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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Lilies and Sparrows and God’s Father-Heart

Posted by admin in February 11th, 2010
Published in Blessings, faith, prayer

Prayer works. Plain and simple. I like it when the answer to prayer is “yes.” Don’t like it so much when the answer is “no.” And it’s hard sometimes for me to really accept that “no” is an answer—just not the answer I want. There’s also a third answer to prayer God gives us: wait. Ugh. Waiting is tough. Waiting takes discipline. Waiting takes faith.

Years ago, when I was fresh home from China, I went to live in Texas. At a Bible study I met a gal that was my age and she had two little, beautiful, precious girls ages 2 and 4. We clicked—the four of us. Can’t explain it, but God melded our hearts the first time we met. My friend’s husband, I’m gonna call her SC, was in the state penitentiary for selling drugs. She had been able to divorce him and life and circumstances forced her to move back home with her mother and step-dad with her two daughters. She needed government assistance. Life just wasn’t what she had planned. They lived in a small house and the girls shared a room with their Mom. My friend’s brother also lived there. So my new BFF shared a three-bedroom home with her parents, her brother and her two cutie pie girls. And this is where we met almost weekly for prayer. The girls, though tiny, liked to join us for prayer, at least for the first few minutes or so. We knelt, we lay prostrate, we paced, we prayed. We prayed for the nations, for the lost, for our families, and yes, we prayed for our own specific needs. Seldom have I prayed with someone who so earnestly desired all of God and to see His glory in our broken world.

Years passed and we stayed connected. Phone calls occasionally. Letters once-in-a-while. Sporadic visits. Then, the Lord brought a wonderful godly man into SC’s life. He too had gone through a devastating divorce. His wife abandoned him and his two little boys—the exact age of SC’s two little girls. So, they married and the family blended together and true to her character, SC loved those boys as her very own. She homeschooled her kids; she groomed them; she raised them; but most importantly she brought them up to love God, His Word and to believe in prayer. It was a beautiful thing to behold. Once SC and her entire family came through to see me and Big D in KC. I left the restaurant crying. I was so overwhelmed by God’s goodness. They were the perfect family. Her husband was just what she needed; she was just what he needed. I saw clear and direct answers to prayer that day—our prayers all those years ago in that tiny three-bedroom home.

God was good to my friend and to her husband. Their business was blessed. They prospered. The kids grew up, went to college, got married (and had fabulous weddings) and their family grew. They live in a beautiful home and my dear SC lacks for no good thing. God is faithful and showered His love on my sweet sister of prayer.

Last month Big D and I were in Texas. SC drove a ways to come see us. We laughed, like always. We thanked God, like always. We reminisced, as we should. When we were saying good night, my long-time prayer partner handed me a beautifully wrapped package. “Here. I remembered you liked this,” she said. And then she stuck a note in my hand and said, “I never want to talk about this. I never want to discuss it.” I feared something horrible was written on that note. Daryl and I had some odds and ends to take care of that night and by the time we got back to the hotel room it was after 11 o’clock.

Excitedly, I showed him my package from SC and began to carefully unwrap the gorgeous gift. Inside was this incredible set of Chanel No. 5! In all my life I have never owned Chanel No. 5 perfume. I’ve owned the cologne, but never the perfume. It was so beautiful—perfume, bath gel, lotion. It’s a girl thing. I was jumping up and down and not allowing Daryl to touch any of the products, “Hands off man. This is a treasure!” And then I remembered the note and a pit came into my stomach.

“Daryl, SC gave me a note. I need to read it. She told me she never wanted to discuss it with me and she never wanted to hear about it.” With dread and fear we both peered into the abyss of my giant purse. I pulled out the note and began unfolding it. It was a check………..

…for $10,000!

Daryl and I couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t speak. We just stood there in that hotel room staring at that check. Finally, I heard Daryl say, “I need to sit down.” By then tears were filling my eyes and I followed his blurry figure over to the hotel sofa. We sat down. Gasping and crying and saying unintelligible things, Daryl pointed to the check, “That says ten thousand dollars.”

I nodded my head. I still couldn’t speak.

This has never happened to me before. I have never been given a check of this size. Lots and lots of stuff was whirling around in my head but one thought that kept surfacing was, “SC can write a check for $10,000!”

