The men of our household were all gone one late morning, and I found myself alone with just my three kids. Of course, as a reminder, I use the word kids simply because I am a mother, but there is no one less than 16. When they were little it was more demanding because you always had to stop what you were doing to see to someone’s toilet issues, or to get a drink for someone, or to find “the quiet one” and find out what he/she was up to. Today they all are big enough to fend for themselves, most of the time, yet it is not always true about them staying out of trouble.
My son is busy on the computer, and when that is the case he is pretty well occupied. The only time he seems to stop is when a hunger pain hits. The girls and I are busy with crafts which are really tough on me today because my focus is off. I keep pushing through. I mess up and start over. Sometimes I mess up and revamp my idea completely. Nevertheless, I was finally being productive and realized that Elyssa, my middle child, had slipped into the kitchen.
I kept working. When she arrived back into the room, a wonderful aroma accompanied her. I took a long slow breath. It was sliders she had made from the porcupine meatballs from last night’s supper. The sweetness from the bar-b-que sauce and the freshly grown bell peppers. The aroma of onions mixed delicately with tomatoes and that sizzling beef made my mouth begin to salivate.
Back to work, I looked up and realized that my other daughter had made herself a sandwich of meatballs as well. Hmmm, probably all gone with everyone digging in. I thought to myself. I hear the beep of the microwave and realize that my son is also having lunch now. He has just warmed the meatballs. I feel like I can not stand it anymore. “Nate, will you make momma a sandwich too?” I called to him, “Please and thank you. ”
“Sure.” Came the reply that may have been sarcasm, but I ignored. As I glued my final piece to my project, a plate hovered near my head. “Here Mom.” The 16-year-old presented my lunch. Yet instead of the delectable meatballs that I had been smelling, I had been given a cold chicken and cheese sandwich. From the refrigerator, lunch meat and a cheese slice between two slices of bread. My heart sank. As I took a bite I could not convince my taste buds and brain that this was what I wanted. Finally, I said to my son, “Nate, you want the rest of this sandwich?” He comes around the corner mouth full, with his one hand meal well in hand. He finally swallows and replies,”I guess so.” I looked up at him to respond and see his scrumptious meatball sandwich. “Wow, I guess you got the last of the meatballs, huh?” I asked resigning myself to the answer.
“No,” he responded,” There’s plenty more.”
I pondered what I had heard. If there was…? Then why did I…? And why did he…? I felt slight outrage. Everyone else had a warm lunch, and I was stuck with cold cuts. To top it off my son seemed indifferent to it. “So, I just have to ask,” I chose my words carefully, “why did you give me a cold sandwich while making yourself a meatball one?”
My daughters began to laugh and make snide remarks like,”Oooo, you got caught.” “Boy, you gonna get it now.”
“Now, Mom, in my defense,” he began to respond to me once the jeering died down,”You asked for a sandwich. You never once specified what kind.” I took a slow cleansing breath. At that moment I felt that there was egg all over my face. There was no argument to that. He was right. I did not specify anything except a sandwich. I thanked him for his efforts and went and made me a meatball one on my own. But as I did being “specific” kept rolling around in my mind.
With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)
So God wants me to pray specifically. Not just generic requests. Not just God bless So-in-so, but God bless him with a new better paying job and heal his marriage. See the difference. Because those specifics are not just for our own personal issues but the petitions of all of God’s people. It says so right there in Ephesians. It amazes me how much instruction can be found in just one verse.
So, I have learned an extremely important lesson. Ask for sandwiches, and pray very specifically, or you might get what you do NOT ask for.