When Wednesday evenings roll around, like as not you'll find me attending a prayer meeting at my local church. Unfortunately, most Wednesdays find me worn out by the time church starts. After a
doubly hard day, usually more patients and sometimes longer hours, this old nurse finds himself hindered more than a little by the flesh. It is a battle trying to stay awake, let alone trying to comprehend everything being preached and prayed over. Beware becoming the next Eutychus.
Don't take me for a wishy washy, new age Christian. I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, crucified on the cross and resurrected to save all who accept Him from their sins. I don't like to be in church feeling all worn out, but I'm happy to be in church nonetheless. Why? Because I like to hear the word of God and be around people that feel the same way.
Even so, when I'm having a really bad day, one of the things that sometimes rings my bell
is when a missionary shows up on a Wednesday. Again, please don't get me wrong, Lorefans.
I like hearing of what my almighty heavenly Father is doing around the world. However, when
missionaries show up, there's going to be a collection plate passed around at some point. I
confess that I'm not always the cheerful giver my God wants me to be. You might say I
sometimes forget that the treasures of this world are temporary while heavenly treasures
are eternal. Paying bills and trying to get ahead can do that to you.
So there I was, listening to yet another missionary tell of the wonderful things being
done in his country. God is great and is still moving in this world. I was very pleased to hear
of souls being saved. Praise God! Then it happened. Time for the collection plate. My credit
card was no good here. My wallet was devoid of pay. There was however something green
in that wallet. I just didn't want to give it up. Folded safely away amid driver's license, credit card and
insurance cards were the precious dollars left from my birthday and Christmas cash.
Now, I considered that money mine. It was given to me here and there as gifts from assorted family members. Obviously they intended for me to buy goodies for myself. My family is not rich, so that hundred dollars took a while to assemble. Still, something kept saying to me that that one hundred dollar bill was meant to be used for something more spiritual than buying another knife or used as a down payment on a new gun. Yeah. I felt lousy. God had saved me, given me a home, a job and a family. And here I was whining about a hundred dollar bill.
"Ok, God," I prayed. "You can have the money. But this time, I need you to show me something. I need to know that giving this is what you want, not just me dealing with a guilty conscience." It wasn't
a challenge. It was a humble plea for understanding on my part. Let me tell you, at first I felt like a fool. As the service ended, though, I had a feeling I had done the right thing, at least most of the time.
As days passed, I looked for a message from God. Nothing I saw as an answer showed up. Sure, I got a discount on a car repair, but it cost around fourteen hundred dollars anyway. My diabetes didn't
go away. The battery cap on a flea market flashlight I picked up was frozen tight with corroded batteries. Woe is me!
To make things worse, one of the doctors from my job called to tell me I'd won the office pool
on the March Madness women's basketball bracket. I know nothing of women's basketball. I hadn't entered the contest. This doctor has a great sense of humor. He pulled the same joke on me
last year as well. Ha, ha. Very funny. He wasn't going to get me this time.
Easter came and went. No answer to my prayer came. Back at work Monday, various jokesters kept asking what I was going to do with all my winnings, knowing, as did I, that there were no winnings.
You can't win if you don't enter is a basic rule of thumb. Then my boss showed up. "This came for you,"
she said, handing me an envelope.
Ripping it open, I found a one hundred dollar bill along with a note congratulating me on winning
the women's basketball bracket. Now, I don't know who was inspired to enter my name in the contest,
or how this person figured out the winning team. I do know where this one hundred dollar bill is going,
as soon as I can get it back to church. Don't demand answers from God, but don't be blind to them, either.