I was on my way to visit a friend. As the bus approached the hospital where she was staying, a nervous shudder went through me, and I fumbled for a fitting greeting. My friend had always been sickly, and within the past year, she’d struggled to fight off several aggressive infections. Now, a major surgery had resulted in complications.
The story of the three little pigs begins with the piglets being sent out into the world to “seek their fortune.” The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows it down. The second pig builds a house of sticks with the same result. Each exchange between the wolf and the pigs features the ringing proverbial phrase:
It was snowing when we packed the last items into the container that was waiting at an appointed lot in an industrial area, almost ready to be shipped. This was the last trip to the container before it left on its journey across the ocean with a load of personal effects and donated items that would help us build our new lives. We’d sold everything we couldn’t take along, moved out of our home, said goodbye to relatives and friends, and were now ready to take off. We were moving to Kenya!
After you have asked God for something, take action. Act on your faith. Put feet to your prayers by taking steps toward your goal.
When I was the pastor of a church in Wagoner, Oklahoma, there was a girl named Etta, who wanted very much to go to college to prepare for Christian service. For two years she prayed for money to pay her tuition. The situation looked impossible.
Recently I was thinking about how the collapse of the American stock market in 1929 toppled the world’s financial and economic systems one after the other. Businesses, industries, and banks failed. Many lost their jobs, and millions were unemployed, which caused widespread civil unrest. While this has not occurred to such a widespread scale since then, there have been many lesser economic depressions or recessions that have caused financial turmoil.
Christians often say things like “You need to have faith,” or “Faith means knowing that God will do it,” or “Trusting means you’re not afraid” or other such phrases that attempt to summarize and define faith. Between us, I can’t relate to any of these statements.
Recently, over a cup of coffee, a dear friend shared with me her admiration for my faith, and how she was struggling with trusting God over certain situations in her life. I had to tell her that every question and doubt she voiced had been mine.
I have a dear friend who told me about something that happened on his birthday. His car was in for repairs, and on this particular day he was driving someone in their own car on an all-day excursion. Planning to pick up his car from the shop after his long day’s drive, he brought along a substantial amount of money to pay for the repairs.
Nothing happens to God’s children by accident. As I stand here, minutes before my wedding, looking down the aisle at the beautiful flowers and decorations all over the room, and thinking of the many miracles that made this moment possible, I truly understand how “All things work together for good.”1 But wait—I’m getting ahead of myself. To tell this story properly, I have to go back in time: