A Visible Answer to Prayer

A miraculous change in the weather during a missionary visit to Costa Rica

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Posted in , Mar 3, 2015

Storm and sun

My family was part of a mission trip to Costa Rica several years ago. Our lives were changed forever by what we experienced there.

We fell in love with the Costa Rican people. I’ll never forget the experience of attending a church in San Juan. We joined them in singing as the music of an old hymn swept through the building.

They sang in Spanish, we sang in English, but our hearts were united with a love for God. Tears were evident on our faces but also on their faces as we worshiped God together.

The children were gorgeous with big brown eyes that melted our hearts. I’ve never gotten over our trip to the orphanage with those precious little ones who had no mamas or daddies to love them.

I remember one adorable little boy in particular. He fell and skinned his knee while we were there. Nobody from the home got up to check on him as he cried. I went over and picked him up and comforted him, turning away from the crowd as tears I couldn’t contain swept down my cheeks.

I wanted to put all the children in my suitcase and bring them home with me. The rest of our team felt the same way. We couldn’t do that, but we could leave Jesus with them. I’ll never forget those attentive little faces as we shared about God’s love for them through our puppet show.

Besides sharing the gospel, our team did a variety of projects while we were there. We built a small home for a refugee family. We took boxes of food to the poorer areas. We visited a nursing home and distributed toiletry items to all the residents after the service. It was an amazing time on so many levels.

But one situation in particular stands out in my mind whenever I think of our time in Costa Rica. We had traveled to another city to help a small church.

The women painted the Sunday school rooms in cheery colors. Some of the men worked on electrical projects, installing ceiling fans in the open air church building. Some of the other men set about preparations to pour a concrete slab for the church Awana program.

It was a long hot day of work, especially for the ones who were out in the open with the sun blazing down on them. Due to the primitive equipment they had to work with, it was a much harder job than it would have been back in the US.

We stopped for lunch and then went back to work. Clouds formed overhead bringing some welcome shade to the crew that was working on the slab.

A few hours later, the missionary wife came rushing to the building where we were painting. I could tell she was upset about something by the way she moved.

She came up to us and said, “What are we going to do? Do you see the dark clouds and the way the wind is building? When it does that, the rain is imminent. It will ruin the concrete! What are we going to do?”

Half of the concrete slab had been poured and the men were just starting to work on the second half. Our schedule had been set for weeks. I knew if we didn’t get the slab poured that day, there wouldn’t be another opportunity while we were there.

I looked at her and said, “We have prayed about this trip for months and asked God to work out all the details. I know He didn’t send us here to pour you half a slab of concrete.”

We gathered together to pray, asking God to hold the rain off so the men could keep working. And then something happened that I will never forget.

There was a fence at the far end of the property, right past where the men were working on the concrete slab. The fence was covered with greenery that was whipping around wildly in the wind. As we stood there and watched, the most unusual thing happened.

One end of the greenery stopped moving, and then as if we could almost visibly watch God’s hand at work, the calm continued down the fence until everything was still. In a few moments, the sun came out again.

Not one drop of rain fell while the men finished their work. Not one drop of rain fell until the concrete set up. And then the skies opened and the rain poured down.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a visible answer to prayer.

Sweet friends, so many times we end up in situations that seem hopeless, situations that are completely out of our control. And in the midst of those circumstances, we sometimes get so focused on what is going on that we forget to go to the One who controls every detail of our lives. 

I saw a poster on Facebook recently by the Smoky Mountain Christian Village. It said, “Have you prayed about it as much as you’ve talked about it? Matthew 21:22.” Ouch. And amen.

Are you in an impossible situation today? Pray about it. You can rest assured that God will either calm the storm or He will walk through it with you. And, sometimes, He will give you the extra sweet joy of visibly watching as He answers your prayers.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22

Tags: Prayer
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