"An answered prayer," and I begin with just the title of the nightly Bible story. This night little Arden lays his head down quietly, an aching finger, the wound from the brothers' wrestle-fest, cradled close. I stop and ask if he's ever prayed and had God answer his prayer. No. We turn to Sam, high in the bunk bed, and, yes, Sam remembers once asking for help from God with math and he found God faithful. Tonight we'll pray, I tell Arden, after the story we'll pray for that sore finger, and Arden's eyes are wet with tears. He's five and he's tough, but hearing of his mom's love and the compassion of the Living God, he knows he's needy.
So we read of Abraham burying his wife of years, and desiring a wife for Isaac. We read of water drawn from ancient wells and women who carry pitchers on their head. And Arden wonders why they would do that and not just use their hands. We read of a faithful servant believing his master's God will help in a strange land, and bowing down in prayer, and God brings Rebekah. Rebekah pours out water from her pitcher and the servant praises God. God who hears prayer.
Are you like me? Do you have those creeping moments of doubt when you wonder if your small concerns really matter to God? I always know the biggies matter, though some people doubt even that. But I have these nagging doubts that a sore finger and bad dreams are too small for the notice of such a big God.
I pray in faith, He says He counts every hair, knows every sparrow, and names all the stars. He's waiting for me, for us, as our Father holding good gifts in His hands. We come, with eyes closed and a little hand in mine. We pray for healing overnight, a protected heart and mind, and the coming of a Rebekah for each of these boys. I trust God to provide water from the ancient wells, living water, bubbling over to eternal life.
This is the Bible story book we love: Child's Story Bible: Genesis-Ruth is volume one of three volumes by Catherine Vos. These old blue volumes don't have any pictures of Christ, but the few pictures they do have leave something to be desired aesthetically. If a painting of Jesus doesn't bother you, the same Bible stories are here in one volume: The Child's Story Bible. I sometimes find Catherine Vos' Bible stories double as a devotional for mom, they're very thoughtful and well told. Her husband, Geerhardus Vos, was a noted Reformed Old Testament theologian, so while she sometimes embellishes the Bible stories, it's always in a trustworthy manner. One of her own sons also went into ministry, and I love to imagine her telling these to him and the fruit that these stories bore in his life.