Editor’s note: Today, we welcome a new friend — Kelly Guest — to our CatholicMom.com family of contributors. Kelly has a fascinating life story and a beautiful family. I know we’ll learn much from her sharing! Please join me in welcoming her to our site. LMH
Whoever coined the phrase “terrible two’s” did not have a three year old… yet. If two’s are terrible, three’s can be atrocious. I know, because I have a three year old. He is my ninth one, and he is the worst one thus far. (I only say this because he is the one I have to deal with right now.)
For instance, just the other day he asked for a snack. Since it was not long after breakfast and too early for snack, I had to tell him, “No, not yet.” Then, it began building up – the tantrum. I could see it coming. In an effort to head it off, I got down to his level to look him in the eyes and explain that he will be able to have a snack, but he had to wait a bit longer because the time was not yet right. However, it did no good. His face turned red and tears even began to flow. The hands were flailing and the cries were wailing.
As I was placing him on time-out, it dawned on me – in the eyes of my Heavenly Father, I am a toddler. Do I not behave similarly, in a spiritual way, when He does not answer my prayers promptly or in the way I want Him to answer? Yes, I can throw a spiritual fit alright!
Sometimes, as I am praying and praying for a certain intention, I become weary and emotions start taking over. In an effort to head off my spiritual tantrum, Jesus bends down to my level and assures me, “Whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in my name” (John 16:23). Like a parent trying to help a child to understand, Jesus says it over and over again. In just three chapters of John’s Gospel, chapters 14, 15, 16, He reiterates six times that whatever we ask, He will do. We need only to trust in His promise and be persistent in our prayer.
Patient perseverance in prayer is important. St. Luke shares two of Jesus’ parables with us on the need to keep asking. Luke 11: 5-8 recounts the story of a neighbor who attended to a friend in need because of the man’s unrelenting request. Luke 18:1-8 tells how a corrupt judge gave a widow justice not necessarily because it was her due, but because she was so persistent. God knows when the time is right to grant us our desire. Until then, He likes for us to keep talking to Him. “Never cease praying” (2 Thes. 5:17); never stop asking Him for whatever you need.
Whatever you do, do not put yourself on time-out, facing a wall with your back towards God. When the time is right, your Heavenly Father, who knows your needs even before you ask, will give it to you. Have faith in Him. “For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late” (Hab. 2:3). So keep praying, and thank Him for what you are assured He will do for you.
Copyright 2013 Kelly Guest