I made a big mistake recently, one that affected someone who trusts me not to do that. I discovered the error myself as I sat at my computer, reading an email. Horrified. Pondering consequences.
Even worse, I’d sat on that goof-up an entire month, not realizing it waited, a coiled snake on my calendar, poised to strike. It emerged hissing, “Inept! Unreliable! Disorganized! Unprofessional! Idiot!”
In that moment, I wanted to do three things. Bawl. Barf. Use your imagination for the third.
My thoughts found a southern course. Flowed there faster than Cussed Creek in spring. Who else would be so stupid? Why didn’t I catch this earlier?
Unlike me, God has impeccable timing. But the knock at the door surprised me. When a good friend walked in unannounced, it only took a few minutes for poor-me to blurt out my big problem. She leaned back, delighted.
“Kathleen! You have no idea how I needed to hear that today! Thank you for telling me. Your blunder blesses me!” Then she explained her own even more troubling situation. “Can we pray for each other, right now?” she asked.
We joined hands across my desk and prayed. Then we both began paddling back up Cussed Creek, our minds renewed, our spirits refreshed.
Barely had my door closed behind her when the phone rang. At the other end, from a town perched on the brink of the Pacific, came the troubled voice of another friend. That call too ended in prayer.
God didn’t snatch us out of our troubles that day. And he didn’t change the consequences of my blunder. Instead, he gave us each what we needed most: courage, hope, humility, strength, and a teachable spirit.
Prayer always changes things. Usually we are the thing that needs changing first.