Umbrella Prayers

The year is 2009. I wake up and trudge my way across campus in the freezing cold rain…typical for Bowling Green. I clutch my umbrella for dear life as the wind whips around me, afraid I may have an experience like last time when the wind ripped my umbrella completely inside out. I laugh remembering little me trying to reverse the effects by pulling on the corners, but not having a long enough stretch to do any good as people walked past me probably thinking….”what is this girl doing??”

I make it through my class feeling as sleepy as the world outside projects. After sitting through a dreary class, all my classmates leave and bustle over to the local preschool which was our home for this semester; paired up with a precious little one to play with and study for 4 months. I slip into my coat and prepare myself mentally for my feisty little guy, when I suddenly notice an umbrella that was left in our classroom. I grab it, thinking one of my classmates will be missing it when they are soaked from head to toe, and make my way through the downpour, to the preschool.

To my surprise none of my classmates are soaked and I can find no home for this extra umbrella. The preschool teachers don’t want it saying they have so many extras already. So I’m left with an abundance of umbrellas. One person, two umbrellas. And I offer up a quick, but specific prayer.

Dear Jesus, please let me give this umbrella to someone who needs it today.

And I begin to open my eyes like a panther on the prowl. Searching for the person on campus predestined to receive this gift from the Lord. Excited to see who will be the lucky recipient, I walk from preschool, to meetings, to lunch, and all the while looking around for anyone in need of some relief from the rain. To my surprise, I see no one in need. How many times have I walked by thousands of students on campus caught in the rain with no umbrella because the weather forecast did not predict it? But today, everyone seems thoroughly prepared.

God, why today? Why is it no one is in need of this small blessing today?

The rain lightens up and eventually stops; my hope fading. I prepare for my last trip of the day. I meet my friend and we walk to the Bowling Green Public Library for our evening job of rangling kids to focus during our tutoring session. While reading stories and crunching numbers with kiddos, I look out the window and sigh…God, what good intentions I had today. I thought You had given me a gift to love someone with. I know You can do whatever You want, but why did you choose not to answer this prayer of mine?

My friend and I say goodbye and good work to the last of the little ones, and we talk about the rest of our evenings as we pick up pencils from the floor and push in chairs. I let her know she will be walking home solo today as another friend is picking me up to take me to my mentor’s house for the rest of the evening. We hear the pitter patter of rain begin on the roof again. She looks out the window and says “Awwwww man. I have to walk home in the rain, and I don’t have an umbrella.”

Enter the Hallelujah Chorus in my head.

“You need an umbrella???!!!!” I say. “I have an extra umbrella!! Please take it!” I say with a little more excitement than a normal human being would have. But I wasn’t a normal human being at that moment. I was experiencing God’s perfect timing in my life. His perfect answer to my simple prayer.

How easily I give up on my God to answer my prayers. I question Him and give up waiting. I so easily just assume He’s not going to answer this one. Or at least I think He has missed His opportunity to answer it…in the way I was thinking. But all the while He’s saying “Just wait a minute Linds….I’ve got this all worked out.”

He’s got it all worked out.

I have now named all my little and sometimes seemingly silly but specific prayers umbrella prayers. I believe God loves to answer even the small quiet prayers of my heart.

Jesus, help me to believe You desire to answer every prayer that escapes my lips. Help me to rest more deeply in the truth that You’ve got it all worked out.

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