A Dry Picnic Table

A Dry Picnic Table

Jesus tells us that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must be as little children. This is one reason I feel I have been very privileged to have 5 children of my own, and now a grandchild, plus being a school teacher: I have so many opportunities to see children, and their relationships with, and faith in, Jesus.

When my oldest daughter, Taryn, was a young child, she totally accepted and believed that God answers prayer. So when she experienced a need in her life, she’d simply ask Jesus to take care of it. She didn’t stop to think about whether it was “reasonable” or “possible.” She just knew that Jesus loved her and that He said to bring our needs to Him in prayer and He would answer.

Taryn was about 5 years old. We were living on Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands). These beautiful islands certainly earn their nick-name, the “Misty Isles.” The frequent mist and rain creates beautiful temperate rain forests. Though there can also be beautiful sunny times, the weather can change suddenly and frequently!

One summer day, the sun was shining beautifully, so I packed up the camp stove and picnic basket, and took my children and some of the neighborhood children up to Pure Lake, a favorite spot for picnics and swimming. The children happily splashed in the shallow water near shore, while I set up the camp stove, and cooked hot dogs. When everything was ready, I called the children over to the picnic table. And, wouldn’t you know it, just as we bowed our heads to give thanks for our picnic, the sky suddenly darkened, and rain started pouring down.

Now I, of course, was dismayed and disappointed, and was just about to quickly gather everything up and run to the car for a “car picnic,” but Taryn had other ideas. She simply bowed her head, and prayed, “Dear Jesus, please don’t let it rain on our picnic table.” And then she happily announced, “Okay, let’s eat!” All the kids picked up their hot dogs and started munching happily, totally ignoring the terrible downpour!

Meanwhile, I was standing stock-still, in total amazement. For the moment Taryn finished her simple little prayer, the sun shone down brightly right on our table! The rest of the sky was full of dark clouds, yet a single stream of beautiful sunshine had broken through the blackness overhead, and reached right down to our little picnic table. And not only that, but while the rain continued to pour down in all directions, as far as we could see, our table was staying perfectly dry. In fact, there was a dry zone right around our table, in a perfect rectangle the same shape as our table, about a foot or two in each direction out from the table! The world around us was soaking wet, but our picnic table was dry, just as Taryn had prayed.

The children didn’t even seem to notice the rain pouring down around them, but just happily sat eating and chattering to each other. When they finished eating, they noticed it was still raining, so they agreed it was time to go home. We packed up our lunch supplies, and gathered up our beach towels. We dashed to the car through the pouring rain, and headed home. To this day, I am amazed every time I think of it. But Taryn, a little child, knew and believed, simply and trustingly, that God answers prayer!

Norma Hill

Date May 12, 2007

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