The old Chinese couple slowly went upstairs to bed. The night was quiet and all their farm animals were in their place. They had worked hard keeping their small family farm going, and finally they could lay down and sleep. It didn’t take long for her husband to fall asleep, but she for some reason was unable to sleep. All was quiet, the candle flickered, casting soft shadows on the walls. She rehearsed everything she had done that day. Then she was startled by a sound… “Quack” ”quack”… Again the sound, “Quack” “quack”. She didn’t want to wake her husband, but she did. She gently shook him… “Honey, honey, wake up!” “I heard something!” (Again the sound) The husband said, “It’s just a duck.” She replied back, “No, honey, it’s a chicken.” The husband told her once more, this time, a little more agitated, “No, it’s a duck, go back to sleep!!” Still she kept on saying, “No, honey, it’s a chicken, I know it’s a chicken, right?” The husband threw the blanket off, and was obviously angry, turned and looked at his wife, his hand drawn back as if he was going to slap her. In the soft light of the candle, he saw she was scared. He put his hands softly on her face, and held her as he said, “Yes honey, you’re right, it’s a chicken.” They laid back down, and went to sleep.
Take your time, read this again… this is important. How important is it to be right all the time? You say, “Very important!” Let me take a moment and challenge this… it may just help your home. When my wife told this story to me, I just couldn’t help by shed a few tears. It spoke of a need in my life. The need to learn I didn’t have to prove my point, be right 100% of the time, to have my way all the time. Some things are important, and of course a time to ‘make a stand’. There are also times, when it is not so important. It takes love, patience, wisdom to know the difference. So, after she told me this story, there were (and still are) times when there would be a disagreement. In my mind I asked, is this really all that important? If not, I would say, “Yes sweetheart… it’s a chicken.” Sometimes I would just say this to myself, sometimes verbally, and we would smile, sometimes have a laugh. Dad always said, “Jack, choose your battles wisely. There’s no need to make a big deal out of everything.”
Paul says, “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Corinthians 13:4a). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her ….. husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:25,28).
Next time something comes up, take time to think. Who knows, maybe “it’s a chicken”.
Weakened by illness, discouraged by the time it was taking to feel better, ‘John’ turned and asked, the minister to pray for him. The minister held his hand, they bowed and prayed together. Prayer seemed to help as a smile came to ‘John’s’ face, and he thanked the servant of God for coming by and helping.
Serving as minister, one of dad’s regular stops each week was in the local hospital. Looking back I remember times when dad and I went together to visit the sick and ‘shut ins’. I remember times when I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say to someone dying of cancer, or someone who had just lost a loved one, but dad always knew what to do and what to say.
Strange how just taking the time to go and sit with someone or offering to pray with them about their situation helps. Some feel prayer is a waste of time, but when dad and later when I offered to pray with and for someone, they never refused and always appreciated it.
Does prayer help? Yes! Are people healed as a result of God answering prayers? Yes! I know this from what the Bible says, and from experience as well. Look at some Bible examples. In Joshua 10, where Israel, in the process of conquering the land of Canaan, which God had commanded and promised to them. The battle was taking longer than expected, and Joshua prays for the sun to stand still. It was an audacious prayer for sure, but God answered, and the sun ‘stood still’ for a day. Moses prayed for the defeat of Amalek, Exodus 17:8-13, Gideon prayed for reassurance from God, Judges 6:36-40, Samson prayed for strength, Judges 16:25-30, Elijah prayed for a boy to come back to life, I Kings 17:19-23, Elijah prays for rain, I Kings 18:41-45; James 5:17-18, Hezekiah prayed for healing and more time to live, 2 Kings 20:1-7, Daniel prayed for safety while in the lions den, Daniel 6:10,16-22. There are so many instances in both the Old and New Testaments where prayers are made, and God responds. I have also ‘seen’ God work in my life in answer to prayer as well as in the lives of other Christians who are strong in prayer.
Do you believe in miracles? Sure! If not, then why pray? If you are asking God to heal someone, of course He has ways this can be done, but I find no scriptures which say He no longer heals, quite to the contrary. The fact is that God works. We go to doctors, and they give us medicine or perform surgeries as needed and many times these things work, and God can and does work in this as well. There are also many cases where the best of doctors admit… they can only do so much, and they often encourage people to pray. Christian physicians often pray before they go into surgery. Why do all this if God is impotent? Do I understand how prayer works? No! I just know God answers prayer.
James says, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.” “Is any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed any sins, they shall be forgiven him” James 5:13-15.
Would you please pray for me? I need it.