Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You never know

About 25 years ago I had a brief encounter with a woman at work.  I was caring for someone in the absence of one of my colleagues and this woman mentioned to me that over the noon hour she and her doctor were going to pray together.

She asked me a bit about my faith, which at the time was non-existent, saying towards the end of the conversation that she would be praying for me.  And when I heard that I recall thinking in my head “Go ahead.  Suit yourself.”  From my perspective at the time a person could go ahead and do whatever they felt like.  Any words that would say about me would have no effect or meaning for me.

That encounter came to mind after my wife and I read 1 Timothy 1:12-20 last night and I re-read the passage again several times today.  Verse 13b-14 says:

“But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

In this passage Paul is writing about himself and the grace that God lavished on him, even though Paul was about as far away from God as a person could be.  And Paul’s description of himself is something that I find applies to me as well.  I was ignorant of God and lived in unbelief.  I had grown up in a church and I knew about God, or at least some things about God, but I didn't know God Himself.   But God had grace that overflowed on me, giving me faith in Him through Christ Jesus.

Did those prayers offered years before on my behalf make a difference with God and His treatment of me?  I don’t know.  I do know that God works according to His own plans and agenda, in my life and the world, something I have seen happen over and over and over. 

So I am glad for her prayers and learning the lesson of lifting up to God prayers that seem to be the things God would want us to carry to Him, such as the salvation of those who are dear to our hearts.  And we can pray trusting that He will answer them in His time and according to His purposes, a sense of timing and purpose that will always be perfect.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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