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Posts Tagged ‘answered prayer’

Jo 23While shopping recently, I asked a young salesgirl for a particular product.

‘We don’t have it,’ she told me, ‘but you could check on the net. Um … could you do that?’

Her tone of voice and the sceptical glance she gave me conveyed a crystal-clear message—’I’m sure you wouldn’t know the first thing about computers. You’re far too old!

I tried to suppress a smile. Little did she know that, as a writer, I spend hours and hours at my laptop—and that is why my husband decided recently I needed a new one, complete with the latest Microsoft Office.

As some of you know, setting up a new laptop can be a scary experience fraught with difficulty, but my husband has done this many times before and was sure he could tackle it again. So when my new laptop arrived, he set about it all in his usual meticulous way.

At first, everything worked smoothly—but then something weird began to happen. While I could easily receive emails, I could not always send them! Sometimes they would jack up, dig their heels in and stay right where they were—which they eventually did all the time, unless we connected my laptop to our modem via a cable, instead of using wifi. But that could only be temporary—we still needed to fix the problem.

First of all, my husband explored all the common causes of such difficulties. Then he contacted the manufacturer, who suggested he contact our service provider, who suggested we contact Microsoft. Round and round it went, with various phone conversations with overseas employees whose strong accents my husband had great difficulty understanding! He asked some tech-savvy friends as well—but everyone was flummoxed.

Then one night, as he mulled over the whole issue, he sensed God saying to him: ‘Just relax about it all—leave it to me!’ So he decided to do exactly that, while still carefully working on the problem. And it was not long before, by many devious means, he discovered on the net how a particular little program on my laptop had caused similar troubles for others. He investigated further, found the spot somewhere in the bowels of my laptop where he could turn this program off—and voila! Problem solved, just like that. In the end, his tally of options tried that didn’t work as opposed to the one that did was 18:1!

So what did we learn in all this? Yes, God does answer our prayers—even those to do with troublesome computers. But that does not always mean we are to sit back and do nothing. In this instance, it seemed my husband discovered God’s answer while giving his whole heart and mind to solving the problem—yet the difference was that now he was more relaxed that God would indeed lead him to a solution. Yes, sometimes God steps in and rescues us straight away. But at other times, God gently shows us the way forward, as we continue to persevere and work hard in God’s strength.

Have you found this to be so in your life too?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Maxine's 1st bday 2015 016eOur three-year-old grandson discovered a whole new concept recently. He has come to believe that anyone or anything he doesn’t approve of might well disappear if he ‘magics’ them away! No doubt he saw this happen on some children’s TV show and has decided this might be quite a handy skill to acquire. So when some animals featured on a particular page of one of his favourite books do something naughty, what does he do?

‘I’m going to magic you away!’ he declares to them firmly, with a sweep of his hand.

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to deter him when those animals don’t actually disappear. He just keeps on trying. And not only on characters in books either.

One evening when we were minding him, he decided he wasn’t ready to go to sleep, despite the lateness of the hour. We had already read books and enjoyed a special treat—a big, juicy strawberry from the fridge. But one was definitely not enough—he wanted more.

‘Perhaps when Mummy comes home, you can ask her for some more,’ I stalled, hoping he would fall asleep long before then.

But our determined little grandson was not happy with my response.

‘I’m going to magic you away!’ he informed me, with a stern look and a very definite, commanding gesture.

But he still wasn’t finished.

And I’m going to magic Mummy right here!’ he announced with a flourish.

About two seconds later, we heard a sound at the front door—and there was Mummy, home from work! I laughed, knowing it was sheer coincidence. But our grandson’s face registered all sorts of emotions—shock, joy, pride, satisfaction … and yes, anticipation of more yummy strawberries to come. In fact, without even greeting his mother, he headed straight for that fridge to help himself!

This interesting experience later caused me to think about how I view God at times. How often have I prayed some frantic prayer, in the hope God will immediately step in and ‘magic’ away some disaster or difficult situation? How often have I felt I had the right to expect God to do this, even if I was responsible for bringing about the disaster or difficult situation? How often have I treated God as some sort of all-powerful magician, always ready to save the day and do exactly as I want?

Yes, God has often rescued me out of difficult situations. But God has also chosen to walk with me through them instead—and these have been the times I have grown the most. Then I learnt to rely on God more, became stronger, gained some wisdom and was equipped to empathise with others. I often did not appreciate it, but God was there through it all, holding me, helping me, comforting me, teaching me, as 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

No, God is not a big magician who is obliged to do what we say, making people we don’t like disappear or zapping us out of some tricky situation. God is soooo much more than that—don’t you agree?

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