God makes Himself known to us in a lot of ways—His Word, His creation, and His Spirit. Sometimes, though, God winks at us from heaven to let us know He’s there and that he loves us.
*Helen Roseveare served as a missionary in the Congo and other African countries in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She tells the story of one of these “winks from God.”
At the time she was working in a hospital/orphanage in Central Africa. One night, she and her team struggled to save a woman experiencing a very difficult childbirth. The mom died, though, leaving her premature baby and a crying two-year old, heartbroken at the loss of her mom.
The hospital was fairly primitive and there was no incubator for the newborn and no electricity to operate it if there had been one. Even though they were on the equator, the nights were chilly and it was indispensable that they keep the baby warm.
One of the midwives in training ran to fill a hot-water bottle while another stoked up the fire.
Then disaster struck. Rubber perishes easily in these climates and the hot-water bottle burst! It was their last one.
There was nothing for it. They had to keep the baby warm or it could die.
Noon, the next day, Helen was having devotions with some of the orphan children. She mentioned that they needed to pray for the new baby and for her two-year old sister who was so sad at the loss of her mom.
During prayer time, a ten year old named Ruth prayed a scary prayer (scary for the missionary). “Please God send us a water bottle,” she said. “It will be no good tomorrow, God, the baby will be dead; so please send it this afternoon. And while you are at it,” the audacious child added, “would you please send a dolly for the little girl so that she will know You really love her?”
Helen didn’t know how to respond. She knew that God could answer that prayer but frankly she didn’t believe He would.
One Package In Four Years
Later that afternoon as she instructed student nurses, a messenger came and said that a car was at her house. By the time she reached home the car was gone but there was a 22-pound package on the veranda. She had been in Africa nearly four years and had never received a parcel from home, but this one was from her old Sunday School class.
She called for the orphanage children and 30 or 40 of them waited in anticipation as she opened the box. There she found knitted jerseys for the kids, bandages for the lepers, good things to eat and then as she dug deeper she felt something made of rubber!
A new hot-water bottle!
“I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could,” Helen said.
Ruth was in the front row of children. She rushed forward, crying out, “If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!”
As she dug around in the box, sure enough there was a doll. Ruth asked permission to go with Helen to give the doll to the little girl so that the infant would know that God loved her.
That parcel had been on the way for five months and “just happened to arrive” the afternoon that a little African girl had prayed specifically that the hot-water bottle and the dolly would arrive, “this afternoon.”
A wink from God
We’re eager for God to get on with it, accomplish all His promises. He keeps His Word and He will response in His time.
His time …
So many things are goofed up if you get them too soon. Apples must ripen, baby chicks must mature in the egg, ideas must find their time in history. God’s promise is true. He waits for the right time to bring the fulfillment. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son…” (Galatians 4:4, NKJV) “You say, ‘I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity.’” (Ps. 75:2 NIV)
But sometimes, while we are waiting God gives us a little wink and says, “I’ve got this.”
These “winks” encourage us in tough times and give us joy in normal times. We may not see the completion of God’s promise.
Sometimes the fulfillment of that promise spans several lifetimes, and we exit the stage. Our kids and our grandkids see it. Honestly, if you don’t have some promises from God that will be accomplished after you’re gone, you desires may be too small. And even if we don’t see it, God gives us moments of encouragement.
Have you ever had a wink from heaven?
*Taken from the book, “Kingdom Triangle by J.P. Moreland
Cartoonist Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbs fame said, “Many of Calvin’s struggles are metaphors for my own. I suspect that most of us get old without growing up, and inside every adult (sometimes not very far inside) is a bratty kid who wants everything his own way.”
“You know what the wolves call the sheep who strays away from the flock? Lunch!”Bayless Conley
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