From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.
— Psalm 8:2
Fabiola was a sad child. So sad, in fact, that Food for the Hungry (FH) staff were concerned about this 12-year-old girl.
During the many years of conflict in Burundi, Fabiola’s family had lost everything. As peasant farmers, they barely raised enough to feed the family of seven. There was no money to buy domestic animals.
Each day as she watched her friends and neighbors taking care of their goats, Fabiola would become even more sad. She wanted goats to tend.
She knew goats would benefit her family with things like more income and better crops. She wanted to be a part of that process for her family, just as her friends were for their families. She wanted goats so badly that she even started helping her friends care for their goats. And she prayed — at Sunday school, while doing chores … all the time.
FH staff worked with the farmer’s association that Fabiola’s father had joined to help Fabiola’s dream of owning a goat come true. And it did. The family received two goats, a male and a female.
There are lessons that we can learn from Fabiola’s prayers for a goat.
Fabiola displayed the innocent faith that Jesus would hear her prayers and respond with a goat. When you pray, do you believe that your prayers will be answered? That’s the kind faith Jesus referred to in Matthew 18:3 when he said we must have the faith of a child to get into heaven. It means we must absolutely believe that God will take care of everything, and we don’t have to worry about today, tomorrow or next week.
Fabiola proved that she could be trusted with goats by helping her friends tend to their goats and by keeping up with her own chores. Because she was a good steward of the things she had, God knew she would be a trustworthy steward of the goats. This concept runs throughout the Bible, including in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25), wherein Jesus praised one person for making wise investments with what he had been given, but chastised another for hoarding what he had been given.
Fabiola didn’t just pray once and give up, because a goat didn’t magically appear before her. As instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5, she prayed continually. She also continued to be both faithful and trustworthy. Luke 18:1 says we should pray and not lose heart. God hears our prayers even when we’re not sure they’re reaching beyond our ceiling. Our prayers may not be answered in our timing or in our way.
All too often, we ask God for something and then take credit for the achievement ourselves when He answers our prayers. After God has gotten you through, protected you or provided what you needed, be sure to show true gratitude through your own words, deeds, praise, outreach and support of God’s work.
What about you? Do you have the childlike faith that God will hear and answer your prayers? Are you a good steward of the things God has given you and the people He has put in your path? Do you pray continually? In addition to asking, do you take the time to thank God for all He has allowed you to have and achieve?