Wednesday, September 12, 2012

His Mysterious Ways: Leaves of Grace

Jane Sexton, from Piedmont, SC, writes of a time when her faith was tested...

She says, "I was at my wit’s end, broke, and running out of time. What was I going to do?"

Listen to her amazing story, shared from Guideposts special online story:

A Leafy Answer

by Jane Sexton

Just thirty-two cents in our bank account, I thought when I awoke one breezy fall morning, my stomach tightening. How am I ever going to pay the babysitter today?

My husband, Boyd, and I had just moved back to South Carolina from Tennessee with our five-year-old, Mindy, and baby, Meredith, to be closer to my mom. Boyd had found a good job as a HR manager, but wouldn’t be getting paid till the following week and the moving expenses had drained our bank account.

I was taking a class in the afternoons to renew my teaching certificate since I’d taken time off to stay home with our girls for the last few years. Mom had graciously loaned me the money for the class, but I still needed to pay the babysitter, a wonderful older lady who was happy to watch the girls for only five dollars. There was just one catch. She insisted on being paid up front each day. It had seemed completely doable when I first talked to her, but now five dollars might as well been five hundred.

Lord, I really need five dollars today! I prayed.

“I thought it would be easy to come up with the money,” I told Boyd when he came home for lunch at noon. “But now I don’t know what to do. And I can’t miss my class this afternoon.”

“Pray about it,” he said as he got ready to head back to work. “I know you said you need to rake the leaves out of the ditch in the front yard today. Maybe something will come to you while you’re doing that.”

 “I’ve been praying,” I said. But it doesn’t feel like God is listening.” I kissed Boyd goodbye then laid the baby down for her nap.

 “I guess we should rake those leaves,” I said to Mindy. “Let’s go outside and you can help Mommy.” I handed Mindy her little rake then grabbed mine and headed for the ditch. Lord, I need that money now! I prayed. Please! I continued to pray while I struggled to get the muddy leaves out of the ditch.

Stopping to lean on the rake for a break, I looked down and noticed something strange in the pile. “I wonder what that could be,” I said aloud. Mindy squatted down next to me as I bent to examine the unusual-looking leaf. I gingerly picked it up out of the pile and wiped off the mud. That’s when I saw that it wasn’t a leaf at all. It was a wet, muddy, folded five-dollar bill.


Pretty neat! Reminds me of a time when my brother Gerald prayed for a miracle on a snowy Chicago day: The Miracle of the Lost Lens.

God has His ways -- but they are mysterious, no question.

Isaiah 55:8-11 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."


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