Thursday, October 9, 2014

Shoe in the Sand

The other day I took the kids down the street to the neighborhood park,
and as they were digging in the sand I thought about another visit to the park,
many years ago.

My mom needed to go in to the elementary school for a few minutes to take care of something,
so she let me play on the playground while she went inside.
I must have been about 4 or 5, and suddenly had the great idea to bury my shoe.
I dug a big hole, plunked my shoe into the bottom, and covered it up.
A few minutes later, my mom came back out and discovered me with a missing shoe.
So we began to dig...
and dig, and dig, and dig.
I vividly remember my mom sitting on the bottom of a slide with me and telling me we should say a prayer. Together we bowed our heads and asked God to help us find my shoe.
And then, with great hope, we began to dig again.
And once again, our efforts were futile.
At last, my mom decided it was time to give up the search.
As we headed home, she sought to reconcile what had just happened to a little girl who had been taught that God always answers prayers.
"Sometimes the answer is no," she said.
"Maybe Heavenly Father didn't help us find your shoe because He wanted you to learn to never bury your shoe again."
I was content with the answer,
and I've always been grateful I was able to learn that lesson early in my life.
Sometimes the answer is no.
Sometimes, for reasons we can't see or understand, it is in our best interest for God to say, "No."

This morning, Talmage and I had a conversation something like this:
T:  Mom, Heavenly Father doesn't always answer our prayers.
M:  Hmm...why do you feel that way?
T:  Because like, if our car broke down, and we prayed, Heavenly Father wouldn't answer. He wouldn't just fix it.
M:  Well, sometimes He would. But sometimes when we pray, the answer is no, just like how sometimes when you ask me for a cookie I tell you no because it is better for you to not have one. But Heavenly Father always answers our prayers.

There are some who would consider this an "easy-out" explanation
to reinforce the idea of a fictional Creator.
They may affirm that we use this approach to explain incidents that are merely coincidental.
But I have had some incredibly profound experiences with prayer,
and times that I have known without a doubt that God is speaking to me.

 “It is true that the answers to our prayers may not always come as direct and at the time, nor in the manner, we anticipate; but they do come, and at a time and in a manner best for the interests of him who offers the supplication.”
-David O. McKay

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