It was Valentine’s Day, 2009. The NBA All-Star festivities were taking place in Phoenix, and my husband Jon and I decided it would be fun to go as a family. We excited our twins, then three-years-old, with the promise of a fun-filled evening of basketball, cheering, and endless snacking.
We figured we’d buy tickets at the arena, since All-Star events never look sold out. But this event had. And the people selling tickets on the street were selling them at face value or higher.
We’ve taught our kids about God from infancy. Trust Him. He loves you. Pray about everything. Know that He hears you.
And though we model these admonitions in their presence, praying about the tickets didn’t occur to Jon or me as we talked about a plan B.
“But, Dad.” Our daughter grabbed his face between her little hands and turned it toward the entrance. “We want to go in there.”
“We don’t have tickets, baby.”
“But we didn’t ask God yet. You said we could ask God anything.”
And so ask Him we did. Not two minutes after “amen,” a young man approached. “Do you guys need a ticket? I have an extra one.”
“How much?” Jon asked.
“Here you go.” The guy handed over the ticket, shook Jon’s hand and walked away. We received the rest of the tickets within minutes, all for the same price: free.
We had a wonderful time that night, and praised God for His goodness.
But sometimes the answer to prayer is no. Like the time I lost my third child to miscarriage, or when we lost my mother-in-law to leukemia sixteen months after her diagnosis.
Even in those instances, as painful as they were, God remained faithful, loving, and good. Because His goodness isn’t contingent on how He answers prayer, or even that He answers prayer. His goodness is one of His many unending, never-changing attributes.
A “yes” to our prayers is a byproduct of that goodness. A “no,” a byproduct of His wisdom. For He knows the plans He has for us, even when we don’t.
Divine admittance to a basketball game wasn’t a monumental life event, but it was definitely an eye-opening one. It affirmed that God cares about the trivial and the major, because He cares about us.
We can trust Him, knowing that He loves us. We can pray about everything, knowing that He hears us. And we can enjoy peace that passes understanding, knowing that the God we serve is good.
Your turn: In what way(s) has God wowed you with His goodness?