Do you ever wonder if angels are real? Do you ever wonder if God actually hears and answers your prayers?
I have a story that I always go back to whenever I start to doubt God’s ability to quickly answer my my fleeting prayers.
Several years ago, my elderly grandpa came down to visit our family in the suburbs of Washington D.C. His visit came shortly after we adopted our son, Logan. I was still getting used to having a new baby and juggling two kids instead of one, but one fine day I agreed to take him down to Washington, D.C., to see the sights. So one morning I loaded up my baby, my five year old, and my elderly yet still mobile grandpa Art (so, in essence, three young children) and headed down to the city, all by myself. We arrived, parked, and promptly went to the Museum of Natural History.
If you’ve never been to the Museum of Natural History, you need to know that it’s a very large museum, with these huge wings that spread for about two blocks, and it’s several stories high. However, there is a central section which is great for meeting up at prearranged times, or in case you get lost. Unless that person you are trying to meet up with is an elderly man who is hard of hearing, who doesn’t know how to use his cell phone or even hear it ringing, and doesn’t remember the time or the place where you were supposed to meet.
So that’s what happened. My grandfather went in one direction and I took my kids to another section and we were supposed to meet back in the middle at 1 pm. I had his cell number and everything would be fine.
Until it wasn’t. Until he didn’t meet me where he said he would, and wouldn’t answer his cell. Until I went looking and looking for him for a total of about an hour with a fussy new baby and a five year old. I called my husband for some emotional support; no answer. I went inside and outside the museum; no Grandpa. I looked high and low. I even backtracked to the huge section of the museum he said he would be in. I was just about to grab a staff member of the museum but I decided to walk outside (again) to make sure Grandpa had not wandered out there. And then I remembered that in all of the confusion, I had forgotten to pray.
So while I was scanning the crowd, I prayed a silent prayer:
“Dear Lord. Grandpa Art is lost. I need your help. Can you help me to find him?”
So there I was, just quietly standing and scanning, not making a sound, not looking distressed, when the man that was casually standing about two feet away from me turned to me and said “Excuse me, ma’am. Is there anything wrong?”
I decided that I would just be honest with him in the event God was attempting to help me.
“Yes, actually there is. My Grandpa is lost. I can’t find him. I’ve been looking for over an hour and I can’t find him. I’m freaking out. He is hard of hearing and not answering his cell. He’s lost. I’m not sure you can help, but that’s what’s wrong. Since you asked.”
He looked at me with a mixture of confidence and kindness and said the following words: “Do you see that group of kids?” (He pointed to a large group of high school kids.) I said “yes.” He went on: “I’m a private investigator and I was hired by the school to keep track of all of these kids. And I’m good at finding people. I will find your Grandpa for you. What is his name and what does he look like?”
My jaw dropped open while I gave him the description of my Grandpa which boiled down to: “well, his name is Art and he’s tall, thin and old.”
“Ok, I will find him for you. Wait here. I’ll be right back.”
So I stood there waiting with renewed hope. Not five minutes later the Angel, err I mean Private Investigator man returns with my Grandfather in tow! I couldn’t believe it!
I thanked him profusely and hugged my grandfather. Then he turned and headed off to be with his student group.
That day I was freshly reminded of a profound, yet really very simple, lesson:
“God will help me when I pray.”
Even to such a degree that he sends a Private Investigator/Angel who randomly asks me if anything is wrong. God sent me the best that day to find my Grandpa.
I will close with a verse of Scripture:
“I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” Psalm 121:1