There's a story of a mother who was awakened in the middle of the night by the sudden ring of her phone. Her blurry eyes looked at the clock... Midnight. As she grabbed the receiver, panicky thoughts filled her sleepy mind. "Hello?" she mumbled as her husband woke and turned to face her. "Mama?" the voice answered. Her thoughts immediately went to her daughter. At the sound of desperate crying, she grabbed her husband and squeezed his wrist. "Mama, I know it's late. But don't say anything until I finish. And before you ask, yes, I've been drinking. I nearly ran off the road a few miles back and..." The Mother drew in a sharp breath and quickly covered her mouth. Sleep still fogged her thinking. Something wasn't right. The daughter continued.
"I know running away was wrong. I know you've been worried sick. I should've called you days ago but I was afraid..." At that, deep-felt sobs flowed from the receiver and poured into the Mother's heart. Immediately she pictured her daughter in her mind and her fogged senses seemed to clear. When she tried to speak, the girl pleaded to let her finish. The Mother stayed silent.
"I'm pregnant, Mama," the daughter said, "and I'm scared!" The girl broke down again and began sobbing into the phone. The Mother's eyes filled with tears as she looked into the questioning face of her husband. He quickly disappeared and then returned with the extension. The daughter continued. "I know I should've told you, Mama, but when we talk, you just keep telling me what I should do. You read all those pamphlets on how to talk about sex and all, but all you do is talk. You don't listen. You never listen." The Mother swallowed the lump in her throat and stared at the "how-to-talk-to-your-kids" pamphlets scattered on her night stand. "I'm listening," she whispered. "I want to come home, Mama. I've called a taxi. And if you'll let me, I want to come home."
"Of course, Honey," she said, relief filling her words. At this, her husband came and sat down next to her on the bed. "But you know," the daughter continued, "I think I can drive now." "No!" the mother snapped. "Please, wait for the taxi. Don't hang up until the taxi gets there. Do this for your Mama, please." Only a couple of seconds passed until the taxi arrived and the daughter whispered the words, "I'm coming home now, Mama." There was a click and then the phone went silent.
Moving from the bed, tears running down her cheeks, the Mother went and stood in the room of her 16-year-old daughter. Her husband came from behind and wrapped his arms around her. "We have to learn to listen," she said to him. He studied her for a second and then asked, "Do you think that poor girl will ever know she dialed the wrong number?" The Mother looked at their sleeping daughter, safe and warm in her bed..... and then back at him and said, "Maybe it wasn't such a wrong number after all."
Here at Crossroads, our prayer lines have received over 7 million calls from precious people needing prayer. In the last few years, we've answered over 1,000 calls a day... the single largest category of prayer need is for families. Because of sin in this world, there are many broken-hearted parents, grandparents, and even children. People just like you and me who truly need to hear the words of the apostle Peter when he said,
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." ~ 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)
Casting the whole of your care... One of the dictionary definitions of to "cast" is to "shed". Perhaps like a snake shedding its skin or a child shedding a snow-crusted winter coat, in the presence of our mighty God, we need to allow our worries to fall helplessly to the ground. We do this through prayer... Pivotal Prayer.
Every time we enter into intimate interaction with God through prayer, we have the opportunity to leave changed. If we will only give Him our concerns... our heartaches...our families... He promises to give us something remarkable in return. Almighty God, the One who knows best, cares deepest, and loves most, pledges to give us a most precious and powerful gift. As we surrender to Him in prayer, He has promised to cocoon us in the fortress of His divine, reassuring, impenetrable peace.