MaryBeth Eberhard ponders the surprising ways God answered the prayers of her heart.
The joy of recognizing the Lord working on our life never grows old. Every time this happens it is in His time, a hope revealed, a prayer answered in the gentlest and sweetest of ways. This Lord who parts the seas and created the stars in the heavens doesn’t just take a fleeting moment from His busy life to bless me; rather, His plan is intentional. Our God has the generous heart of a father. I see this heart of a father work daily through my husband. He gives abundantly, serving every day because life with eight children and many special needs mandates a selfless type of giving. More than the doing, I see the joy it brings him to bless our children. He is spontaneous, extravagant, and zealous in his desire to love us, and this is just an earthly example of a father’s love. One can only stand in awe of the beauty of our heavenly Father’s love.
We recently hosted a family gathering that had my stomach in knots prior to the visit. Truth be told, I was almost relieved when a child came down sick that morning. I heard another cough and a small voice whispered, there’s your reason to cancel. I reached out to our guest explaining the situation. He responded with excitement to be coming and said he’d still like to come. A feeling of anxiety filled my heart. I almost threw our whole morning into a tailspin because of my emotions.
I took a moment to pause and welcome the Lord into my moment of anxiety and worry. You can picture the what ifs boiling out of my thoughts into this silent prayer and He nodded compassionately, smiled tenderly, and held out His hand. For me, that visual of the Lord holding out His hand in invitation is always the next step. It is quite literally a leap of faith, a surrender, and I find this necessary almost every day. Not every moment reaps a reward like this step, but each one molds me more closely to the heart of my Father in heaven.
Our guest arrived and I still sit in awe of how lovely this visit was. There was healing and laughter. I watched our family run to the door in welcome, and hearts overflowed from the moment the door opened. Words that typically might come out harsh were softened before they left lips. Looks of wonder were shared across the room because there was a peaceful presence that was beyond what our family has experienced lately. I realized this person was nervous too and that he had stepped out in faith, even though his faith might be a mustard seed. The Lord took that mustard seed and this moment we were sharing was watering it.
I stood in the middle of the Lord working in my life, of answering my prayers, healing so many wounds in this one visit. There are images of saints looking to heaven in awe and gratitude. But for me, in this miraculous moment, closing my eyes, I drew quickly into the arms of my Father and said thank you. Silent tears of gratitude and joy, wonder and thanksgiving, rolled down my face and I watched myself and this person who I almost pushed away in hurt and pain, begin to heal. I’ve never felt a healing like this, a layer by layer, piece by piece, awareness that this is a process—but we are not going to hurt each other while walking through it.
I feel like Zachariah, who was struck mute but filled with joy at the Lord’s gifts! So many texts and phone calls have been sent after this visit in wonder of how beautiful that time was. Requests were made to do it again, soon. As I sit here pondering the Father’s love, I am giddy with this gift. The gift of such a beautiful visit and the beginnings of healing, but more so, the gift of recognizing the Lord working abundantly in my life. I almost let my worry and hurt push this moment away!
Thank you, Jesus, for speaking to my heart and calming me. Your way is certainly not the path I dreamed I’d be walking at this point in my life. I’m so much more the person You created me to be by staying close to your heart.
Today, may we all take a moment to thank the Lord for working in our life, for being present even when we don’t see Him, and to reaffirm our trust, and our surrender to His plan in our lives. With Mother Mary as our guide, may we walk forward with trust and wonder.
Copyright 2023 MaryBeth Eberhard
About the Author
MaryBeth Eberhard spends most of her time laughing as she and her husband parent and school their eight children. She has both a biological son and an adopted daughter who have a rare neuromuscular condition called arthrogryposis and writes frequently about the life experiences of a large family and special needs. Read more of her work at MaryBethEberhard.com.