Hello weekend readers. I’m sure we all have had enough of political ads on TV, phones, by texts and billboards. I block the number and voila—another one comes up from the same group. I admit, it is getting harder to be nice. I need a vacation—wait a minute, I am retired so unless I give up my time I am on a vacation, yikes! Time to separate priorities indeed.
However, since I mentioned politics, I now have to share this story that I read the other day. Maybe it will calm our anger with this crazy politicized atmosphere and remind us that in the end, God is in control of everything—period! So here goes and yes, we need to tip our hats to the Minnesotans!
Quite a few years ago in Minnesota, they had a scourge of grasshoppers that threatened to destroy the entire state’s wheat crop. The pests were everywhere. You’d walk out the door and hear the “crunch” under your feet and see the ugly ooze you now had to clean up. So, the governor decided to take up the problem, but it was not what most people would do! Being a very devout Christian, he knew that prayer would be the answer. He called upon the people to observe a day of prayer, believing that God would answer their prayers and remove the plague of the grasshoppers.
What happened? He was dressed-down in the newspapers, society circles, etc. Cartoons of his prayer-idea popped up all over and the ridicule was terrible, yet was not deterred. Secular papers laughed at this call to action and publicly ridiculed the idea of an appeal to God. A lot of crops were decimated while “Rome fiddled.” So, when spring came the next year and the grasshoppers came with it, the secular press felt vindicated, asking in their papers, “What good was a day of prayer? What good is this governor?” OUCH!!
Many people of faith believed that God had had “enough” of their ridicule and did something about it. Why? Because in a few days after the rags had their say, a parasite appeared that killed off the grasshoppers! It was also discovered that this particular parasite rendered the entire grasshopper swarm impotent and unable to reproduce. Those with faith in God knew God answered their prayers, those who ridiculed literally faded away from the limelight!
I shared this story because not only is it true but it is also true with us that if God’s timing of our prayer requests isn’t instantaneous, we are much like those who ridiculed the faith of the governor. Prayer works—on God’s time, not ours and that is something that is never easy to embrace. In my 68 years of living, I’ve learned that waiting on God’s wisdom is a whole lot better than my own! That’s why I love the governor’s choice for prayer as the answer. I think maybe he relied on the powerful passage that the Apostle James wrote (5:13-15 Voice)
“Are any in your community suffering? They should pray. Are any celebrating? They should sing praises to God. Are any sick? They should call the elders of your church and ask them to pray. They will gather around and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayers offered in faith will restore them from sickness and bring them to health. The Lord will lift them up from the floor of despair; and if the sickness is due to sin, then God will forgive their sins.”
Yes, the grasshoppers had their day the first year but the second year a new parasite took them out. Why did God wait? I don’t know, but I just wonder if God wanted some ‘waiting time’ for people of faith to speak up, and more of them would continue to pray. No matter God’s reason for delay, we know for sure it “worked.” Perhaps even the nay-sayers may have listened and learned of God’s power, wisdom and provision.
Perhaps you are waiting for a prayer to be fulfilled—stay vigilant, keep on praying! Prayer works because God is IN the prayer and it is God’s gift to you for speaking to Him as a child freely asks their father or mother for help. God’s response may not always be what you wanted, but please believe that God’s response to your prayer is for your greatest good.
Remember that no prayer is too big, mundane, or in the case of the grasshoppers, just weird. So, keep praying and don’t give up because with God, help is always on the way!