Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)
David saw the car on the side of the road as they came over the crest of the hill. “Hey Dad!” he hollered. “I think that’s the neighbor’s car.”
Dad peered through the front window. Sure enough, it was their neighbor, her van pulled to the side of the road. She was standing beside the driver’s door and her three children were sitting in the grass. David’s parents exchanged a glance and then pulled up in front of the van.
“Oh, thank you for stopping,” the neighbor lady said. “I did something really stupid. I ran out of gas! I was so busy worrying about whether or not I would get the girls to their dance lessons on time and Connor to soccer practice that I didn’t bother to check the gas gauge.”
Mom offered to take the kids to their house while Dad brought the gas can back. The three kids crawled in beside David and they finished the trip home. While Dad was returning with the gas can, David took the children outside to play.
Connor seemed especially quiet so David asked him if anything was wrong. “Oh,” he said. “Not really. It’s just that Mom’s been kind of forgetful about things lately since Dad left. She has so much to take care of by herself now and the stress has been kind of hard on her. It’s like she’s running on empty all the time.”
David remembered what that was like. How his mom had been the same way when his dad had left many years ago. But he also remembered what she was like once she turned to the Lord and let Him be her husband for that season. Circumstances didn’t automatically get better, but David could tell that there was something different. She had a peace about her. She was no longer fretting and fuming and her words became kind both to him and to his dad. He had often found her early in the morning or late at night sitting in Dad’s old chair, her Bible open on her lap. Often, she had asked David to pray for Dad with her.
“Do you pray for your dad?” David asked. Connor shook his head. “We prayed for my dad when he was gone,” David continued. “It took awhile, but he did come home to us. And we still pray for him now.”
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT)
“I wish my mom would pray for Dad,” Connor said. “It has to be better than living like this.”
Just then the neighbor lady pulled up in her van. Connor and his sisters crawled in and they headed out to finish their errands. David headed into the house.
Mom and Dad were in the kitchen working on getting supper ready. David watched them as they worked side by side, dicing carrots, peeling potatoes, tossing salad. It was a good feeling and David sent up a short prayer of thanks to God.
After supper that night, when David was helping to clear the table, he shared his conversation with Connor with his parents. Another glance was exchanged between them, along with a smile.
That very next morning, Mom packed up some fresh cinnamon rolls, grabbed her Bible, and headed next door. David knew that she was going to share the Good News about Jesus with the lady next door. He said a prayer for open hearts and asked the Lord to bless Connor’s family. He didn’t want them running on empty anymore.
“I, the Lord, am your God. I brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth, and I will feed you.” Psalm 81:10 (ICB)
A Stander in Nebraska