By Judith Costello
I’ve been praying about money issues. Our house seems to be falling down around us and there is no money for repairs.
It seems selfish though. So many people are having economic woes. My husband likes to remind me, “God is not a vending machine where you drop in your nickel’s worth of prayer and press the button to get what you want.”
Of course, I try my best to make my prayers more than that! I end my prayer time with: “Not my will, but thy will be done, Lord.” I teach my Sunday school students to begin prayer always with thanks and recognition that we can put our trust in him.
So I wasn’t surprised when an answer to prayer came. Last week I received a writing assignment that came from “out of the blue.” It will keep me busy for awhile and it seemed a direct answer to my prayers regarding our financial situation. The job will pay $300.
“It isn’t a lot. But it will help,” I assured my husband. And I prayed with gratitude.
Then, just to keep us on our toes, God sent another response. Yesterday, the sink backed up. The plumber came and the pipes broke as he worked on them. Can you guess how much the bill came to?
That’s right: $300. I couldn’t help but laugh: money in, money out. Money is not what’s important.
And since God made everything, we can be assured that humor was one of his precious gifts. Healthy humor allows us to look at things differently. A sense of humor allows us to find a reason for laughter even in the midst of terrible troubles. It is a great blessing to be able to re-look at our lives and laugh through tears.
So I’ve been asking around: “How does God’s response to prayer make you laugh?”
A friend told me she was taking her two young children to school when she heard a “thump, thump” noise. It sounded like one of her car tires was flat. She thought the car seemed to pull to one side. So she told her children, “Pray with me. We can’t afford a flat tire right now; we have too much to do. Lord, let it be something else.”
They continued on the road with the thump, thump sound growing louder. She told herself she would decide what to do at school. As she opened the car door she had a quick answer. The belt from her coat was dragging on the ground! It had been banging against the car door. There was no flat tire, just a couple of welts in the door. “Thanks be to God,” she laughed.
Georgianna has another wonderful story to share. When her second son was born he had a genetic problem that caused his legs to grow without muscle strength. He couldn’t walk without leg braces. Georgie and her mother prayed for a miracle.
One day a man came from Mexico who was known as a “healer.” He told those who came to hear him that they should step forward and ask for the kind of healing they desired. Then everyone would pray. Georgie’s son was young, but he bravely went up to the microphone using crutches. His mother and grandmother poured out silent prayers of joy.
The boy coughed. Then he said, “I want to pray that my stomach ache be healed.” And sure enough his stomach ache was healed! And his mother and grandmother prayed in thanksgiving for the miracle of acceptance!
Georgie likes to say, “We plan and God laughs.” And sometimes, we pray with such seriousness and fear, that God sends a surprise to make us think again!
(Judith Costello is a freelance writer who grew up in Davenport and now lives in rural New Mexico. Her Web site is www.thedailychristian.com.)