You’ve probably noticed that I’ve had guest bloggers the past three weeks while I was on vacation and participating in our churches VBS with my grandkids. A big thank you to Julie Sanders and Stephanie Shott for their great guest blogs. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing the many God wonders from our vacation and VBS adventures, starting with today’s blog post.
Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.—Psalm 40:5
The Wonders of Prayerful Handholding!
“Bless you both,” I heard as my husband, Dave, and I opened our eyes after praying over our dinner in the Seattle airport food court. I looked up to see an elderly gentleman and his wife beaming at us from the next table. In an instant, we all knew that we shared something in common—God! When we acknowledged the husband’s comment, his wife gleefully added, “And I said to my husband, ‘Look they’re holding hands while they pray!’”.
As we chatted with the couple, we learned that they were waiting to board a plane to Orange County, our former home, and they were traveling from Canada. I later told Dave that I have always wanted to acknowledge others praying over their meal when we’re out to eat, but I never knew exactly what to say that wouldn’t be intrusive—now I knew exactly what to say!
Backing up a bit…earlier that morning, Dave and I had again held hands and prayed as we sat in the Boise airport anticipating a long travel day with a seven hour layover in Seattle on our way to Maui. We asked God to use our long waits and travel times to His glory and that He would have us encounter the people He wanted us to meet. As we said “Amen,” I heard a familiar voice calling my name and it was the sweet receptionist at our Garden Valley Clinic. She was on her way to Texas, and as we chatted together she told us of her friend she was going to help move back to Idaho, and we were able to share with her about a group we are starting in our home that might help her friend.
After sixteen hours of travel and a four hour time change, we finally made it to the beautiful island of Maui ready to enjoy a week at the Love Song Couples Getaway at the Grand Wailea Resort. Since it took us a day of travel and we arrived late at night, we had decided to go two days early and spend our first two nights before the Getaway started at a less expensive hotel near the airport on a different part of the island than the Grand Wailea.
Our first morning in this “tropical paradise,” we headed down to the hotel’s restaurant for my favorite Hawaiian breakfast: pancakes with coconut syrup. While savoring every bite, I noticed that a couple who had just been seated at the table next to us were holding hands and praying before their meal, as Dave and I had done before they arrived. Here is my chance to try out my acknowledgement greeting.
So when I heard “Amen,” I said to them “Bless you both.” They looked a little surprised at first, but as the conversation ensued, it turned out they too were from Orange County and were also headed to the Love Song Couples Getaway, and like us, had decided to come in two days early and stay near the airport! What are the chances of that? Hmmm, God was really answering our prayer to orchestrate who He wanted us to meet.
The next day at the same restaurant for breakfast, I noticed another couple sitting next to us and they were finishing their meal as we sat down. Dave and I ordered and then held hands and prayed a blessing over our food. As the couple got up to leave, I noticed the husband gave us a kind acknowledging smile.
Later that day, we checked out of our hotel and checked into the Grand Wailea, where the Love Song Couples Getaway was being held. And who should we see in the lobby but the same couple we had seen that morning at breakfast! It turns out that they had watched us pray over our meal and the wife had said to the husband, “Why don’t we hold hands while we pray?”
Thousands of tourists are on the island of Maui ever day…what are the chances that we would meet two couples going to the same retreat we were who were staying the first two night on the same part of the island that we did, and that we would eat breakfast in the same place at the same time, and that holding hands while we prayed would be our connecting factor.
We became great friends with both of these couples while we were at the Getaway and thanks to Facebook and email, we’ll stay friends across the miles. As other couples asked us how we met each other, it gave us another opportunity to share our story of the wonders of God using handholding while praying.
I have so much to tell you about the Love Song Couples Getaway, which I will in upcoming blogs, but let me salt you with saying it was the best, God-filled vacation we have ever had and we’ve already signed up to go next year to the Bahamas with them. This vacation was better than our expectations and a wise investment of our time and resources to enhance our marriage and draw us closer to each other and God.
Do you hold hands with your spouse when you pray?
Dave and I have held hands praying since before we were married…we hold hands whenever we pray whether it be in church, over a meal anywhere and everywhere… yes even over pizza…and when we pray together at home. We also hold hands with our friends, family, kids, grandkids, visitors . . . whoever is in the circle of breaking bread together when we pray over a meal. There’s a unity that comes from clasping our hands in another’s and lifting your heart to the Lord together. And who knows….God just might use it as your witness and help you make new friends!
You might enjoy looking over some tips for Praying as a Couple that I included in Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter.