I received this amazing story yesterday from Bob France, a dear friend in New Hampshire. He is 90 years old, been married over 60 years to sweet Gloria and is one of the most delightful, optimistic people I know. I just had to share this story:
Can’t find your glassed? Misplaced your car keys? Stuck in traffic and late for an appointment? We’ve all been there and done that at one time or another. Have you ever thought it might just be that the Lord of all circumstances is still in control and setting you or someone else up for a miracle?
THE PERFECT MISTAKE
My mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but the were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen in one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!
The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He has spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. “It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”
Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago. The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches everyday, so my co-workers and I were much in prayer about my glasses. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”
The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued. “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as thought they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that miracle!” The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses, but the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, because there were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realize the Master Carpenter had used him and his loss in an extraordinary way. An now he could thank the Lord for the loss of his glasses.
There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking Him. Perhaps it is something we ought to try more often. “Thank you, God for not allowing my car to start this morning.” He may have been saving your life or someone else’s from a car accident down the road. Or your lost glasses, money, shoes (You fill in the blank) may have been part of a miracle for someone else!
Thanks Bob! Great reminder.