Unexpected answers to prayers
BY OLIVIA GROSS
Ephesians 1:3-4 tells us, "Long, long ago God decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ."
Baseball, basketball, football, soccer… what pleasure there is in being part of this crowd. There is so much excitement talking about it, being part of it, challenging your friends, picking the player that will score the most points, picking the winning team, and the list goes on and on.
During my school days, physical education was a required subject; there was no getting around it. I excelled at track and field but, sadly, had to work hard to do well with the other sports. Because of my limited abilities, my circle of friends was small. At an age when friends meant the world, imagine what it was like not to fit in. My lack of abilities meant that I was always the last one picked to be on a team; even then being on a team did not mean I was part of the team. Reading, then, became my refuge.
My first recollection of begging God to answer my prayer was in the ninth grade prior to a final exam for Phys. Ed. We had to perform drills for basketball and volleyball. I went to bed dreading the fact that I would have to face my teacher and classmates. I prayed and prayed and asked God to help me.
The next morning I sat in the gym and prayed that I would not be too humiliated. The teacher walked in to the gym; I heard his voice but could not look at him and my heart beat furiously. He had several balls in his hand and he said to me: "Come, let's practice. We will postpone the final exam until tomorrow."
I knew God was behind that teacher's kindness. It was then and there that my love affair with God began. I knew in my heart that it was God who blessed me beyond belief.
The passage from Ephesians 1 reminded me of that time and place when I knew for sure that "God had adopted me into his family." This passage tells us of all the blessings God has in store for us: "God…who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." How comforting to know that even the prayer of a child means the world to God. I love verse 9, which says: "And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure."
God loves us and nothing concerning us is too trivial for Him. He hears all our prayers, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others. Verse 13 sums up the feelings of a very frightened ninth grader: "…having believed, you were marked in him with a seal." Don't try to work things out on your own, take it to God in prayer. To this day, my favorite pastime is still reading, not sports. You see, I have been adopted by my biggest fan and that alone means the world to me.
Olivia Gross is a certified lay minister and lay leader of the Central Maryland District.