I don’t often get headaches, but when I do, I ask God to heal me. Even so, I often find myself doubting He actually cares about something so trivial.
I figure He’s got more important things to worry about – things like world hunger, sex trafficking, orphans, and cancer. I can’t help but wonder if He hears my request, shrugs, and thinks, “Why don’t you use your energy to pray for someone who has a real problem?”
But an experience with my daughter last week reminded me that, as hard as it is to believe, He cares about the little things in my life – even headaches.
We took our 17-month-old baby girl to a state park last Friday. She recently learned to walk, and we let her waddle down the trail for practice.
You’d think my wife and I would’ve been bored trudging behind our daughter, who scooted along at a snail’s pace. And you would think that was especially the case when she came to the larger steps on the trail, bringing us to an extended halt as she struggled to pull herself up. Not at all.
No, in fact, we were fully engaged, mesmerized by our daughter’s Herculean efforts. Sometimes, out of a legitimate need, we helped her up the steps. And other times, we resisted the temptation and forced her to figure it out on her own. But the entire time, we were watching, we cared, and we were there for her.
We love our little “Rudy Toot,” as we call her, and although the steps were relatively small to us, they were not small to her. The obstacles mattered to her; therefore, they mattered to us, because she matters to us.
As I walked behind my daughter, focused on her strenuous efforts, I realized that, in much the same way, my heavenly Father is not disengaged from my slow-paced spiritual walk.
Because He loves me, the obstacles I face matter to Him. He will not always pick me up and help me over them, or I would never learn anything. But the obstacles – whether a headache or a personal conflict – matter to Him, because I matter to Him.
He says, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? … If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11,13).
So if I, being human, care about my daughter’s efforts to climb the steps on a hiking trail, how much more must my heavenly Father care that I’ve got a headache. It’s not the size of the need that moves His heart; it’s the fact that I’m His child.