The Five-Dollar Miracle

How one woman's prayer profoundly changed a stranger's life.

- Posted on Jun 17, 2014

close-up of a five-dollar bill.

If  I am ever tempted to think someone is too difficult for God to transform, or if I forget that God can work miracles in people’s lives, all I have to do is think of Robin. It’s a good thing I was praying for her before I saw her for the first time. Otherwise I probably would’ve kept the door bolted and called the police!

I didn’t know whom I was praying for at the time, but looking back, God knew she would be coming to the door long before the pounding came. It started when my husband, who was also my Sunday school teacher, gave us each a five-dollar bill and told us to invest it in God’s kingdom.

We had been studying Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. No five-dollar bill has probably ever been prayed over as much as I prayed over that one. I wanted to invest it so it would multiply in a huge way for God’s kingdom. Since nothing came to mind yet, I folded it and put it in a special place in my purse so I wouldn’t accidentally spend it.

I continued to pray that God would show me how to invest it. The next weekend my husband and I hosted a 24-hour prayer vigil at our church. We stayed in the lobby of the church to let people in and out through the night as they came to pray.

Somewhere around 5 a.m. I prayed, asking God, “If anyone is walking by the church and needs You, just lead them to the door of the church.”

Half an hour later, the door reverberated with a loud banging. I opened it and a frantic woman, who looked as if she were on the verge of death, fell into my arms screaming, “Thank God, you are here! I was going to kill myself!”

As she held on to me for dear life, sobbing uncontrollably, I quietly responded, “You’ve come to the right place. We’ve been praying for you.” The woman’s name was Robin, and she looked like a skeleton. Her eyes were sunk deep into her face with no life at all–only showing horror.

She had been on crack cocaine for quite some time. It had robbed her of all beauty, dignity and hope. I had never seen anyone so full of fear and void of hope. We prayed with her throughout the night until almost noon the next day. Then she asked for some money for a bus. I told her I was sorry I didn’t have any money. That was when God reminded me that I had that five dollars I’d been praying over. Immediately I argued, No, God! She might spend it on drugs. I don’t want to invest it in her. She’s a mess. Remember, Lord, I want to invest it so that it will multiply in a huge way.

Once again, God spoke quietly to my heart telling me He wanted to invest in her. I humbly obeyed. I tried to explain to her what this five dollars meant–that God was investing in her. She was too messed up at the time to comprehend what she’d been given.

More than a year passed and Robin faced many hard times. She seemed to take a couple of steps forward and then three or four backward. She ended up in jail once, and in the drunk tank a couple of times. At one time she walked the streets homeless for several days with no shoes and ended up with bloody feet.

Another time, it broke my heart to drop her off at the homeless shelter–at that stage, with her addiction, I felt having her in our home would endanger my children. Several times I was tempted to give up on her, but each time I heard God speak to my heart, “Did I ever give up on you?” He also reminded me that He would honor my prayers of investing the five dollars I wanted to invest in such a big way in his kingdom. So I kept at it.

Slowly I began to see drugs and street life lose its grip on Robin. I would get so excited when she called to tell me some new truth she had learned.

She was beginning to grow her faith. Some parts of her old life were harder to give up. She had lived in survival mode for so long that she often came to church asking people for things.

One time I had to ask her a very hard question. Gently, I asked her if she was coming to church to worship and serve her Lord or if she was coming just to see what she could get from people. My heart felt broken because she wouldn’t speak to me for more than two months. Yet apparently God was still speaking to her during that time.

The next time I saw her, she had changed from a “taker” to a “giver.” Since then, she’s given so much that she has dramatically affected many other people. Her 23-year-old daughter gave her life to the Lord after seeing how God transformed her mom’s life.

Robin ended up marrying a man who had been homeless and had experienced the destruction of his life through alcoholism. He is now one of the godliest brothers in Jesus I know. I’ve seen Robin bring all kinds of people to the Lord–people I could never have reached on my own.

She brings those who society avoids; those who walk the streets; those who get locked out because of their looks or their way of life. Robin is no longer someone I am leading. She is my sister in Christ. We pray together. We jointly praise God for the amazing things we see Him do. She ministers to me as much as I do to her. How I praise God for preparing my heart to open the door to her. How I thank Him for the way He saved her from a life of hell and is continuing to use her to reach others.

How wonderful is our God who will go to any lengths to invest in even the most hopeless-looking people. He sees what they can become. He honored my deep prayer for my five-dollar investment in the most surprising, miraculous way.

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