This Thing Called Prayer
I don't know what prayer is exactly, or how it works. What I do know is that it does work.
Last Thursday I finally felt like I was making headway on the backlog of paperwork to be scanned and attached at the law office where I work. I arrived at work Friday morning in brighter spirits than usual, anticipating a productive day, since Friday is most often fairly quiet and good time to play catch up.
Shortly after I got here, one of my attorney/supervisors helped me rearrange my office to better accommodated the copier/scanner so that I wasn't continually running around the desk to scan just as the phone would ring - and back around I'd go again to answer it and refer to the client's file online.
We shut down the computer and moved the desk and equipment, then reconnected everything carefully. When I rebooted my computer it began to initialize, then froze at a black screen looking for a boot disk in the drive. It was impossible to go further, the message just repeated. We shut it down and tried again. No luck. We rebooted the main server and tried once more, still no luck. My supervisor called our IT person at our home office and he confirmed what we suspected, the hard drive had gone bad and there was little that could be done except to replace it. Not as simple as it sounds, since our company orders its computers online, and there is a wait of several days for them to arrive and be set up.
The problem is that, being a "paperless" office, there is almost nothing that can be done without the computer and access to our network. I can't even answer a telephone and look up the client's file to provide information to the client or to Social Security. All the plans for catching up evaporated, and I spent the afternoon doing what little I could to assist others, and borrowing other folk's computers when they were away from their desks briefly to accomplish critical tasks like processing outgoing mail. I couldn't even print envelopes and had to have our case manager do that. Needless to say, they weren't particularly thrilled with the extra duties either, having plenty of their own work to do.
I went home Friday night with a heavy heart, knowing that this week was going to be a nightmare, and not at all sure about what I was going to do except stand around and look frustrated. I envisioned paperwork stacking high, and disgruntled coworkers as the week wore on. I dreaded today more than I have dreaded any day of work at this job so far. I tried to put it out of my mind over the long holiday weekend, but it was always there, lurking in the background, raining on my parade.
I woke up early this morning, at 5 AM to be exact, and wasn't able to get back to sleep for the extra hour I would have liked. My brain was already stewing on the problem at work, and how we were going to handle the busy incoming phone calls when everyone had appointments scheduled and would need their computers for those. I did what I always do in situations where I feel powerless, I prayed. And every time anxiety tried to worm its way into my head as I got ready and drove the 20 miles into town, I prayed. I still felt totally down as I dragged myself across the parking lot and into the building. This was going to be a miserable long day.
Unlocking the office doors, since I am always the first to arrive, I put my things away, settled in, and decided on a whim to flip the computer on, just in case, but not expecting anything different to happen than did last Friday. Much to my amazement it came to life and booted up correctly, allowing me full access to the network and files! I sat there staring, then smiling, a peaceful feeling settling over me.
I prayed and God took care of it, why do I always doubt? I didn't pray for God to "fix it". I rarely pray like that. I pray for God to help me with my attitude, to help direct me in the way to handle things, and to accept His will for my life and the lives of anyone else I'm praying for. I believe that God always answers our prayers, not always in our time frame, and not always in the ways we expect or want, but in the time and ways that are best for us. Sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes the answer comes as a total surprise, like this morning. How simple... how beautiful... the broken computer is working just fine now!
There was a dark period in my life where I didn't believe in God or in the power of prayer. I was hurt, angry, and very bitter. I didn't understand that God was looking out for me and had a far better plan than any I could imagine. I read once that God answers desperate prayer. For me that means when I reach the point where I realize I am powerless to fix a situation, when I give up, God steps in. I knew there was nothing I could do about the computer, other than find a way to deal with the situation without loosing my cool. God, once again, had a better plan - He fixed it! Yes, I believe that!
I believe God once fixed my arm when it was broken too... so does my husband. Even the nurses at the emergency room, and the tech who was preparing to take the x-rays believed that it was broken, you could visibly see the misaligned bone protruding in a bump. It hurt like crazy. But then, as both my husband and I prayed about it, it wasn't broken, and it no longer looked like it had initially. Another mini-miracle, this I believe.
Prayer has the power to change things. Prayer has the power to change people, it has the power to change lives. There are mini-miracles happening all around us everyday, and sometimes some really big ones too! Never doubt the power of God to move mountains... to heal broken bones... or even to repair computers. God is love, and we are loved in manner far beyond our ability to comprehend.
It's turning out to be a good day after all! :-)