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01/25/20 Weekend Grif.Net – A Little Girl’s Prayer

01/25/20 Weekend Grif.Net – A Little Girl’s Prayer

[From a =
medical missionary in Africa]

 

One night I =
had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all =
we could do she died leaving us with a tiny premature baby and  a =
crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby =
alive, as we had no incubator. (We had no electricity to run an =
incubator.)  We also had no special feeding facilities. =

 

Although we =
lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. =
One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the wool =
the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the  fire =
and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell =
me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in =
tropical climates. "And it is our last hot water bottle!" she =
exclaimed.

 

As in the West =
it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa  it =
might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not =
grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. =
"All  right," I said, "put the baby as near the fire =
as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it =
free from drafts. "Your job is to keep the baby warm." =

 

The following =
noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the =
orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters =
various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny =
baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, =
mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got =
chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her =
mother had died.

 

During the =
prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt =
conciseness of our African children. "Please, God," she =
prayed, "send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as =
the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon." =

 

While I gasped =
inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of a corollary, =
"And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the =
little girl so she’ll know You really love her?" =

 

As often with =
children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, =
"Amen?" I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, =
yes, I know  that He can do everything. The Bible says so. But =
there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this =
particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I =
had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, =
ever received a parcel from home.  Anyway, if anyone did send me a =
parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator! =

 

Halfway =
through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training =
school, a message was sent that there was a jeep at my front door. By =
the time I reached home it had gone, but there, on the verandah, was =
a  large twenty-two pound parcel. l felt tears pricking my eyes. I =
could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. =

 

Together we =
pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded  the =
paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting.  =
Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard =
box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes =
sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for =
the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came =
a box of mixed raisins and sultanas-that would make a nice  batch =
of buns for the weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt  =
the…..could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out-yes, a  =
brand-new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send =
it.

 

I had not =
truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of, the =
children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the =
bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the =
bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. =
Her eyes shone! She had never doubted. Looking up at me, she asked: =
"Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little =
girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?" =

 

That parcel =
had been on the way for five whole months. Packed up by my former Sunday =
school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send =
a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in =
a dolly for an African child-five months before, in answer to the =
believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "that  =
afternoon."

"Before they call, I will answer!" =
Isaiah 65:24"

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"