In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. James 1:21-THE MESSAGE




Sunday was Mother's day. Sunday was a day when I thought back on a lot of different moments in my life. For some reason, I thought of a Mother's Day long ago when I was about nine years old. On that Sunday morning, I put on a blue Polly Flinders dress (a brand of children's clothing which was always decorated with smocking)  with white polka dots with a white ribbon sash. I walked to church on the street I lived on as I did every Sunday. I sat alone in the sanctuary and saw a lot of other little girls with their moms by their side. The moms had on white gloves and corsages and some even had on frilly hats. I knew this was a special occasion. I prayed really hard to have a mother like that and for her to walk in the door and sit down by me. She didn't walk in. This Mother's Day I had the opportunity to be alone in the sanctuary at my church very early to pray. I knelt at the altar and prayed for my mother who will be ninety years old this summer. I prayed for my children, (physical and spiritual ones) and my grandchildren. As I was praying, I remembered the prayer from my childhood. I reminded God of the prayer as if He might have forgotten it or something. I reminded Him of promises in His Word like He might have forgotten them. His Word tells us He will grant us the desires of our hearts. I asked God why He hadn't let me have a mother like I dreamed of as a child and have her to walk in the sanctuary that day so long ago. Why did He not grant me that desire? God answered. He reminded me of scripture which tells me He knows the plans He has for me. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts. The word "weeding" came to my mind very clearly. I left my prayer time knowing I had heard God speak, but still felt as if I didn't get the answer I had expected.

Later in the day, I ended up of all places at Tractor Supply Company, a place I never go, what a way to spend Mother's Day afternoon. We gathered what we came for and then some. Just as we were about to check out, my husband picked up a huge container of Round Up Weed Killer-Weed Be Gone. I ended up having to carry it to the check out counter because my husband was carrying a huge box of some important tractor something another. I asked myself, "Why I am here?" As I set the weed killer on the counter I got my answer. The prayer from that morning came to mind and the word weeding I had heard. The weed killer label said, "fast acting, effective, even kills the roots."

 I began to think about my prayers and my wants and my desires. I think God is a gardener. When we pray He does a little weeding and picks out the weeds. A weed is defined as something useless. God picks out useless prayers. He knows the plans He has for each of us. If the prayers we pray, as children or adults, don't line up with His plan for our lives, why should He grant desires that won't help accomplish His plan? He wants what is best for us. He has plans for good and not evil plans to help us and not harm us. He does honor effectual (effective) fervent (containing a lot of zeal-tireless diligence) prayers of the righteous, which availeth (to be of use to) much.

I don't know why exactly God didn't allow my mother to walk in the church that day, but I do know His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I do know there were a lot of people in that church through my childhood years who reached out to me and became a mother to me. If my mother had been with me, who knows those people might not have poured as much into my life as they did. When we pray we need to help God out a little I think. Perhaps we need to be gardeners and weed out a few selfish prayers before we pray them. We all want our prayers to be something of use. Think about each prayer. Are the wants and desires we pray for something that will line up with the plan God has for our lives? If we want our prayers to be fast acting and effective we need to get to the root of why we are asking God for what we are asking for in the first place. God answers all prayers, sometimes the answers just aren't what we desire them to be.

Judy Parker