The Faith of a Child

by Harriet Michael

Owens GKs-1964In the summer of 1988 when my oldest son was six years old, our family took a vacation to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Sadly, it did not turn out to be much of a vacation. We only had five days. Travel took up two of them, leaving us only three days of actual vacation time.

On the first day, my younger son fell off the couch while playing.  He suffered a cut on his forehead that required a trip to the emergency room for stitches. On the second day, our dog died. She was a very old dog, and we knew she didn’t have long to live. In fact, that was the reason we brought her with us rather than leaving her at a kennel. But even though it was not unexpected, it was sad, just the same.

Aside from all of this, the weather was lousy! Hilton Head was having a torrential rainstorm. There was so much rain; the water came half-way up the wheels of the cars in some places on the roads. Rain poured down the entire three days of our vacation … well, almost.

ocean rain

On the third day, my oldest came to me complaining, “Mom! I want to play on the big tree house in Harbor Town. Let’s go play!”

I told him that I wished he could too, but it was still raining. I added, “And I can’t make the rain stop.”

His eyes lit up and he said, “Well, I know who can stop the rain!”  Then, with a big smile, he exclaimed, “God!” He added that he wanted to pray and ask God to stop the rain.

prayerI must confess my reluctance to even let him do this. I was full of doubt. I listened with doubt in my heart as he prayed this request in his innocent way.

After the prayer, he went back to watching television. I went back to cleaning the kitchen, where I turned on the TV to check the weather. It did not look hopeful. There was a front dropping rain on all of South Carolina as well as several other states. Furthermore, it was a stationary front. It was not going anywhere for quite a while. Since we were leaving the next day, I was fairly convinced this prayer was not going to be answered the way my son hoped. I began considering ways to help my son understand that sometimes God says no to our requests.

sky-912238_1280To my surprise, within the hour, the rain began to taper off. Then it stopped altogether. I quickly put my children in the car and drove to Harbor Town. I watched with amazement as they played on the giant tree house. I watched with more amazement as the skies completely cleared. For about two hours, there was not a cloud in the sky. People came onto the tennis courts, swam in the pools, perused the shops, and visited the restaurants.

I kept thinking, “The entire island is indebted to a six-year-old for his prayer, even though they don’t know it.”

treehouseAbout two hours later, clouds began to form again and drops of rain began to fall. We piled back in the car, went back to our condo, back to playing inside and watching TV.

But what a little miracle God did in response to a prayer prayed in faith–the faith of a child!

Writing Prompt: Write of a time when you experienced a direct answer to a prayer.


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