Margaret Clarkson had a great desire to be a missionary on a foreign field but because of poor health was unable to go. Instead she became a teacher in a gold-mining camp in northern Ontario, Canada. Although it was not what she would have chosen and it was a lonely assignment, she knew that this was where God wanted her to serve Him.
In The Hallelujah Factor Jack Taylor tells of a converted atheist who related how he and his atheist friends would gather in their meetings and take turns publicly blaspheming God. They were so adeptly trained that they could stand for hours and hurl insults and ridicule toward God without ever repeating themselves.
Sometimes the longer we wait for a promise from God to be fulfilled, the more glorious is His answer. There were 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. Those years are often called the silent years. There had been no prophet's voice, and the people began to be alarmed.
"Remember how our pastor has been encouraging us to keep a prayer list?" It was Patty, a new Christian, on the phone, eager to tell me about her new method of praying. "I made out my list and there were 150 people on it--my family, friends, and employees. I've decided to divide them into groups and pray for some of them each day, so I can pray more than just a 'Help him' and 'Help her.'"
A father told me that when his son went away to college, his absence left him with a deep sadness. One day in prayer he expressed his great longing to be with his son. God surprised him by saying, "There are some of My children I will never get to be with."
If you want to know what someone is really like, you must pray with them," a friend tells me. Perhaps she is right because it appears that Jesus judges our character by our prayers and meditations. When He saw Nathaniel, He gave him a high compliment: "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false" (John 1:47). He was saying Nathaniel was sincere, transparent, and without hypocrisy.
Lavena offered to chauffeur her elderly parents on a trip of a couple hundred miles. She finds driving in heavy traffic a harrowing experience, so she didn't sleep well the night before the trip. When morning finally came, she was too tired to start the journey.