(May 5, 2009) God proved to me recently that He has a sense of humor.
This past week I reread a chapter in a book entitled, “Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To,” by Anthony DeStefano. The title of the chapter I reread was, “Why Should I Get Involved?”
To quote the author, “What is this prayer that generates such an immediate and surefire response from God? Basically, it’s simply a request: “Please, Lord, make me an instrument to carry out some important mission of mercy for you.” In other words, “Please use me to help someone in need.”
Further along in the chapter the author adds, “Mark my words, after you say this prayer, someone in need is going to practically show up on your doorstep – and he or she is going to be in dire straits.”
Also further: “Are you beginning to see why this prayer always works? It ties into the very essence of God’s being, which is love. If we pray for God to use us as an instrument to help someone else, we are really praying to be God-like.”
Then the reassuring part: “If God sends you someone to assist, he is also going to give you the time, the resources, and the wherewithal to do it…………..No matter what your personal situation, when the moment comes to help someone in need, you will be given all the wisdom and means necessary to be successful. Of that you should have no doubt.”
I couldn’t think of any reason for not praying – “Lord, make me an instrument,” – to see what would happen. Therefore, on Saturday (May 2nd), I started using that prayer.
The next morning, my wife and I were walking home from coffee on the Merrimac River, and passed through the Bartlet Mall. One of the landmarks there is a large statue of George Washington surrounded by an enclosed garden measuring about 4’ wide.
It caught our attention that the perennials (sedum) in the surrounding garden needed serious care and the area was still full of leaves from last fall.
I finished the walk home and suddenly realized that God has just presented me with a place to be an instrument. That “someone” in need was…………..George Washington!
I told me wife about my realization and together we agreed to do what we could to clean that garden up. We committed the details to God.
I knew that we couldn’t just go over there and start cleaning around the statue because it’s part of the mall. I thought that maybe the garden’s care belonged to some individual or individuals and they hadn’t done the job yet.
We ventured down to Newburyport Town Hall on Monday morning to find answers. It didn’t take long to figure out that no one was responsible for that garden and that the condition it was in was likely to continue. Believe me, there were some surprised and pleased folks at City Hall when we offered to clean up that garden. In one office, we were offered cookies!
We left city hall with permission from the mayor (John Moak) to do the cleaning.
We walked by the statue again on the way home to gauge the tools we’d need.
Last night (Monday), we were at the statue for 2+ hours clipping, pulling, and raking. The major perennial we found was sedum. The dead stalks hadn’t been cut back and they, and the deep leaves, overwhelmed the plants. Our clearing work opened up the plants to daylight and they should bloom eventually.
This morning (Tuesday) we trucked close to ten large plastic bags of leaves/debris over to the Newburyport compost site.
I can’t help but smile when I think of how God answered my prayer. The “someone” in need was George Washington and God knew that my wife and I had the time, energy, and tools to be of help. We acquired a few aches from our labors but it was still exciting to be involved the way we were.
All glory to Him. Do I hear laughing?
Anyone else want to give that, “Lord, make me an instrument,” prayer a try?? We know from experience that He will answer it.
(June 12, 2009) The call was urgent and the need was immediate.
And I didn’t reflect back to the, “Lord, make me an instrument,” prayer until after the fact. I actually hadn’t prayed that specific prayer for a number of weeks.
The needs were food and funds. God doesn’t send you into situations that are beyond what you have.
We wrestled with the specifics and then headed to where the need was.
We met the need anonymously but we knew that we would be found out.
Important for us was to be willing. We had at our disposal what the person needed.
God made us an instrument and we thank Him.