Tuesday Truth for Youth: “He Cares About My Boomerang!”

Black child, looking up, wearing a red hoodie and a jacket, outdoors, sunny weather, low angle portrait, curly hair, intense expression, trees in background, proud african american boy, cute
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When my son was in elementary school he spent some time with his grandmother, and for no logical reason whatsoever, she gave him $20 to spend on anything he wanted. Hey, that’s what grandparents do. Anyhow, after his trip to his grandmother’s, he proudly showed me an entire bag full of toys. Among his most prized playing possessions was a large, neon Orange, foam boomerang.

When we got home my son raced out of the car to our backyard. As I watched my son throw the boomerang around our backyard, he got more powerful and precise with every throw. On what would be his last throw, he threw it so hard he let out a vicious, bear-scaring growl that propelled the boomerang directly into the very highest and densest branches of a ginormous oak tree.

My son turned and looked at me. He tried to speak, but no words would come out. With his mouth gaping open, he pointed at the evil tree that gobbled up his boomerang! As his face quickly cycled through the various stages of grief, my mind was racing with scenarios about how I could solve his problem, come to the rescue, and get it down, but the only thing I could tell him was “Pray!”

Sewer Sadness

To be honest with you, when I was his age, I had my own bad experience with a lime green banana board skateboard that I lost while going face-first down our local hill “Dead Man’s Curve.” From the moment I lost it I began praying. I loved that thing. Okay, real talk: I worshipped that thing! It was the first real purchase that I made with my own money that I made doing all sorts of odd jobs. I still remember the temperature outside; what I was wearing; and what was happening around me–those types of things are etched into my memory–it’s a trauma-thing, you know. And I mean, I prayed hard and fast and, let’s just say that some animal in the sewer under the mean streets of Apopka, Florida was enjoying the fruits of all my hard work. I didn’t hold out much hope for my son’s cherished toy.

Fervent Faith

That night, as we went to bed, we prayed that God would get his boomerang down: send a bird, an archangel, a storm, an earthquake—something. All the rest of that day my son couldn’t let it go and constantly talkedA man throws a boomerang to the camera / vintage about missing that toy, and every time he brought it up, he prayed. My son loved that toy so much that it really upset him. He didn’t eat much dinner and didn’t sleep well, either. He had a nightmare that a tree was trying to attack and eat him. And every time he had a problem, he talked with me about it, he talked with God about it.

I was thankful! My son had more faith that I did. Apparently my son believed that God was going to solve his problems. Now, something that you need to know about my son, is that he got baptized when he was six. I don’t think you heard what I said. My son went requested an entire series of Bible studies, faithfully attended each one, was on fire for Jesus, and got baptized. When I read what Jesus said: “ ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it’ ”  (Luke 18: 16b, 17, NLT), I feel like He’s talking about my son’s faith.  I didn’t have faith like that, and I didn’t have faith that God would successfully resolve the situation. I just assumed that my son would receive some real-life education in loss, and he would be sad for a little bit, but, as kids do, he would forget about it and life would go on.

Boomerang on the Brain

Early the next day—less than 24 hours later—my son woke up with that boomerang on his brain; I mean, that’s all he could talk about. Over breakfast he admitted that he hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, and every time he woke up sad, crying, or missing his boomerang, he prayed about it. He practically swallowed his food whole, and rushing through breakfast, couldn’t wait to get to the backyard. Running out the back door and down the back steps, he ran right to the offending tree, and to his surprise (and my shock), the boomerang was lying on the ground, right in front of the tree.

My son ran inside wildly swinging the boomerang over his head, excitedly shouting, “God did it! God did it! He heard and answered my prayer! I knew He was listening. I knew He would fix it! God does care! He cares about my boomerang!”

That day my son learned an invaluable lesson about God’s heart toward him and all of us, His children: He is aware of us; He cares about what makes us happy and hurt; He knows what we need and truly hears and answers our prayers. After talking about the incident with my son, God impressed me to do some research about what God says about prayer. I was shocked to learn that God—unlike a lot of us—wants us to be insistent, consistent, and persistent…even to the point of seeming to be over the top.

Take a minute to read these three brief passages about what Jesus said about prayer and tell me if you can see a theme:

  • “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

–Matthew 7:7-11, NLT

  • One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

–Luke 18:1-8, NLT

  • Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.” Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people 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 11:1-13, NLT

Did you catch the main idea that Jesus was trying to clarify? The simple fact that, because He is a loving Father, He’s aware of what’s happening in our life; and not only cares about what’s happening; more than that: He’s dying to act on our behalf! He wants us to ask in faith that we will receive what we’re praying for, and that God is good and is dying to give good gifts to us. This perspective of God as a loving and involved father, for the Jews of that time—and, admittedly, for many of us today, may be odd and off-putting. However, this perspective is indeed, Biblical.

The Aramaic word abba refers to a father-child relationship. Before Christ’s time, Aramaic-speaking children would learn to refer to their parents as abba and imma. During Christ’s life, not only small children used abba, but also grown children would refer to their father as abba. Yet, to address God as abba would have been deemed disrespectful by Jews. What our Lord did was new and, as I say, revolutionary in how to approach God.

Watching my son’s insistence that God would solve his boomerang problem bolstered my faith and belief in the power of specific and persistent prayer requests. For me, specific prayer requests are one the of the ways that God used to bolster my faith. When I received an answer with pinpoint specificity, I knew that there was no other way that prayer could have been answered other than God. It’s like a shot in my arm, that reminded me that He knows me, He loves me, and He cares for me.

That day God showed my son that He cared about him, and yes—even about his boomerang, and God cares about you, too.

Do you have something that you’re worried and praying about? Well, don’t give up praying about it. No matter what happens, don’t give up praying. Don’t stop. God knows what you’re going through. God hears your prayers, and God will answer your prayers. Now, realistically speaking, the answer may not always be “yes”. Sometimes it may be “no” or it will likely be the more common “wait” but regardless of the response, God do

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