So, the other night I tried to protect God.Have you ever heard of a sillier thing??? Joshua came running into the kitchen in a panic. "Mom! Help me look for Butters!!!" And he yelled for the rest of the family to do the same thing. Joshua had just looked into his hamster's cage and discovered the little guy had escaped. And since he hadn't played with Butters in a couple of days, Joshua wasn't sure how long he'd been out of his cage. The only thing of which he was sure is that everybody needed to drop what we were doing and help him find that rodent. We all got to work. Unsuccessfully. And it hurt my heart to see Joshua so upset. I mean, really. There were tears and frantic movements, moans and breathing which bordered on hyperventilation. The boy was beside himself with worry for Butters. As I looked in closets and under beds I was fully aware that God knew exactly where Joshua's hamster was hiding. I knew HE could bring him out into the open. Could lead us right to that little guy's location. And I prayed HE would.It occurred to me that I ought to pray with Joshua. Or at least encourage Joshua to pray. But then I was overcome with the thought, What if we never find Butters? What if he has been missing for a couple days and is dead in some corner somewhere? What if God, in His sovereignty, doesn't lead us to him - alive? Thinking about how devastated Joshua would be under those circumstances, I couldn't bring myself to suggest that he pray. Because I didn't want him to be upset with God for not answering his prayer the way he wanted. Instead, I prayed more for our search. And even more for Joshua. When I became convinced there was nothing more we could do, I told Joshua it was time for us all to go to bed. (The scene produced by that statement could fill another whole post...) And as I lay in bed, replaying the previous 45 minutes, trying to understand why I couldn't get myself to encourage Joshua to pray, I understood my hang-up. I was too concerned by how Joshua might respond if God didn't answer his prayer affirmatively. I was afraid Joshua might not like God. I was anxious about how he would view a God who lets hamsters die. I simply didn't want Joshua to be upset with God, and somehow I thought - by not praying - he wouldn't hold God responsible for a sad outcome. That's when I realized the foolishness of my actions. I realized I was trying to protect God; trying to establish Him in a favorable way in my son's eyes. Only, God doesn't need protecting. He is big enough to manage His own image. No assistance from me necessary. So I am officially resigning as God's PR girl. Returning to my appropriate position of humbly trusting that He knows what He's doing. Aiming to model such a faith for my children, so they may learn to pray without ceasing - trusting a good GOD to work all things out for our good and HIS glory. BTW, Butters showed up the next morning. Caught in a live trap Joshua had set in the basement. Thankful for a happy ending!