Philippians 4:6 (New International Version, ©2011)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Who is Mr. Bananas, you may be wondering? He is this little man who is the newest addition to my daughter's stuffed animal collection.
And why would I bother to blog about Mr. Bananas? Because he taught me a little lesson on prayer. Well, technically, I think God taught me the lesson but he used this orange monkey to do it. Here's the story.
My daughter and I ran up to the grocery store to grab a few essentials: chocolate pie and chocolate syrup. In my defense, they were for the boy's birthday. But anyhoo, the girl had just gotten her allowance and she is the type where money is burning, I mean burning, a whole in her pocket and just needs to be spent. First, she went on the carousel ...
and then this flashy, money waster caught her eye.
Yes, both of my children are drawn to these claw games. I try to tell them that these games are set up for you to plunk your money in and walk away with nothing. But they never listen. So, it's 50 cents a grab but the girl only had dollar bills. In went the first dollar and two tries later at a stuffed star, nada. So, she popped in another dollar and made two more tries on an orange animal. Since it was face down, she wasn't even sure what it was, but she knew that she must have it. She tried the head first and then the bottom. Again, nada, because of course it's head is wedged underneath a stuffed bear so as to make it impossible for you to win. Have I already mentioned how these are just money wasters?!? As she readied her third dollar I dragged her away in search of our pie. As we were walking through the store she claimed she was going to try one more time and she was confident she would win. I told her I was confident it would just be a waste of another dollar. Then she looked up at me with a smirk on her face and said, "Well, I'm going to pray I get it." And then she closed her eyes and squinched up her eyes and nose and apparently made a silent prayer. This prompted me to make my own little prayer that she would win this cheesy orange animal so that God would get the glory. Yes, this is the way I think these days. I look for any opportunity to glory God and make him relevant in the lives of my children. Hence, Crazy Christian Girl (CCG).
So, we pay for our pie and chocolate syrup and head out. We get to the claw machine and she shares her strategy. She's going to make another try at the head to loosen it up since it is still under that bear. Then she'll make a grab at the bottom since it's more up in the air. I made one more attempt to talk her out of wasting her allowance but she claimed it was her money to spend how she wants and since technically it is, I didn't stop her. With complete confidence she made her first claw drop at the head and it did move a little. Then her second claw drop went right for the bottom. She got a hold of it and it started to lift. I knew it would fall before getting to the chute. So, I silently watched on as this orange animal made it's way to the all the way to the chute and dropped right in and out the bottom for the girl to scoop up into her arms.
She shrieked with joy and I thanked God for answering my little girl's prayer about an orange, as it turns out, monkey. She jumped up and down with excitement and we praised God together! A worker happened to walk by at that moment and commented how he didn't think anyone ever won and she told him how she prayed she would win. It was adorable. God was glorified right there at the claw machine at Albertson's.
Now, you might argue that it wasn't God that won her that monkey, that it was her smart strategy. Fair enough. But I would argue that God thought that strategy into her head and made that orange monkey light enough to not slip out of that hook as he made his way into her arms.
And I was reminded about how God cares about every aspect of our life. How he asks us to bring everything to him in prayer and give thanks.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version, ©2011)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.Even orange monkeys who get the clever name of Mr. Bananas.