuts & bolts, point by point, systematic discussion about pursuing publication. Since I had decided that I wasn't going to pursue publication, I wondered what I was doing there. Near the end of the session, the speaker said, "Now, don't forget. You have to give an account to God. Do not bury your talent." She continued on with her factual helpful information, but sitting there, I could barely breathe. Did I hear correctly? Indeed I did. Later on, we spoke and she (again very matter-of-factly) repeated, "Yes, you have to give an account... Do not bury your talent." This was a confirmation to me to do what I believe God has called me to do.
I purchased the keychain pictured to the right in Charlotte Airport waiting for my delayed flight back to NY. It is a daily reminder to me that God works even in the smallest details of my life.
There were many other doors that opened in 2008, but I share this one today because it confirms the miracle that our all-knowing, all-powerful God cares about our concerns, no matter how tiny they seem in comparison to His vastness, and He wants us to share our burdens with Him. He desires relationship with us, and to me, that's a miracle!!
Miracle at your place
Prayer ought not to be a laundry list of requests to God. It's not even just pleasant conversation with God. I am reminded of what Corrie ten Boom shared in "The Hiding Place". She was being taken out of her barrack at the concentration camp by Nazi guards. Her friend ran past her and whispered, "I'm storming the gates of heaven for you." That's what prayer is - entering a spiritual dimension where God dwells. And we're invited! My friend, Lisa, sent me an email that said: "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh no, she's awake!"