It was another sad day yesterday in the Redding house. Elias and my niece, Drea, both found little ducklings in the last few days. But we couldn't get them to eat much aside from letting them swim in the pond, which tired them out.
In the morning we woke up to find that one little duckling had died in the night, which brought many tears. And as the morning went on, it was obvious that the other little duckling was also doing poorly. The sorrowful realization that he might possibly die brought with it more tears and actual sobs from a couple of my younger children. Knowing my tender hearted little ones this is not unusual. But something I did not expect followed. As they were holding him and crying they began pouring their little hearts out to Jesus asking Him to heal the duck. Their prayers were so sweet and tender and they came from their hearts unprompted by Paul or I. It blessed my heart to see their faith. They didn't come to me to fix it. Instead they went straight to the One who miraculously healed Mr. Mario, their cat, earlier this year.
In spite of their prayers for healing and life for Wally, he died in the afternoon quietly in his little box. I found myself trying to put into words a child could understand, the lesson that I've learned all too well. How do you explain to a little child that sometimes God's answer to our prayer is "no"? Sometimes, even though we ask in Jesus name, God says "no" for reasons that align with His wisdom and plan- not ours. Sometimes what we desire falls outside of God's will. And when that happens, our prayer, though it matters to Him, is answered with a "no", and yet still He asks us to surrender to a child-like trust in Him, and believe that His will is ultimately our good.
This is a difficult truth to understand. But when you've lived through loss, the lesson is forced upon you and comprehension becomes a deep matter of faith and life. But God gives wisdom to those who ask. And He is never without mercy. Like my little ones who prayed in faith, sometimes things don't turn out as we've asked. But know this, God is still in control. His love never fails and He holds each and every one of us in the palm of His hand. Even when His will includes sorrow or pain.