As I mentioned in a previous article, my guard in Papua New Guinea once gave a delightful little pigeon to my daughter as a gift of gratitude. Unfortunately, things didn't always go smoothly for poor little Nutmeat (so named by my three year old).
After we had had Nutmeat for a few months, we noticed her dancing about on one foot and refusing to stand on the other foot at all. A closer inspection revealed a broken leg. To this day we don't know how Nutmeat's leg got broken. Fortunately, a few days later we had visitors who knew a bit about pigeons. Using matchsticks and tape they splinted his tiny little leg, and things were looking up for her.
Then one morning before getting breakfast, I looked out the window and saw that Nutmeat's cage (more of an aviary by now) was empty and there was a little grey bundle lying on the grass. My heart in my throat I ran outside to see what had happened. There lay Nutmeat, chewed up, spat out, and more dead than alive. During the night a cat must have bent the wire of his cage and attacked him. With the broken leg, Nutmeat would have been sleeping on the floor of the cage, instead of on her usual perch.
While I was rushing around trying to figure out the best way to fix the bird (one way or another), I saw my young daughter and visiting friend (three and four years old) kneel down in the lounge room to pray to their friend Jesus—that he would heal poor, helpless Nutmeat. I can imagine that there might have been tears in Jesus’ eyes when he heard their prayer—tears of sorrow for the pain in their hearts, and tears of joy that these precious little children had immediately brought their burden to him.
Jesus says in Luke 18:17, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Oh to have the faith of a child! If only I too would fall on my knees before Jesus instead of trying to tackle all of life's challenges on my own. After all, he knows the end from the beginning, his wisdoms exceeds all others, his power is infinite, and his desire is for our ultimate good. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I am sure you are keen to learn how God answered the prayers of his two precious children. Well, Nutmeat made a full recovery within just a few short weeks, going on to live with us for about another eighteen months. Just like he was in the biblical days, God is still in the prayer answering business.
As we live for God’s kingdom, let us all have faith like children. Let us bring our prayers and petitions to him in faith.
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