One Way to Pray When the Solution Isn’t Obvious

It’s a story that lives on in Flowers family lore.

Molly was little—still young enough to sleep in a crib and take afternoon naps.

Our sweet girl usually woke up from her siestas quietly. She’s always been resourceful and imaginative, so there’s really no telling what all she did when we thought she was sleeping. Knowing her like we do now, it’s safe to assume she spent a significant amount of time playing around in her bed before she ever let us know she wanted to get up.

On this particular day, though, she had gotten herself into a bit of a pickle. When we heard her cries and ran upstairs to see what was wrong, we found that one of her pudgy little legs was stuck between the slats in the crib.

Randy attempted to bend the slats apart. He wiggled Molly’s leg around. He slathered it with baby lotion and tried to slide it through the opening.

Nothing worked.

He finally concluded that the only solution was to cut one of the slats. He went to the garage to fetch a saw and was on his way back to Molly’s room when Lilly, the ever-protective big sister, saw what he was doing.

Horrified, she grabbed on to his leg with as much of a death grip as her five-year-old body could muster.

“No, Daddy,” she shrieked. “Don’t cut her leg off!”

Randy had no intention of doing that, of course. From Lilly’s perspective, though, Molly was stuck in her crib, and Dad had a saw. What else was she to think?

We laugh about this now, but it’s also a sobering reminder that things aren’t always as they seem. First impressions are often inaccurate. A lack of understanding can lead to assumptions that are flat-out wrong.

Not only that, but even after a great deal of thought or careful research, the “right answer” still might not be obvious. Not every solution is a finger swipe away. Even when we’re confident in our intelligence, sensory abilities or investigative skills, we can miss things—sometimes very important things.

In these tumultuous days, when conflicting reports and ideas about practically everything swirl around us with ever-increasing intensity, it’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed, perhaps even depressed. Truth exists, of course. But amid all the noise and “expert” opinions, it’s sometimes hard to discern, especially when we lack all the facts or even the ability to fully understand the situation.

Maybe it’s because I’m now the mom of two teenage daughters, or maybe my season of life as helper to my aging parents has something to do with it. Whatever the reason, when it comes to knowledge, answers and problem-solving, I’m slowly learning to appreciate humility, ambiguity and the wisdom that comes from experience like never before in my life.

More and more, as I ponder my responses to situations far more serious than a pudgy leg stuck in a crib, I find myself whispering one simple prayer to our omniscient God:

“Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me.” (Psalm 43:3)

Time after time, He is faithful to answer—if only with the quiet reassurance of His presence.


Amid all the noise and expert opinions, truth is sometimes hard to discern, especially when we lack all the facts or even the ability to fully understand the situation. Click To Tweet

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, Faith on Fire, Faith ‘n Friends and Grace & Truth.

20 Responses to One Way to Pray When the Solution Isn’t Obvious

  1. Deb Wolf says:

    What a cute story! I’m learning to trust my lack of understanding and knowledge to the One who has the answers and holds the future. In all the chaos, He alone is my peace. Great post, Lois!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks, Deb. I have a LONG way to go in the educational process that you describe, but isn’t it good to be able to look back and see the distance we’ve already traveled in certain areas? I’m thankful that God sometimes gives us glimpses of how we’ve grown, even as He continues to guide us onward and upward.

  2. Linda Stoll says:

    And I’m embracing these words with all my might this morning, friend –>’I’m slowly learning to appreciate humility, ambiguity and the wisdom that comes from experience like never before in my life.’

    The older I get, the less I know for sure.

    Except for Him.

  3. What a cute story! I feel like little Lily all too often and need this reminder.

  4. SUSAN SHIPE says:

    I love this story so much. So much.

  5. Our eldest son was famous for getting stuck between the bars of his crib — so much so that I think “STUCK!” was one of his first words.
    Oh. . . the teen years. I came into them in much the way you are, feeling as if I’d been hit by a freight train, aging parents, the whole deal. And God is faithful through it all. He still is.
    And you and I are going to come out of this as much better prayer warriors.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Your comment made me laugh AND warmed my heart, Michele. This past week has been especially um, eventful, in the “teen years” department, but you are so right. God IS faithful, and I’m thankful my girls have the opportunity to watch His faithfulness unfold in their lives, even when it’s hard. Hugs, friend.

  6. Lois, your daughter’s response to the saw in Randy’s hand made me grin (only because I couldn’t guffaw out loud–I’m here with DS 2 who is working out at the Y). First impressions are not often accurate. Such a good reminder.

    Also a good reminder that often, the very best thing we can do is stop, pray and wait for God to reveal the answer we need.

  7. Lisa notes says:

    Laughing about this, Lois. 🙂 We never know what our actions look like to kids, but I can see why a child could suspect a leg was about to be cut off. I wonder how much we questions God’s actions too, when they’re always for our good.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Lisa. 🙂 And I know what you mean about questioning God’s actions … I’m glad He is long suffering and full of patience to put up with my panicked prayers when I jump to conclusions about what He’s doing or how things are going!

  8. Trudy says:

    What a precious photo of your daughters, Lois. I love Lilly’s protectiveness, too. No, things aren’t always what they appear. I find comfort in knowing God is still King in the midst of all the noise and pain in this world. But yes, I do get discouraged. I love your prayer from the Psalms. We so need His light and truth to lead us! Thank you for this insightful, encouraging post! Love and hugs to you!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks for your kind words about the picture, Trudy … it’s one of my favorites of of the girls. 🙂 There are so many wonderful prayers in the Psalms, aren’t there? I love when I find one that I never really noticed before, or maybe one that speaks to me in a new way because of what I’m going through right then. Much love to you this week, my friend!

  9. What a funny, sweet story! I’m guessing Molly kept her legs? : P I’m thankful for that little prayer and the truth that God gives wisdom to all those who ask (James 1:5) Such a blessing he never tires of our asking!

  10. Lesley says:

    I loved the story, Lois! And I agree, there is so much noise and so many opinions that it is hard to discern the truth at times. We definitely need God’s wisdom and guidance to navigate our way through it all.

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