As a mother sobbing with the overwhelming knowledge that the Lord has saved your children from being in a tragic situation, it’s hard to truly express oneself clearly. Things come out mixed and muddled, often in a stream of consciousness sort of conglomeration of every feeling on Earth. At two in the morning today, I wrote such a mess, and I owe the Lord an apology for it.
My children had planned for over a month to go to Dollywood with my in-laws on the 27th of November. They were supposed to stay for two nights and return today. On Saturday evening, however, the trip was cancelled when I discovered that the Dollywood park was scheduled to be closed on Monday and Tuesday this week. This morning, while online working, I came across a post about the fires in Tennessee. As my eyes read the words on the computer screen, my heart was overcome by the overwhelming realization that God had cancelled my children’s trip on purpose.
And here’s where the apology comes in.
You see, last Friday night, I was awoken by an indescribable sense of panic about the children’s trip. I was terrified for them to go. I prayed about it. I talked to God and tried to wrap my brain around the reason why I was scared. They’ve made that same trip with their grandparents several times before, so my fears seemed so strange. I watched them sleeping. I kissed their foreheads. I whispered “I love you” to them as they lay sleeping. And I prayed. I prayed that the Lord would keep them safe and that He would work it out the way it was supposed to be. And I finally felt peace about it, despite how all-encompassing my panic had been.
So, when I posted on Facebook this morning after just finding out what the Lord saved my children from being part of, I posted about answered prayer and how thankful I was. It was an answered prayer—to mine and to many others who pray so often for my children’s safety. But when I read the post today, I realized that it seemed like I was trying to take credit for the kids being saved because of my prayers. It sounded like I thought that somehow my prayers alone had saved them, but I know that’s not true and I owe the Lord an apology for that.
You see, I didn’t save them from being up there in Tennessee as those fires rage through. God saved them. It was His plan for them, not mine. I’m not saying that God doesn’t listen to prayers. He does; I know He does. I’m not saying that God isn’t swayed by our prayers. He is; the Bible says so. And I’m not even saying that my prayers didn’t have some impact on the way things went. The Bible tells us again and again about God answering prayers.
But when it all comes down to the wire, the glory goes to God. He is in control. When we turn our lives over to Him, He works things out for our good. He is the one who saved them, and I cannot take a lick of credit for His hand in them not getting to go on their trip to Dollywood. All the praise in my heart goes to Him, and I know in my heart that Satan could have used my words to seem as if I was trying to give the credit to me, which is not where it belongs.
So many times in life, we sit back and see God as this giant game official, like He’s taking score and striking down tally marks for prayers said and deeds done. But that’s not really the way God works. He loves us, and He wants what is best for us, even if our free will allows us to make decisions that go against what He would have us to do. He listens to us, and He takes into account out pleas and our petitions. And I a more thankful than I can ever say that He does.
So, Lord, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that it seemed like I was trying to take the glory away from You, even if it was only to my ears that it sounded that way. Thank You, Lord, for keeping my children safe. Thank You for listening to me and for giving me the opportunity to talk with You whenever I need You. Thank You for loving us, and thank You for your watch care over us. My praise is not enough for the things You do. May all the glory be Yours, now and forever. Amen.