David and I had dinner at a friend’s house recently and I noticed something on the counter. There were simply two glass jars labeled with ‘Asked’ and ‘Answered.’ Some small pieces of paper and a pen were conveniently placed on the jars ready to be used.
Psalm 17:6 was written out in front of the jars.
“I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.”
When I asked a little more about it, I saw what an incredible tool this was to help us think thanks. A visual reminder of how God has answered our prayers stimulates th(i)nkfulness.
Our friend would write out on a piece of paper the request and drop it in the ‘Asked’ jar. Later a review would take place, perhaps over a meal, of how God was answering those requests. The answered requests would move to the ‘Answered’ jar.
Every glance at the jar would be a reminder that God indeed had heard the petitions. He had answered. Great faith builder!!
Thankful for Answers
Every day we have needs. The car doesn’t start again. That niggling pain becomes more prominent and we need medical attention. Relational challenges present themselves giving us opportunities for wisdom. Finances are dwindling. We sin and need cleansing. We sorrow and need to be renewed in our minds to remember that we are pilgrims and headed for a celestial city. We pray and ask God to please hear our cry.
He does and He answers as He sees fit and in His timing. But I wonder if we take time to really thank Him for those answers?
He answers over and over. He guides us to His Word and encourages us to grow in trust. He is faithful and true. Thank You, Lord.
But what about when He chooses to answer ‘no’ or ‘wait?’ We struggle with letting God be God, but knowing His character, we can be confident that if He explained all of His reasons for the “no” or the “wait,” or let us see the alternate reality of what would happen if He said “yes,” we would be convinced that His answer was best.
I CAN TRUST GOD’S CHOICES
I CAN TRUST GOD’S TIMING
Knowing His character, we must trust that He is doing what is best. He can be leaned upon to have the right answers, positive, negative, or pending. 🙂
Incorporating teaching tools is such a helpful way of getting a message across. Having these two jars on the kitchen counter will beg a conversation when visitors come. They can be used to teach children about learning to recognize when God has answered something that we asked Him for. Often, they will be more diligent than we are at checking and changing the slips of paper. You might find their little prayers in there as well.
Children learn more from your ‘walk’ than your ‘talk.’ Let them observe you actively looking for how we can give thanks for how God answers our requests.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.Psalm 9:1