I think of all the different things I experienced this summer while camping with my family, this one simple question has had the biggest impact in my life.
"Esther, do you know what it means to pray it through?" Asked my best friend, Joe Harshberger. And that...is why he's my best friend.
It was around 8:00ish that evening, and my little boy Julian had just come running into the camper, crying and pointing to his tummy, when he told me someone had punched him in the stomach and mouth.
Actually, it was closer to an hour later, as I was sitting at our table, my friend Joe across from me, and I was sharing my concerns and fears about my son. Julian is autistic and lives with many challenges, one of which is the right and wrong way to let out his emotions. He's gotten into the habit of spitting at a person, usually if they're ignoring him or if they tell him no. Although we never got completely down to the bottom of why one of the camping kids punched him, its a good possibility he was fed up with being spit at, hit, etc.
I won't go into the details of how upset I was, how I marched around the campgrounds, from one kid to another, trying to find out who punched Julian and why, or the fact that I packed up all of our belongings the next morning and said I'd never be back...and meant it at the time...
Even through all of that, the life-altering moment was when my best friend Joe, had the spiritual where-with-all, the wisdom, to point me to the One true source that can feel my pain, help me carry my burdens, and give me the strength to face each challenge one at a time.
Its amazing, how much impact our words can have on someone.
And to this day, when things get too overwhelming in my life, when I think I'm just going to throw my hands up in the air and admit defeat, I hear those words, I hear my best friend Joe encouraging me to PRAY IT THROUGH!
And thank You, God...for bringing Joe into our lives.