December 25, 2018
Answered Prayer in A Shoebox
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22, NIV).
Friend to Friend
My sister loves socks. One day, we were shopping and happened to walk into a department store where neither one of us could afford to buy a single thing. We were just passing through, on our way to find the bargains we could afford. With a sigh and a wistful look on her face, Betty said, “I wish I could afford to shop in this store.” When I asked her what she would buy, she immediately replied with a smile, “Socks! I want a big box of socks. I would wear a different pair every day.” I could think of several things I would have liked to buy in that store and socks was not one of them. I guess it is a matter of perspective. What was important to her was not important to me.
I sometimes think my prayer requests are insignificant and unimpressive to God. After all, He is God. Does He really have the time or the desire to hear and answer my prayers? Yes! The truth is that if it is important to me, it is important to God.
Each Christmas, Operation Shoebox collects and sends over eight million shoeboxes stuffed with small gifts such as candy, school supplies, small toys, toothbrushes, soap, and shampoo to children across the world. In Mexico, hundreds of boys and girls gathered at the church in a small village, excitedly anticipating the arrival of their precious shoeboxes.
Delightful chaos erupted as bulging shoeboxes wrapped in brightly colored paper and ribbon was passed into the small, eager hands of each child. Wrapping paper was hurriedly ripped into pieces and tossed aside, a smile spreading across the face of each child as the long-awaited Christmas treasures were revealed. However, one little boy dissolved into tears as he lifted the lid of his box and peered inside to see what he had received for Christmas this year.
One of the Operation Shoebox volunteers spotted the little boy and hurriedly made his way across the church to see what the problem could be. With the help of an interpreter, the volunteer asked the now sobbing little boy, “What is wrong? What is in your box?” With tears streaming down his face, the little boy said, “Socks!” The worker instantly understood and assured the little boy that he could trade his box of socks for another box that might have crayons or a piece of candy in it.
Alarm spread across the face of the child as he vigorously shook his head and quickly jerked the box away from the now confused worker. Clutching the shoebox to his chest, the boy began sobbing out an explanation to the interpreter who listened for a few moments and then, with tears spilling out of his own eyes, turned to the volunteer and said, “You won’t believe this!”
Taking a deep, steadying breath, the interpreter explained, “This little boy has a rare skin condition with which he was born. It affects his feet more than any other spot on his body. The doctors have tried various medications and treatments but finally told the little boy that nothing will work, and his feet will never heal unless he begins wearing cotton socks. His parents cannot even afford food for this boy; much less provide socks for their son. So, all year long, he has been praying for socks.”
Socks were at the top of the little boy’s prayer list. As a matter of fact, they were his list. The mere sight of ordinary cotton socks brought tears to his eyes as he stared in awe at the priceless gift in his hands – socks. Those socks were more than just a gift. They were the profound answer from our extraordinary God to a child’s simple prayer. One unknown and seemingly-insignificant boy in Mexico prayed. God heard him and said, “Let me take care of you.”
No matter how small or trivial your prayers may seem, remember God’s perspective. If it is important to you, it is important to Him.
Father, thank You for the privilege of coming before You in prayer. I want prayer to be as natural to me as breathing out and breathing in. I refuse to believe the lie that my prayers are too small or unimportant for You to hear. You are my Father. You are my God, and You long to hear my voice. I will bring every prayer of my heart to You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have your own “box of socks” for which you are praying? What is it?
Do you really believe that God will hear and answer your prayer?
Read Hebrews 11:6. How does your faith measure up to the faith described in this verse?
Today, pray in faith and see what God does!
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Originally published Tuesday, 25 December 2018.