By Judith Costello
I have been among the “underemployed.” As a writer, work is often slow and the pay is often minimal. But in January it suddenly dried up completely.
I sent out lots of queries and did the best searching I could. But my ideas and pleas went unanswered. I finally resigned myself to what seemed to be the truth. It was time to put in applications around town. The prospect was not exciting, however. There aren’t a lot of jobs available, especially in a small town.
Clearly, God must want me to do something else since my writing had dwindled to nothing. Right? I needed to be bringing in a regular income, so maybe it was time to start punching a time clock. I wanted to follow God’s lead. I would set out in faith on this job search.
Before I left the house I said another prayer and checked my email messages once again.
There was a message from a Catholic publisher expressing interest in having me submit a sample chapter for a workbook! And another editor sent a large editing project! And a third message asked me to write a press release. It seemed unbelievable! But there it was: work. And work in abundance!
I truly believe God heard my concerns. He answered at the moment I was really ready to surrender my ego. I want to share this story because miracles aren’t meant to be hoarded. They are meant to bless us all so many will come to believe and trust in God!
My next story comes from a neighbor. Lillian Peterson is 81 years old and her husband of 60 years died two years ago. She wonders why God is still keeping her around on the earth. A few weeks ago she ended up in the hospital and she got an answer.
When the nurses came in to give her a gown to change into, Lillian asked for a heavier one so she could move around. They brought a thick green one, and Lillian went for a walk down the hall.
“Ma’am. Would you pray with me?” It was a gruff voice calling out from another room. The man in the bed thought Lillian was on staff at the hospital.
Lillian is always happy to pray. So she came into the room and talked to God on the man’s behalf. “Lord, this gentleman is worried about his illness. Send him comfort and heal him according to your plan. I imagine he’d like to get out of this hospital bed soon, Lord. So I’m asking for your help.”
The man smiled and Lillian went on her way. A short while later, another man called out asking for her prayer help. Something about Lillian tells people, “This is a woman who knows how to pray.”
Later that day the hospital chaplain came to see her. “I am told you are the one who’s been walking the halls and praying with people,” he said.
“Well, yes, sir. But I didn’t mean to take over your job.” Lillian looked the man over. He was young and dressed in a suit. He carried a Bible and a book of prayers.
The chaplain pulled up a chair. “No, no. I didn’t come to accuse you. I just want to know how you pray. Two fellows down the hall told me, ‘The lady in green prays better than you do.’”
So Lillian offered the young chaplain some advice from her long years of prayer. “I talk to God like I’m talking to you. We are on pretty good terms I think because I talk to him all the time. Those hard working fellows need to know that God is really someone you can talk to. They probably don’t remember any formal prayers.”
Before the preacher left, Lillian called out, “And don’t wear a suit when you go visiting folks. They need to see you like one of them!”
Lillian has decided that encounter was one reason God has left her still on this earth. She’s got things to teach people about prayer!
I share these stories to let you know: God guides us if we are paying attention! And he rains down his goodness to those who surrender to him!
(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.)