A friend recently described tense moments while waiting for his wife’s surgery. He wrote: “It was ten o’clock at night and she was outside looking at the stars! I thought it was settled and done. My wife’s surgery was a few short days away and although the doctors assured her this was a routine procedure; she was still looking as if they were going to amputate something!
As her husband, I assumed my duty was to hide concern while showing a strong front. Like most men, I substituted statistics and reason for assurance and thought it was enough. Now she was worrying again. I walked toward her ready to offer more of my male logic.”
That’s when the miracle happened…
“Everything I planned to say vanished. Unknown words came from my lips, as I silently wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her cheek. ‘God loves you. Everything will be all right. You will see a shooting star as my promise that you will be ok.’
In an instant the most spectacular shooting star we ever saw blazed across the sky from horizon to horizon. A surprised and delighted, ‘Ooh!’ came from my wife! For a long moment neither of us spoke. What could we say?”
“Moments before, I was an insensitive, scolding husband walking towards a fearful, anxious wife. Somehow, God miraculously intervened and changed us both into vessels of His gracious love.”
Usually, our influence is a steady, consistent attitude of faith. People know and remember us by our day-to-day actions among our family and friends: We could be a family member continuously offering love and acceptance or a boss supplying encouragement when needed most or we could be the friend who telephones when others are at a low point.
Occasionally, there are life-changing moments when God’s influence suddenly shines where it’s needed most and the only word that adequately describes what happens next is miracle. My friend and his wife witnessed such a miracle.
Here is another:
What started as a normal day at a local high school became a tragedy for a young sixteen-year-old boy full of enthusiasm and friendly mischief. During tennis practice he suddenly dropped to the ground clutching his chest. Within minutes this vivacious young man was gone.
People appeared from all over the county. School officials opened up the auditorium and encouraged the students to gather. A minister’s wife got word to fellow pastors. The students began to gather in small groups sharing memories and tears.
Just as we were preparing to leave, a father of one of the students stood and said: “Before we go, I think we should pray. Let’s form a circle and hold hands. I’ll start and the rest of you join with me.”
Nearly one hundreds crying parents, students, pastors and school officials formed a giant circle and bowed their heads. First one, then another offered heartfelt prayers to God for comfort, courage and strength. For a few precious moments, we could all feel the Holy Spirit of God in our circle of mourners. That parent was a Godly influence amidst the intense grief.
We are occasionally given the opportunity to be a ray of hope in the midst of darkness.
My friend who saw the shooting star continued his story: “Being an instrument of God’s will, at times may not be voluntary or even expected. I always believed God would use me as a prophet only if I asked and was spiritually clean.”
He went on to say: “Sometimes, this is true but not in my case. God abruptly interrupted my mission and lovingly substituted His own. I wanted to comfort my wife with common sense and almost interrupted a miraculous moment of faith. No matter the reason for why it happens, when God, uses you for whatever purpose, you will feel blessed because of it.”
“Thinking of the wonderful moment we shared with God is very emotional for me. Several times in telling our shooting star story my wife would need to finish because I became too ‘choked up’ so once more I will let her finish…”
My wife smiled and then said: “After we stood there a few moments just soaking in what happened, I turned to my husband and whispered, ‘Do it again!’”
I believe God is always working to influence our lives. As you pray, care and share with others, you will soon see those acts as examples of God’s influence shining through you. What a privilege and a challenge! No wonder, we all need to put so much more emphasis on prayer.