Lord, Help Us To Stop, Listen, And Obey

December 2, 2006
by Sylvia Engen

Proverbs 3:27-28 – Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" — when you now you have it with you. (NIV)

I remember that Friday well. It had been a heavy work week at the Long Term Care Centre. The flu virus had invaded our staff; dedicated caregivers filled the slack. We struggled to meet the needs of our residents adequately. "The phone is for you again," I heard, as I reached for my coat late that day. "It is the Laundry; they want to speak to you."

An eager voice asked, "Do you remember when you took our drapery pieces and yardage ends to your friend who makes quilts for the homeless?" A pleading voice continued, "We have more, and we'd like to clear them out before the weekend. Is it possible for you to pick them up today?"

"Not today," I muttered to myself. My evening schedule was a busy one. "Certainly the linens can be picked up at another time," I reasoned with myself, "This is Friday. Monday and new week will soon be here."

I buttoned my coat, put on my boots, and was about to lock the office door, when a feeling of guilt overwhelmed me. I was overcome with an intense necessity to halt and to reconsider my decision to leave the centre abruptly. "Lord, you must be speaking to me," I thought to myself, "and if I must, I will take the time to go down to the Laundry!"

Afterwards, I knocked at Annie's apartment door, tightly clutching a large bag filled with drapery ends, while I shuffled two boxes heaping with linens with my feet towards her doorway. I noted anxiously that the hum of Annie's sewing machine was not audible. Her faltering steps soon reassured me that she was up and around.

"You have come! God has answered my prayer!" exclaimed Annie after she had opened the door. "I told God just today that I would have to quit sewing quilts for the needy if I didn't get more material before nightfall." Annie's face beamed with a smile of gratitude. "I've been so discouraged. I've several quilts waiting to be finished, but I haven't a scrap of material left in my apartment. But now," she continued excitedly, "God used you to answer my prayer!"

I stood in awe as I realized how God did use me to answer Annie's prayer. Annie left her concerns with her Lord and trusted Him to answer her requests.

Prayer: Lord, help us to follow Your leading and prompting. May we not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is within our power to act today, not tomorrow. May we, too, follow Annie's example and consistently leave our concerns with You, for You do answer prayer! Amen.

About the author:

Sylvia Engen
Camrose, Alberta, Canada

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