God’s Perfect Timing

God’s Perfect Timing

A True Story by Angie Brown

Colleen finished the letter she was writing, folded it and slipped it into an envelope.  Nearby lay her purse.  She reached into it and pulled out nine one-dollar bills.  This was all the money she had earned in three weeks.  She was only 14 years old and had taken a job at the lake, working for a young family with two children.  Her job was to take care of the children and do some housework.  For these responsibilities, her wages were three dollars a week, plus room and board.  She was excited about this wonderful opportunity to earn a little money.

She counted the money again to make sure she had taken all of it from her purse.  “I never had so much money in all my life,” she said to herself.  “I could buy some new clothes for school, notebooks and maybe one of those erasers with the rough edges to erase ink.”  For a few moments she felt very rich, but then she remembered what she was really planning to do with the money.  Seven brothers and sisters at home were in need. She felt a burst of joy and satisfaction as she stuffed the money into the envelope with the letter and sealed it.  Then, with a sense of accomplishment, she put the letter in the mail.

A few days later, and many miles away, Colleen’s mother, Dessy, was in her kitchen checking the cupboard.  “If I had some flour and yeast, I could mix up some bread dough to bake,” she thought, “or a bone for soup; but payday is three days away.” “Tell me what to do, Lord” she prayed.

Then she walked out into the back yard and began taking the freshly dried laundry off the clothes line, still praying.  After filling her arms with a load of clothes, she walked back into the kitchen and heard the sound of footsteps on the front porch.  She laid the clothes down and walked to the front door, just as the mailman was leaving.  “Oh,” she said to herself, taking the mail out of the box, “a letter from Colleen.  I’m so glad she has this opportunity to work at the lake.”  Colleen and the two older children were a big help to her at this particular time.

As she opened the letter to read it, a bunch of bills fluttered out.  When she had read Colleen’s letter and counted the nine one-dollar bills, she exclaimed, “She…she has sent me all the wages she has earned!”  Dessy’s cheeks were drenched with tears as she thanked God over and over for answered prayer. So, with money in hand, she left immediately for the grocery store.

Later, when Colleen’s employer learned that she had risked sending cash in a letter, she was concerned.  “You know, you took a big chance sending the money that way”, she said. Colleen paused for a moment and then replied “Oh, I knew it would get there. It was needed at home.”

Isn’t that a beautiful example of how God answers prayer and provides for the needs of His own people? And just in time, too!  His timing is perfect, isn’t it?

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)

OLD HANDS

OLD HANDS

by Angie Brown, Guest Author

“What awful-looking hands you have.”

Those words were said to me.

Oh, yes, they’re wrinkled, stiff and gnarled.

Not pretty, I’ll agree.

These hands have peeled and scrubbed and loved,

they’re raised in prayer and praise.

Be sure, that when I’ve reached my goal,

I’ll raise them lovely, whole

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”

The Temptation of Christ, 1854“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”

James R. Aist

Introduction

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would include the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in His instruction to His disciples concerning prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13? The New International Version reads “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” It struck me as odd that Jesus would say such a thing. At first glance it appears as though Jesus was implying that God the Father tempts people to sin, because, after all, our prayers are to be directed to the Father (John 16:23-24). But, does God really tempt people to sin; and if He does not, then what could Jesus possibly be referring to here? Let’s have a closer look.

Does God the Father Tempt Us to Sin?

James addresses this question directly and unequivocally: “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” (James 1:13-14). This passage makes it clear that Jesus could not have meant to imply that God the Father tempts people to sin when He said “lead us not into temptation.” What, then, could Jesus have been referring to?

The Temptation of Jesus

Perhaps the answer lies in the details of an earlier run-in that Jesus himself had with the Devil. Here’s the way Matthew describes how this came about: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1). Here we see that the Holy Spirit did, in fact, lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted, but did He actually do the tempting? No, He did not; the Scripture says that it was the devil who did the tempting; the Holy Spirit only arranged the meeting. If you read on in Matthew 4, you will see that the temptations that the devil used against Jesus were powerful and, potentially, very enticing. Moreover, to trick Jesus into complying, they were bathed in Scripture, making it appear as though it would be within the will of the Father for him to accept the devil’s offers. We can only imagine how difficult it may have been for the human side of Jesus to withstand such temptations. In retrospect, it could have been a terrifying experience for Jesus.

Jesus Was Concerned for His Disciples

What I am suggesting is that the reason Jesus instructed His disciples to pray “lead us not into temptation” was that He, himself, was so severely traumatized by these vicious attacks of the devil that He wanted his followers to be spared the kind and intensity of trial that God the Father, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, had put him through, and that He was concerned that they might not fare as well as He did if they were tested like that. This suggestion seems to be all the more likely when one compares the wording in the two relevant passages: “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted” and “lead us not into temptation.” It makes sense to me that Jesus instructed his disciples to pray “lead us not into temptation” because He didn’t want his disciples to go through what He went through. What do you think?

(For more articles on BIBLICAL TEACHINGS, click HERE)

A Special Delivery Letter

A Special Delivery Letter

A poem by Angie Brown, Guest Author

1944 13c Special Delivery stamp, showing a let...

What kind of sister would I be,

Had I within my pow’r,

A wand to strike and shed some light,

Before the ‘leventh hour?

What is my wand? ‘Tis words and prayers

For ones I hold so dear,

For time is racing oh so fast,

Mounting, my human fear.

Are my beloved siblings all

Safely enclosed and stayed,

Within the arms of love and truth

Of Him, the One who paid?

What kind of sister would I be,

If ne’er I said one word,

Or gave a thought of care for mine

Of Jesus, Savior, Lord?

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)