What Does This Button Do?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Posted by Katie

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What does this button do?
Which one?
The one that says “turbo”.
Don’t know.
What do you mean, you don’t know?
I don’t know…I’ve never tried it.

And so went a conversation I had with a friend who once rode in my trusty old 1997 Saturn SL1. Sitting inches from my gearshift was a button that I think was supposed to add a little extra umph to the car’s acceleration. I didn’t really understand how it worked, as it was just a little button, and so…I never tried it. Its power remains a mystery today.

I have lived like that with God before…His power sitting inches from my fingertips…untouched. There was a time when my prayers reflected this too: “God please be with me/them/him/her.” It was as if I was afraid to ask God to do something measurable for fear that an unanswered prayer would challenge how God measured up. I wasn't brave enough to live with the mysteries of unanswered questions. I was a bit startled, therefore, in 2001 when someone challenged me: Enough already! God is already WITH you. Pray boldly!

This challenge was nagging at me about the same time my work pal, Fran, came to me with an urgent  prayer request. A gal she knew from college was a missionary in the Philippines. Gracia and her husband, Martin had been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf. I knew Fran needed more from me than a simple, “please be with them, Lord”. I knew God was waiting for me to hit “turbo”.

So we prayed. Every time we got news, we prayed. We prayed during breaks and at lunchtime. I began praying for Gracia and Martin all the time. If I was hungry, I prayed that they had something to eat. If I was cold, I prayed that they were warm. If I was unable to sleep, I prayed that they were sleeping soundly. If I was singing in church, I prayed that somehow they would remember hymns to keep each other encouraged. If I read a particularly amazing scripture, I prayed that God would miraculously bring it to their minds. We even had a song. Every time it came on the radio, I prayed for them.

And I do say “we”, because when you pray for someone so intensely for over a year, you begin to care for them as if they are yours. They were so much “mine” that I had my small group praying for them as if Gracia and Martin were my close friends. In fact, it was a member of my small group who called me early one June morning in 2002 to tell me to turn on my T.V. Gracia had been rescued and we lost Martin. I remember saying that aloud to no one in particular, “We lost Martin”.

I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t remember a time when I had seen God so powerful. When Fran first asked me to pray, I thought… This is not going to end well. People just don’t get rescued from things like this…best to just “pray it safe” so no one is disappointed. It was a button I had never pressed.

There are still mysteries left unexplained. I don’t understand why we had to lose Martin or why the Burnham’s captivity lasted so long. But, I also don’t fully comprehend why I came to care for these dear folks so completely…when I had never met them before in my life.
There are mysteries left unexplained. And, even though I don’t fully understand how it works, I now have the courage to testify that God’s power is a thrill to behold.

Life is too short to “pray it safe”, my friends.

God is waiting for you to pray boldly. When you do, hang on to your seat…

Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. -Matthew 17:20

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