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by | May 21, 2006 | Comfort, Grace, Grief

Psalm 106:15 “And He gave them their requests, but sent leanness to their souls.”

As Pastor Charles Stanley says, the greater profit of prayer is not that we can gain something, but that we can relate to the One who supplies all our needs.

Contemporaries of mine have expressed it thusly, “Be careful what you ask God for, He just might give it to you!” I had the reality of those words come home to me. God answered “Yes, I will.” to both prayers, but oh, the results were vastly different in my life. It all concerned my parents.

It happened around Christmastime. My husband had such a strong feeling that he must go home to his parents that Christmas. He felt that, because of their age and poor health, this might be the last Christmas he would be able to spend with both parents. On the spur of the moment we decided to go. We left a week before Christmas. We decided to stop by my parents’ house and drop off the gifts we had bought for them and let them know we would be away for about ten days.

When we got to Blacksburg, we found my Mom at home alone. She had just returned from admitting my Dad to the hospital. He had suffered a severe attack of asthma/emphysema and had almost died for lack of air. I just didn’t know what to do! The car was packed with gifts, kids, luggage and expectation! I told my Mom we would stay there to be with her but she would not hear of it. She told me to go on with my husband for Dad was much better when she left him and chances were he would live many years yet.

I finally agreed to continue on our journey but as we drove through the night, I prayed earnestly, “God, please don’t let my Daddy die while I am gone. I just can’t stand the thoughts of losing him while we are gone.” Many times that night I made that request but not with a “nevertheless, thy will not mine, Lord”.

Somewhere around daybreak, God assured my heart that He would let Dad live. As soon as we arrived at my in-laws’ home, I got on the phone to check on his condition. He was better and Mom was going to bring him home in a day or two. I rejoiced that God had answered my prayers so wonderfully! He gave me my demanding request – but I was to regret that I had insisted on my own way that night. Just two months later, My Dad took a gun and ended his own life. He was in despair of the pain of never having enough air to breathe, plus the doctor told us later that his brain cells were dying for lack of oxygen (he had suffered from emphysema for over three years) and his reasoning powers and thought processes were dramatically altered because of it.

How much better it would have been for the family if he had gone home to be with the Lord that Christmas in the hospital rather than for us to have to remember his suicide!

God’s way is always best, even when we don’t think it is what we want in our lives right then.

Just two weeks later I received a telephone call to tell me that my Mother had had a massive stroke while in the hospital some 50 miles away from my home. Of course, my husband and I went immediately, arriving just before midnight. As I entered Mother’s room, she opened her eyes just long enough to say, “Honey, the doctor said I could go home tomorrow.”

I sat by her bed that night and prayed, “God, I can’t ask you to let my Mama live, I only ask that you please let her home-going be as painless and peaceable as possible.” God heard my prayer, she soon closed her eyes, and when she woke up, she was at Home with her Saviour and the husband she had loved for all those 39 years.

She went home the next day but not to her earthly home in the neighboring city. She went home to Heaven to be with her Lord. Two weeks from the day we buried my father, we buried my mother beside him. I found my God to be the great Promise Keeper and His grace was sufficient for the hour and for all the years since that time..

Audrey Mullen waldokeith@cox.net


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