It was a very little prayer, but what a great answer. I was returning home after a wonderful holiday with ‘Bridgens Tours.’ It wasn’t just the weather, the food, but especially it was the fellowship which makes me describe it as wonderful. We were nearly thirty in our party, - some have become part of my history, and others newly discovered, but all members of my family through Jesus. So now, yes, I would be glad to return to my own bed, but how could I face an empty house?
When I was so happily married, I had felt I could never stay in my bungalow if Joel were not there. He always filled it with sunshine. But as I faced returning to an empty house for the first time, -thirteen years ago now, Jesus brought a memory to mind. Out in the highlands of New Guinea, I was standing on the veranda of a mission house, watching the truck driving away with my colleagues. I would only be alone for the weekend before my sister would be there to keep my company, but oh, as I looked at the grass lands stretching to the distant mountains and no house within earshot, how desolate it seemed. ‘Oh Lord,’ I sighed. What kind of a prayer was that?
Turning to go into the house, suddenly I knew Jesus was there, beside me. Filled with joy, I began to sing, and then I was dancing. He was keeping his promise, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’
As ‘this same Jesus’ reminded me of this story from long ago, I knew he would do it again. So now, every time I put the key in the door of my home I ask him, ‘Be there for me, Lord,’ and every time I step into joy. Every time, Jesus is there to greet me.
But now, having waved goodbye to all my lovely family, I was drugged with tiredness after the long bus journey. Would I fall into a pit of depression? Again I prayed, ‘Be there for me.’
‘Hello Pauline, I’ll help you with your case.’ I had not had to ask. My lovely neighbour had seen me drive in, and soon had my case on the mat and was giving me a hug of welcome. And, oh yes, as I picked up the mail (that had always been our first job) I found not one, but two very special snail mail letters, -what I call ‘proper’ letters.
Two very ordinary happenings, you may think, but because I asked, and God had answered, it became a very special welcome home.
I am so thankful that we have a God who hears and answers prayer, and who has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us. Yes, it does say, before you call I will answer, but I know he loves to hear his children call out to him. A very little prayer, and a very special answer.