Leighton wrote the following post for a series called The Sharpening Stone for our church's website exactly one year ago today. I thought it would be a good reminder to re-post it here. This instance made such an impact on my kids that they still talk about it today.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God. -- Philippians 4:6
The other day we were taking the kids out to go geocaching. Our children love going. It gives a chance to get some fresh air, exercise, and time together. As we were getting ready to go Erika, my wife, reminded me to make sure I grabbed a pen. That way we can sign the logs in the caches we find. I assured her that i would grab one before we left and went on gathering the necessities to get five kids ready for caching. I made sure we had our GPS, the wagon and stroller were in the van. Erika had the water and a few snacks ready. All was good to go, so we went. We drove out to a local bike and walk path where a couple cachers had hid quite a few caches along the walkway. We got everybody unloaded from the van then into the stroller in the wagon and headed down the path. I got the first cache set on the GPS and we were off. We got the first location and began our search for the cache. It is always easier for the adults to find them so we kind of guide the kids in the right direction, but this time while I was looking in all the wrong places our daughter looked just in the right spot and found our first cache of the year.
She handed the tiny plastic container over to me and I reached for my Fisher space pen, that is my unofficial geocaching pen, and it wasn't there. Of course, I forgot it, you probably saw that coming. I looked at Erika with a plea in hopes she knew I'd forget and brought a pen of her own. Nope. So I lean on our oldest child and nothing from him. So our first cache of the year goes unsigned by us.
At this point I just figure I messed up and now we simply won't be able to sign any logs today. That's not what Erika nor our oldest thought. As we then continue down the path toward the next set of coordinates they each independent of each other ask God to give us a writing utensil. Erika asks for a pen and our son asks for a pencil. Independently! Erika didn't say out loud maybe we should ask God to give us anything. He simply asked on his own. Erika did say after she finished her prayer that she had asked. This lead to an immediate almost surprised response form our son, "I just asked Him for a pencil!" They shared a laugh and as they began, and I mean right away, like he looked away from his mother and exclaimed, "Look!" He ran a few feet ahead and picked up about half of a broken pencil. God had given him his pencil. I, of course, had my knife on me and was able to sharpen it. The rest of our logs that day got signed, but more important then that, my son's faith in God grew a bit more.
I was humbled by the fact that I would just settle to suffer the consequences of my forgetfulness and not make such a simple request to the Creator of the universe. As if the idea of providing to such a simple need of one of His children was in some way below Him. Yet my 9 year old son was not afraid to make his request known and then even expect it to happen.
What is so small in your life that you're afraid to ask for God's help. "Be careful for nothing," the verse says. Don't worry about it. Simply make the request.