After our newest children moved in with us last summer, I went through what I call a crisis of faith. It’s happened after every birth and adoption so far. The stress breaks my body down, I’m fatigued, and I give in to every temptation and hopeless thought Satan throws my way. God always feels silent.
At the height of this desperate time, I was hiking and praying. It’s always my goal to pray during these hikes, but shiny objects pull me from my Daddy constantly. I prefer to look at the shadows of him instead of just enjoying the real thing. This time was no different, and I found myself, as usual, asking God to draw me to him in prayer without being distracted.
A mosquito started buzzing in my ear. Because of the doubts I was feeling at the time, I foolishly decided to test God. Even though I believed in my heart that Jesus was king, that he’d paid for others’ sins, that I wanted him desperately, I just couldn’t believe that I belonged to God. This is the main lie I believe in those dark times. So to try to get God to prove to me that I was his, I prayed something like, “If I’m yours, please make this mosquito stop buzzing in my ear.” As soon as I prayed, the mosquito buzzed again.
This happened multiple times during the walk. Each time the mosquito buzzed, I prayed God would stop the mosquito. And a few seconds after I prayed, buzzing again. After an hour or so of this, I was sobbing and yelling at God: “You can raise people from the dead! This mosquito is nothing hard for you. Why won’t you just do this one thing???” In my despairing heart, this predictably led to saying, “OK, I’m not yours. Just help me not be angry and bitter about it but instead to see how much I deserve this.”
The whole experience crushed me. It was dumb, but that was all it took. The hopelessness ended a few days later when several friends were over. One dear sister noticed I’d disappeared. She went hunting for me upstairs and found me in my closed closet curled in a ball on the floor, sobbing. This friend didn’t ask questions but simply lowered herself to me and let me wail on her shoulder for more than 30 minutes, praying out loud for me the whole time.
(This doesn’t actually have a ton to do with the rest of the story, but man, it was one of the best ways I’ve ever been loved, and I simply wanted to share.)
That day, some of the fog lifted and I was able to see things more rightly. With friends speaking truth to me, my hope in Jesus instead of in my works or even in the strength of my faith was restored.
A couple of months later, I was hiking again and praying. Once more, I wanted to pray the whole time but my mind was wandering. So again I simply prayed that God would help me continue talking to him instead of thinking of other things. Almost immediately, a mosquito buzzed in my ear. My heart was lighter this time, so I started laughing. This time I prayed: “God, I know what happened last time, and I trust you have a reason. But I’m still going to ask you to stop this stinkin’ mosquito. If you choose not to again, help me to trust you.” Again, the mosquito buzzed.
A few minutes later, finding myself distracted, the buzzing started again. I prayed, “God I know I don’t need to know, but will you please show me why you aren’t answering this prayer?” Almost immediately, he revealed it to me: What was I always asking God for when I was hiking? I was asking him to keep me praying and to keep me from distractions. What did I do every time the stupid mosquito buzzed in my ear?
When I saw this, I laughed, like a crazy lady laugh, and I may have started whooping in the middle of a state forest, not really concerned who heard me or not. Because now I knew why mosquitoes buzzed in people’s ears.
At least, I knew why they buzzed in mine.
How many more mosquitoes do I have in my life that I see as nuisances which are really just God drawing me closer to him?