Nine years ago, I asked God to give me something a lot of people would think was ridiculous: a parking spot. It wasn’t just any parking spot though.
My wife and I were having a Saturday wedding at a church in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The church was located near an upscale flea market, which unfortunately meant there would be almost no convenient parking available on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. This concerned me, and not just because our guests would have to scrounge around for a spot.
I had rented a newer model, sporty Cadillac and I didn’t want to get any scratches or dings on it, which would be practically impossible for two reasons: (1) as I said, there’s hardly any parking in the first place; and (2) the only parking spaces available in the neighborhood are parallel parking spots, and D.C. drivers feel no shame about bumping into other cars when squeezing in. There is, however, this one coveted spot a half a block from the church.
Right on the end of this triangular grassy area is a space, all by itself, that’s rarely available when the flea market is open. I wanted that space and I knew the only way I was going to get it was through divine intervention. So at 2:00 AM the day of my wedding, I laid in bed and asked God to give it to me. I had this feeling He was going to do it.
Sure enough, a few hours later, I rounded the corner in the Cadillac and there it was, waiting just for me.
“Thank You, God,” I said, smiling. “I knew You’d do it.”
It’s interesting how people react to this story when I tell it. A few people are genuinely touched by it. Some smile and offer a listless, “Wow.” And I’ve had others who politely offer their opinion that it’s inappropriate to ask God for things like parking spots and help finding lost keys. I don’t agree.
The Word says that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) (emphasis added). If all things work together for our good, then I suppose all things matter, including whether I get a prime parking spot on my wedding day.
I know a lot of people will say that we should nonetheless focus our energies on praying for single mothers and hungry children. I do agree that those requests should be the top priority, but I still think God has plenty of time for minor things like helping us scrounge up some money in a pinch.
Matthew 17 tells a story about a time when Peter came to Jesus looking for some money to pay the temple tax. Jesus replied, “[G]o down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us” (Matthew 17:27). Peter obeyed, caught a fish, and found the money for the temple tax in the fish’s mouth, just as Jesus said Peter would.
So I say go ahead, definitely pray for single moms and hungry children. God will be eager to answer those prayers, but in the meantime, we can ask Him for relatively minor things like parking spaces, lost keys, and money to pay temple taxes. His ability to give is limitless, so we might as well offer Him as many opportunities as possible to provide.