|The Beloved Toy Rabbit by Alyssa L. Miller
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I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6 NIV
Bunny went missing. Oh, not the Peter Rabbit sort that live outside among the garden rows and feasted on carrots and cabbages whilst we slumbered. No, this missing rabbit was affectionately called Bunny by my adoring five-year-old daughter ever since it traveled across the continent to our home via Grandma's suitcase four years prior. And now it was nowhere to be found!
Panic struck about 8 p.m. on a school night just as "T" returned to her bedroom with a glass of water in hand. Proud that she'd earned the right to fetch her own night-time drink, "T" woke me from my power nap as she snuggled between the sheets and drew up her blanket. Adjusting her pillows, she reached for Bunny only to find...nothing. "Bunny's gone!" she shrieked.
Now fully awake, I leaped to the floor and felt under her bed, under the covers, behind the bed and in her closet. Clearly, Bunny, not being "real" (although her fur had become worn, her plastic eyes were chipped and her nose was almost rubbed off) could not have run off on her own.
We recruited the help of Daddy and Brother and after turning the whole house upside down Bunny was still lost. "T" was inconsolable and I only imagined a sleepless night ahead. Like lost car keys, God whispered into my ear, "Nothing is too small a request. If you ask me, I will find Bunny for you." Okay," I conceded. "But you'd really better come through on this one, 'cause it's "T" who's watching you!" I warned God.
Holding my sobbing daughter, Daddy and I led her in a simple prayer, "God, Bunny is missing and we can't find her anywhere. Please show us where to find her because "T" loves Bunny so much. Amen." After that God said, "Retrace T's steps." Oh, that's right, she'd walked downstairs to get her own water without me. She's the only one who could retrace her steps.
"Okay, T," I explained, "You need to think hard and retrace your steps from the time you left the room with Bunny in your arms, okay?" We followed her out of her bedroom, down the flight of stairs, through the living room and into the kitchen. Still no Bunny appeared. "God, she's trusting you to help her find Bunny. You see this, right?" I pleaded.
T opened the cupboard where she reached for a drinking glass. No Bunny in there. No Bunny on the counter where she rested her glass. No Bunny on the floor or under the sink. As T headed toward the refrigerator my heart sank. "Oh, Lord, don't disappoint her. This little one's faith is strong, please show us Bunny, please."
She pulled open the door and peered inside. "Bunny!" she shouted. Yup, there was Bunny propped up next to the jug of water with her well-loved bald spots, chipped eyes and worn off nose just smiling back at us. "Oh, Lord," I whispered through my giggles, "you certainly do have a sense of humor!"
As silly as all this sounds now, I look back at it as a tremendous lesson for T. At such an early age she learned that God answers prayers, no matter how big or small the request. When something is important to us, it's important to God, too.
What a great lesson for us all.