So in one hand I am clumsily balancing one of the doors, as I try to line up the hinges with the screw holes in the cabinet. In the other hand I’m struggling to maneuver my screw driver which has a tiny brass screw hanging precariously from its tip so I can get the screw started. (Yes, I magnetized the screwdriver, but the screw is BRASS!!!!!) Having said that, this should be a 5-minute job. Max. But I don’t remember shaking so much the last time I did this. And—good grief—I dropped the screw again. Where did it go? There it is. It rolled under the cabinet. Now how do I pick it up! Because of neuropathy in my fingers, I can’t feel it!
A simple little task has morphed into the insurmountable. I drop the screw again. (4 times so far.) Now I’m shaking worse. So I pause. Take a few deep breaths. Try to reboot my brain via a mental, emotional reset. Then I whisper a prayer I’ve never said before. “Jesus, I need you in this little thing.” My shaking subsides. One screw is in. I take a few more deep breaths. I pray again, “Jesus, I need you in this little thing.” Another screw goes in. Then another. And a simple task—one that had waxed daunting—is completed.
“Jesus, I need you in this little thing.” Why had I never prayed that before? Foolish pride? Machismo delusions of self-sufficiency? I’ve been praying ever since I can remember, and that’s a long, long time. I’ve been teaching others about prayer for over 40 years in public ministry. Whenever I do, I emphasize how no prayer offered by a child of God goes unanswered. No prayer is too small. No prayer is too simple. To drive home the point, I share the story of 4-year-old Suzie, kneeling beside her bed and making her bed-time prayer. Hands folded. Eyes closed. Mom sitting beside her, listening. Ever so seriously, Suzie concludes, “And God, please bless Grandpa and Grandma, Mommy and Daddy, my brother Steve, and my big sister Charlotte—even though she always bosses me around. And God, please bless Bubbles my goldfish.”
I don’t have a goldfish. Maybe you don’t either. But we all have our little things—hanging an etched-glass China cabinet door, getting our families out the door on time on a hectic weekday, wrenching the lid off a sealed jar of Milwaukee dill pickles, tying a 1/64 ounce ice fishing jig on 3 pound ice line. Little things, everyday things, yet necessary things. Things we don’t think much about until we struggle to do them or something goes wrong. For all our little things, we have a Savor who stands beside us and invites us, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We have a Savior who promises, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” (John 16:23)
But…“whatever you ask”? Daring to approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to ask for help with putting in a screw? Our Lord has time for prayers like that? YES! The Apostle Paul shouts to us, “What then will we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all―how will he not also graciously give us all things along with him?” (Romans 8:31-32)
God loved you and me so completely and selflessly that he gave us the greatest gift of all. Jesus his Son, our Savior. And our Lord loves us so completely and selflessly, that he takes time to hear our prayers, any time, anywhere. Even when we whisper, “Jesus, I need you in this little thing. Amen.”
Privileged to Serve,
Rev. Glenn Schwanke