© 2015 Bill Murphy
Scripture: The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Psalm 6:9 (KJV)
We wonder why bad things happens to good people just as we wonder why good things happen to the bad. Often it is simply because things ‘just happen.’ But, is the ‘bad stuff’ really always bad? We want to be a blessing to others, right? But at what cost are we willing to pay to be part of that blessing?
I ask you this question because it was asked of me in recent days.
I was working around the house, raking leaves, crushing and ripping apart cardboard boxes for disposal – and patching a down-spout. Right in the middle of my third project I was shocked to realize that my wedding band was missing! Then and there I went into frantic mode!
I searched high and low, on hands and knees, even to the point of emptying out the trash and going through a soggy 5 day accumulation of garbage, piece by yucky piece. No ring. I search all that day and the next, but to no avail. I asked the family to pray with me for the return of this missing treasure.
Let me digress for a moment –
It was my grandmother who taught me about prayer. She taught me, by example, that God ANSWERS prayer. As a small child I had bad dreams – ‘night terrors’ they call them then. After a bad night while at Mamaw’s house, she told me to pray and ask God to keep me from having these nightmares – and that He would. I believe my grandmother. I prayed, and just as she said, God answered my prayer! That simple act began building in my young heart, a lasting confidence in God’s mercy.
Fast forward to the present –
My daughter Lois is a ‘new Christian.’ She has a newly-found walk and ever growing trust in God. We’re so very thankful for that! Without directly asking her to pray for the return of my missing ring, nevertheless she prayed, asking God to help her help me. The very next morning as she was walking down our back sidewalk, very near the spot where I had torn apart the boxes – her eye caught a bright golden glint reflecting the morning sun. My ring! I’d been on my hands and knees searching that same area numerous times before.
God did two miraculous things in one fell swoop. First, my lost treasure was found! And that made me very, very happy. But far more important than my personal joy and gratitude – was the fact that God had stooped down and made personal contact and connection with our new-in-the-faith daughter, Lois! A thousand sermons preached on prayer pale in comparison to one situation lived which illustrates the truth that God listens to us – that He cares about us – and that He can and WILL answer our sincere requests.
Enduring those hours of distress while my ring was missing wasn’t an enjoyable experience. But it was worth it for my daughter to personally experience the truth of God’s amazing concern for us and about us – and His willingness to hear and answer her prayers!
Often the ‘bad stuff’ that comes our way is not really ‘bad stuff’ at all. It’s often only GOOD STUFF in heavenly disguise! And while we’re fretting about why God isn’t using us in His kingdom, He IS – but in ways we don’t or can’t imagine.
Yes, it’s so very true – God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.