Deity of Jesus
The Holy Spirit
Laying on of Hands
Poverty & Hunger
& the Powers
Signs & Wonders
Visions & Dreams
The Will of God
Words of our Mouth
The Written Word
If I've learned one thing about God's provision and answered prayer, in almost 20 years of single-parenting, it is this: When we've exhausted our own resources, God often provides in a most unusual way -- so we recognize it's His doing, not ours!
One of my greatest lessons in faith took place when my son, 2 years old, asked for a tricycle. As a single mother, I often could not afford anything beyond rent and utilities. I had only $5, and we needed to buy milk and bread.
"New tricycles are expensive," I told Jonathan. "So let's pray and ask God." In his childlike faith, he agreed
"What color of trike do you want?" I asked him, explaining that God likes us to be specific when we pray, so we'll know the answer is from him.
"Green, my favorite color," he answered, matter-of-factly.
"And we don't want a rusty one," I added.
(I admit, I suddenly became a little nervous, the more specific we got in our request. What if God didn't come through? I wondered. My little boy's faith might be shattered. Recognizing the source of that thought, I rebuked the fear.)
Always scraping to make ends meet, as a single mom, I often took advantage of opportunities to teach my child how, even without money, we could be "rich in faith" (Jas 2:5), "rich in good deeds" (1 Tim 6:18), "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4), etc.
Many times, however, I probably learned more from the experience than he!
We got in our old Chrysler and, since we had only $5, decided to visit a yard sale or two.
"Let's ask that it be at one of the first ones we find, so we don't waste a lot of time," I said.
At the first place we stopped, Jon began running up the driveway, saying, "Look, Mom, my
trike! My trike!" Before I could say anything, he had hopped on the green tricycle and was driving it in circles. It was in such good condition, I really didn't think it was for sale.
"Some kid who lives here probably just left it in the yard," I said, doubting. "There's no tag on it."
"But it's green, Mom, and it's not rusty! It must be mine!" Jon argued.
He was right; it wasn't rusty at all. In fact, it was in such good condition, I told him, that even if it was part of the yard sale (and not some kid's who lived there) it would certainly cost more than we could afford.
"But Mom, we prayed!" (ouch! I felt that.)
I asked if the tricycle was for sale, how much it was.
"Oh, that's been in the attic for years," she said. "We don't need it. How much were you thinking?"
"Three-fifty?" I asked, almost apologetically, thinking about the milk and bread we would need to buy on the way home.
She paused. (This was a ridiculous price, to be sure. I felt
embarrassed to have even suggested it.) We both glanced at Jonathan zooming around and around in circles on her driveway.
"Sure, why not?" she agreed.
And that's how Jonathan got his nice green trike.
While I have never studied the basics of mathematical probability, I know the "chance" of finding a green tricycle, without rust, under $5, at the first yard sale we visited, on that particular day, was quite slim.
But "nothing is impossible with God."
Now that my son is grown and driving a car (yes, a car someone gave him for free, in answer to prayer), I often wonder: how different it might have been, had we not had to pray, many times, of necessity, for our needs to be supplied. When we have money in our pockets, it seems, we don't pray for "our daily bread," as Jesus instructed. We just go to the store and buy some.
I have also learned that God is stronger than even my unbelief. Even "if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself." (2 Tim 2:13)
That green tricycle now is stored in our basement. Every time I see it, I am reminded how God showed himself so real to us that day -- through the faith of a little child.
© 1998 Diane S. Dew
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