Carolyn, a preacher's wife, had just found evidence that her daughter was involved in potentially deadly activities. Because of her position, however, Carolyn felt that to tell anyone this family secret might expose her husband and his ministry to ridicule or shame. To keep the secret was painful--she needed a friend. In near desperation, she cried out to God, "I've got to talk to someone! Can't You send me somebody I can trust?"
Almost before she had finished praying, the doorbell rang. When she opened the door, there stood another preacher's wife. She was new to the city and had come to make her acquaintance. Almost immediately the women developed a rapport as they discussed their lives, their many moves, and the difficulties of raising children.
Carolyn discovered her newfound friend had also gone through the struggle of raising a rebellious teenager. She poured out her problem to her new friend, who offered, "Would you mind if I prayed for you before I go?" Within minutes Carolyn felt peace and hope fill her heart. She realized God had sent her help the very minute she needed it.
Hope in God is never misplaced. He always comes through. Even before we pray, an answer is on the way.
call I will answer;
while they are still speaking
I will hear."
While driving along the freeway, the adults in the front seat of a car were talking when suddenly, they heard the horrifying sound of a car door opening, the whistle of wind, and a sickening thud. They quickly turned and saw that the three-year-old child riding in the back seat had fallen out of the car and was tumbling along the freeway. The driver screeched to a stop, and then raced back toward her child. To her surprise, she found that all the traffic had stopped just a few feet away from her child. Her daughter had not been hit.
A truck driver drove the girl to a nearby hospital. The doctors there rushed her into the emergency room, and soon came back with the good news: other than a few scrapes and bruises, the girl was fine; no broken bones, no apparent internal damage.
As the mother rushed to her child, the little girl opened her eyes and said, "Mommy, you know I wasn't afraid. While I was lying on the road waiting for you to get back to me, I looked up and right there I saw Jesus holding back the traffic with His arms out."
God truly watches over us with loving care.
When Walter Wangerin was a boy, he told all of his friends that his father was the strongest man alive. Then came the day when Wally climbed to the top of the backyard cherry tree. A storm blew up suddenly and Wally was trapped. "Daddy!" he shouted, and instantly, his father appeared. "Jump," he yelled. "Jump, and I'll catch you."
Wally was frozen in fear. His big, strong dad looked quite small and frail down there on the ground, two skinny arms reaching out to catch him. Wally thought, If I jump and Dad doesn't catch me, I'll hit the ground and die! "No!" he screamed back. At that very moment the limb Wally was clinging to cracked at the trunk. Wally surrendered. He didn't jump--he fell--straight into Dad's ready arms. Crying and trembling, Wally wrapped his arms and legs around his father. Dad was strong after all. Up to that point, it had only been a theory. Now, it was a reality; it was experience.
Prayer is about surrendering our will to God's will, yielding our strength to God's strength, giving up our desires to take on God's desires, and surrendering when He asks us to jump into His waiting arms.
A young man was running a race, and he found himself falling farther and farther behind his competitors. His friends cheered him on from the sidelines, but to no avail. Then suddenly, his lips began to move, his legs picked up speed, and to the amazement of the entire crowd watching the race, he passed his competitors one by one--and won the race!
After he had been awarded a blue ribbon and received the congratulations of his coach and teammates, he turned to his friends. One of them asked, "We could see your lips moving but we couldn't make out what you were saying. What were you mumbling out there?"
The young man replied, "Oh, I was talking to God. I told Him, 'Lord, You pick 'em up and I'll put 'em down....You pick 'em up and I'll put 'em down!'"
When we live our lives the way we know God's Word commands us, and we are believing to the best of our ability that the Lord will help us, we are then in a position to know with certainty what the Apostle Paul knew:
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