A large portion of the population love a good cup of coffee in the mornings. For others, there’s something even a bit more desirable than a strong cup of coffee and that’s steamed milk with some coffee. But there’s one more large group I’ve noticed lately, and that’s the People of the Foam.
Some like to drink their coffee with a spoon or scoop the top of the foam before getting to the deeper substantive part of the drink. It’s that frothy part of the drink that carries the flavor of boldness, but is so light it can’t be drunk if the wind is blowing.
This is a metaphor, of course, to explain what I’m seeing within the culture of the church. It seems we’ve become a people who take prayer more seriously than we take God. Think about it. Foamy believers share the bizarre characteristic of being so committed to prayer that they’ve lost a direct connection to what the sovereign God is doing all around them.
Recently, Joel Osteen told the powerfully deep story of when he bought a used car for his son to drive when he got his license. His younger daughter took notice, although she was still a few years behind her brother, and she asked her father if he would get her a car as well when she got her license. He responded in the affirmative. He goes on to share that she never asked for the car again. He had given her his word and she knew her father had heard her request and that his word was trustworthy.
The depth and power of the story is in the way his daughter would interact with his promise from then on. Whenever the daughter spoke of her car, even though it was off in the future, she spoke knowing even though she didn’t have it in her hands now, at just the right time her dad would keep his word. For the next several years, she didn’t beg her dad for the car, pester him with it, or even bring it up all the time. Instead, her words were full of joy and expectation for that day to come.
Recently, my own 24-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The temptation, especially for those who believe in the power of prayer and intercession, is to become so focused on the efforts of language, words, and attitudes of prayer that we forget prayer is simply the highway of our confidence in God’s goodness and oversight.
Several years ago on one of our last family trips before both of our kids were married, I had an encounter with the Lord that still to this day pushes tears to the front of my eyes. He said, “I’m going to bless you, that I’m going to bless you, that I’m going to bless you, that I’m going to bless you…” This went on for nearly a minute until I couldn’t handle anymore. Tears of joy flooded my eyes and built confidence in my heart.
I’ve held onto the promise that my heavenly Father had given me His Word. So during this season of chemotherapy and cancer, and after taking that petition to the Lord for a number of weeks, our entire family, including Whitney, shifted into the mode of confidently knowing that God was a good Father. Our confidence in His faithfulness keeps us sane during all the setbacks and troubles endured along the way.
Prayer is good, but God is better. God isn’t holding my daughter’s healing hostage waiting for us to stumble onto the right words so heaven could move on our behalf! That would be “spiritual frothing,” getting all whipped up into a frenzy. No, my daughter’s healing has never been in my hands but His.
Refuse to just spoon out the froth of your own frenzied praying and go often to the Father, not because you take prayer seriously, but because He who made the sun, moon, and stars is right there with you right now! Give Him thanks that He’s at work. Give Him thanks before you even see the work of His hands. As I wait to see my daughter’s healing, I will give thanks for His promises are true.