Amazing... I am the parent of a five-year old.
We had a knight/armor motif, complete with themed games, cool stories, and a 3-D dragon cake. He had a blast using his new sword to make the first slice (and we had a blast enjoying the moment with him).
During my normal bedtime prayer with my wife, she said something to God that totally blew me away. She thanked him for answering a prayer of our son that he has literally prayed every day over the past year... "Bring my dragon cake." He has prayed this prayer faithfully, never doubting that it will happen.
Every breakfast. Every lunch. Every dinner. Everything in between.
"Dear God, thank you my special day. And bring my dragon cake..."
And so I made this cake for Joshua.
I figured, "How can a kid pray every night like that for a year and get some lame old circle cake with a dragon drawn on it?" So I made him this crazy spectacle that ended up have to lay on two flat baking pans that I had to duct tape together.
Yes, me. I did this... in all my unique weirdness.
I am not a baker - just a dad who loves his son and is willing to be stretched in order to create something just for him. And so around 3am today I was putting the final touches on it, getting all kinds of colored goop on my hands.
So not only did God answer the prayer Joshua has been praying literally every day (sometimes three times a day) for the past year, but he used me to answer it.
On my end, I have been praying for the past year that God would take the passion in my heart and do something with it. I have been searching and asking him to show me a church that I can become a part of and utilize all that is in me to help others better know all that God is (at least, the parts of him we're able to understand).
So far, I'm still praying.
Although... I get lazy in my prayers. I get tired of praying the same thing and not seeing anything happen. At least, nothing that I can see.
That's not to say I haven't seen God in some very obvious ways during this past year... wow - quite the contrary! Yet with this one prayer of mine I haven't seen it. Either that, or I don't yet have the eyesight needed to see that which is unseen.
The Bible says some interesting things about faith. It says it's like being able to know something exists that you've haven't yet processed with your eyes and actually having it be so real to you that it almost becomes like evidence in itself. The Scriptures also teach that we are to come to God as a child... the kind of faith that is willing to pray for something every day and believe it will happen.
Speaking of which, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - like the look on Joshua's face today when we lit the candles and sang "Happy Birthday" to him.
In that moment, it was like in his eyes it was more than happiness... it was the realization of a dream. I'm not making this up or trying to overdramatize it. This was so c-r-y-s-t-a-l c-l-e-a-r that I actually found myself feeling like it was a little taste of heaven. For my son wasn't just having a nice birthday... he was in the presence of "hope realized."
And so if my son got his cake and got to eat it, too...
Maybe God wants to answer my prayers.
Maybe he wants me to keep praying them.
Maybe it won't show up in some pre-fabricated circle that everyone else seems content with.
Maybe he actually wants to use me in all my unique weirdness to be the means by which my questions get answered.
Maybe my hands are supposed to dig into the goop.
"Happy Birthday" to me.
Jesus loves me.
This I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but he is strong.