My little sister-girlfriend prayer partner who struggled to make ends meet, who raised her little girls to love Jesus, who shared a small home with her parents and brother, who loved God and believed Him for all the promises in the Bible—that little SC could write a check for $10,000!

What SC didn’t know and only God knew was that something important had happened just that week. Daryl and I spoke at LeTourneau University’s missions emphasis week. While there a business professor by the name of John asked if he might pray for me. I was in the student union and Daryl was somewhere on campus meeting with folks. Professor John was an unassuming kind of guy. Not so much professor as mountain man. He was big with a gray beard and a very kind smile. “Do you mind if I pray for you Teri?”

I didn’t. So he prayed. He prayed a powerful prayer, “Lord God I ask that You will reveal Your love to my sister in a way she least expects it. I pray that You will do something so special for her that she will know absolutely that You are her loving Father. I pray that she will be able to accept Your love for her and see Your hand in this new year. I pray that she will understand that she is Your daughter and that You will meet all of her needs.” Good prayer.

And in all that whirlwind of thoughts, Professor John’s prayer came to mind. By now, I was bawling my eyes out.

When the dust settled and all the zeros had been double-checked (at this age we do make mistakes) I told Daryl I had to call SC. He said, “I thought she told you not to mention it?”

“I don’t care. I have to call her.” And I did. It was nearing midnight. SC needed to know that she had given a life-changing gift. She had to know that I rejoiced in the gift as well as the giver. I had to tell her that I never forgot our times of prayer together. We both needed to build an altar of remembrance right there on the phone. God had done mighty things in our midst.

“Did you ever think SC that you’d be able to write a personal check for $10,000?!?”

“And it’s for you Teri. Not for IICS. Not for anyone else. It’s just for you. God told me to give this to you and I’m just thankful we have it to give.”

Just for me. “I pray that she will understand that she is Your daughter and that You will meet all of her needs.”

In all my 50 years no one has ever given me a check for $10,000. In all my 50 years I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. In all my 50 years I have never known God to break a promise, nor to fail. He is trustworthy and all of His promises are yea and amen.

Today, whatever you may be going through, my prayer is that our Heavenly Father will break through the veil of Heaven and reach down to touch your heart and mind with this one truth: God never fails! We have a heavenly Father Who loves us, knows each of us by name and hears us when we cry out to Him, “Help me Father. I’m lost and afraid and I don’t know what to do. Help me Father I think I’m drowning.” And He will. And He does. He is faithful.

Luke 12, “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Peace.

5 users Responded In This Post

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349. grannieannie said,
February 12th, 2010 at 6:34 am

Thank you, Teri, for this story at this moment in time. Very special.

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350. jalling1 said,
February 12th, 2010 at 7:49 am

I am so blessed that you are so blessed. You are God’s special daughter.

Love you cousin,
Janis

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351. aloethen said,
February 12th, 2010 at 7:58 am

Teri– I LOVE THIS blog. I love the way you write God’s amazing truth but infuse it with incredible humor. It is a treat when a new post arrives in my in-box. You make me laugh, sometimes cry, believe God for bigger things, want to read the stories out loud to my 2 teenage kids (even when they are really long) and most of all keep trusting.

Bless you big time sister,
Amy

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352. AngelaRose said,
February 12th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Oh what a beautiful story – of redemption, hope, faithfulness, and most of all God’s love for us.
At Bible Study – then I found a book on the bargain table “Because He loves me” by Elyse Fitzgerald – in a special relationship at work – and now your blog- God has been trying to remind me of this exact thing – how much HE LOVES ME -and then (I’m not sure I’m going to be clear here) in the remembering I will truly love and worship Him! We love because He first loved us! True? of course, True!
Thank you Father in heaven. You love Teri – You love me…..incredible

Now….how ya gonna spend that $$$ 🙂

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353. big sister said,
February 12th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us….Sis, we use to sing this song in church, remember? I am reminded of it as I read your blog and boy, what manner of love our Father has bestowed upon you and then when you share the testimony of blessing, we are all blessed to know we serve a Father, Abba, Daddy, Wonderful Friend and Saviour – You are so previous and so is SC and we know God has special plans for you, her, the gift and blessings in the future! This is only the beginning….

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