I guess I've always known that, or at least I should have, yet it seems like every time He does I am amazed. Perhaps that amazement is due in part to the fact that I'm used to promises being broken. By people I love, and even myself at times. People can let you down, especially when they swear they are going to do (or not do) something. Perhaps this is why Christ tells us not to swear, rather we are to simply let our yes be yes and our no be no.
At any rate, every time God answers a prayer I am caught off guard for a moment. My own distrust is the cause for this I imagine, yet after the brief surprise passes I can't help but smile to myself. Continually, I am amazed and put to awe by God. As much as I may not like the commercialized Christmas of America I feel it's imagery can be helpful here.
When I was a child, and still believed in Santa, I would create my list. I'd check it twice...Or three or four or five times even...And I'd submit it either to my mother or grandmother, knowing that they had Santa's mailing address and phone number and would be sure to get it to him. Then the anticipation comes, the waiting was awful and enjoyable at the same time, very bitter sweet. I hated waiting, but I knew if I had patience eventually Santa would come and it'd be great. Then that fateful night would come, we'd finish up dinner and open family presents (I have a running theory that Catholic families do this a lot, I'm not sure why) on Christmas Eve.
Then we'd get ready for bed, and somehow manage to stay in bed or fall asleep for just long enough for the jolly old man to get in the house and deliver the presents. And sure enough, my brother and I would awaken usually around 3am (my mother and grandmother must have been exhausted around Christmas time for a million reasons) and go peek under the tree. Sure enough! There were our gifts! Santa pulled it off once again! Some years we would just start playing, others we would go get mom, but either way we were always joyfully surprised when we saw those gifts under the tree.
Prayers are like that, or at least they are with me. I get my little list of things to pray about and I submit it to God. Some are things causing great heart ache, others are requests for wisdom or protection, but all of them go to God. And then I wait. And I wait. Sometimes the answers I'm seeking come quickly. But more often than not I have to wait. For months at a time even. And it seems the moment I finally forget about [insert prayer/ need/ desire] is when the answer comes. And when it does I look at the solution in awe. My eyes get big the way they did when I was a child, and I say to myself "God did it again! He took this horrid mess I'm in and has managed to straighten it out somehow. I don't know how, but thank God He did!"
And so that's my Christmas metaphor for the year.