Prayer can be the bolt of lightening you require
By Sarah Read
I need a do-over day today. I needed a do-over since before the day began. In fact, I required a reset button before the sun came up. My son had his 1-year check-up yesterday. I declined his Chickenpox vaccine, but he still got two shots, the last in a series he was due. At 2:30 a.m., I was giving him another dose of Tylenol and by the time he was back asleep, my husband’s 3:45 a.m. alarm was buzzing. At 4, I decided it may be a good idea, as tired as I was, to get my much-needed shower in before my husband left for work and the kids woke up. Note to self: bad idea. It did not result in a quiet, calm, kid-free start to the day. Instead, I wound up with my 3-year-old daughter in the shower with me and my son in a screaming, crying fit in his dad’s tired arms. Even with the three of us back to sleep from 5-7, I still have had grouchy, rest-deprived, misbehaving children the duration of the day. I keep thinking, if I could just go back to that 4:00 hour and undo my decision to shuffle into the shower, all would be fine. Alas, lacking a DeLorean, flux-capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts, it cannot be undone. So, onward and upward with the day!
It feels next to impossible to keep my composure in tact on days like today, when so many factors are working against us. Lack of sleep, teething, shots, terrible-3’s temper tantrums, spilt milk and flung applesauce, even a van with a dead battery that won’t start after I have the kids bundled up and loaded in, topped off with a joint-injured, limping dog that can hardly get up and down the back steps in the snow and ice.
When I am worn down and weak, I know I am an easy target to let evil and anger consume my day. It is tricky finding peace and praise when you are surrounded by pandemonium. But the Bible tells us that we should be alert and mindful in the face of challenges. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8
Instead of hunting down Marty McFly, or losing my cool yet again with round 12 of time-outs, I decided to take my own time-out, along with a sequence of deep breaths and seek out the presence and patience of the Lord at my side. I may not get a do-over for the day, but God has another day in store for me tomorrow, and His promise to help me survive days like today. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:10
As it turns out, when it feels as though my only escape is hitting 88 miles per hour in a cheesy 1985 film, all I need is the even more powerful drive of graceful prayer.