I was speaking to another Christian a couple of months ago and he related a story to me about the miraculous way God works in people’s lives.
He had heard this story from a pastor who was active in mission work in Africa.
The pastor was planning a mission trip to Mozambique and while finalising his arrangements and packing in the last of his items he noticed an old Bible lying in the room. He had already packed his own Bible, but something prompted him to pack this spare Bible as well. He got into his car and started the long journey from South Africa to Mozambique.
For those who don’t know that much about the roads in Mozambique, suffice it to say they are treacherous. Any vehicle travelling to the rural parts of Mozambique, especially to the north of the country is in for a beating. And it was this beating that eventually caused a mechanical failure in the vehicle, forcing the missionary to bring it to a stop next to the side of the road. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, all the pastor could do, was try and get to the next town, which was a considerable distance away. So he started walking.
A short distance away from where his vehicle had come to a standstill he noticed a local man sitting next to the side of the road. It looked like the man was waiting for a taxi or a bus of some sort, so the missionary walked up to the fellow and enquired about when the next bus or taxi would pass. The man replied that the public transport this far out was pretty irregular and that it could take some time. The pastor then enquired from the man how long he had been waiting there, to which the man answered that he had been there several days.
I can only imagine what was going through that missionary’s mind when he heard the reply. The words ‘disheartened’ and ‘upset’ come to mind. I would have probably gotten angry at the idea that this God whom I serve and for whom I was sacrificing all this time and effort, could be so lax as to let my vehicle break down so far away from the people I was supposed to serve. To me it would have seemed that God had lost the plot...but like so many times in the past, things were not as they seemed.
“You have been waiting here for several days for a taxi!” the pastor exclaimed. “No,” said the man. “I got a vision from God that I had to come to this spot and wait here because he was sending someone to me who would bring me a Bible.”
Can you imagine! Waiting next to the side of the road for days because God gave you a vision that someone would bring you a Bible, and then God directing someone else thousands of kilometres away to pack the very Bible you needed.
REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE
As we get involved in the business of our lives we seldom take the time to sit down and think about how faithful God has been to us. God performs miracles in our lives every day. They might not be so extravagant as the story above, but each Christian I know has an inspirational story of their own to tell. I can personally attest to several miracles that have happened in my life, yet how often do I remember those events when times are tough? How often do I praise God for these things when things are going well in my life? How often do I share those stories with people who are going through tough times to encourage them that Christ is real.
In our congregation we have seen a number of people dying in the last year, and having visited with them in their final days, I was overwhelmed at how steadfast they were in their faith. I was blown away by these Christians who, nearing the end of their lives were so confident in God’s promises. If we think about it though, shouldn’t we all be? Shouldn’t we reflect on our lives and see the hand of God guiding us? Should we not be encouraged by the evidence and assurance that he gives us by performing these miracles in our lives?
One way of keeping track of this type of event is to keep a journal where you detail what happened. I know of someone who keeps a prayer journal and keeps track of all the things he prays for. For him it has been a great source of encouragement to see how God has answered his prayers and how the Holy Spirit has worked in his life. Just keep in mind that the answer to our prayers might not always be the one we want, but is often rather what we need. For example the pastor in the story above wanted the car to be fixed, but God used him to do a far greater job, which was to take that Bible to someone that needed it.
When we look at the scriptures we see in both the Old and the New Testaments that God continually urges Israel and his followers to remember. In the Old Testament for example the Israelites were instructed to wear tassels on their clothes so that they should remember God’s commandments (Numbers 15:39). And in the New Testament Jesus instituted the sacrament of communion by saying these words: “...This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
Let us take the time to regularly reflect on how great our God is and marvel that he cares for us so much. Let us remember God, and praise him for his faithfulness. And take comfort in the evidence he provides us through the miracles he performs in our lives. Let us ... REMEMBER.