Being the Answer
Sometimes in life we have the opportunity to be something especially beautiful: we have the opportunity to be the answer to someone’s prayer.
I was staying at a friend’s house one night, and we were sitting together watching TV when I got a call from my sister. She was sad and overwhelmed and had no idea how she was going to pay for her next semester of college. After cobbling together student loans, government grants, hard-earned cash from a summer job, and support from family, she was still short a significant amount.
I felt the weight of need settle heavily onto my shoulders as we finished our conversation and said good-bye. Feeling bad for interrupting our time together, I briefly explained to my friend about my sister’s situation, knowing she would be sympathetic and reassuring, and would likely offer to pray about it.
But she didn’t offer to pray for my sister.
Instead she said, “How much does she need?”
I told her the amount.
“I have that,” she said. “I can give it to her.”
And that was it. The need was met. The prayer was answered.
But that moment stayed with me and wouldn’t let me go: Instead of offering to pray for my sister, my friend was willing to be the answer to her prayers. She dared to consider that maybe God wanted to answer my sister’s prayers through her.
It can be a fine line to walk. I know from experience how impossible it is to try to single-handedly save the world– to stretch yourself so unbearably thin in an attempt to be the help that everyone needs. It’s not our responsibility to be all things to all people, and Christ is the only Savior. But be careful of getting so cautious and complacent, so convinced that you can’t do it all that you forget you can do something. Live in the knowledge that God answers prayers through his people.
And be open—be open to the possibility that one day—maybe even today— someone might tell you that they need something: money, a friend, a meal, a job, a ride—and you might be able to give it to them. In fact, it might be that one of the reasons God gave you the resources that are in your possession right now is so you could meet the need of the hungry person on the street corner, the friend who needs a loan, the orphan who needs a family.
Pray, and pray, and pray, and pray for this broken world, but don’t let that prayer protect you from the truth that God may want to use you as the answer.