Mysterious Ways: Prayers Answered While You Wait

A struggling mother of three receives a quick but unexpected answer to her prayer.

- Posted on Apr 5, 2012

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Beans and rice again. Can’t really blame the kids for not cleaning their plates, I thought, scraping off the dishes into the sink. I was sick and tired of having the same thing night after night too. It was cheap and filled our bellies, but each sad supper made me feel emptier inside.

“Lord, we’re really struggling here,” I prayed. “I want some real food. Not tomorrow, Lord. Today!”

Five years earlier, my husband had gotten a job in the oil fields and we had moved from Kentucky to Texas with our three children. Then the oil boom went bust, and there were mass layoffs. We were trying to get by on the hourly wages my husband made doing maintenance work.

I didn’t know anyone I could turn to for help. I’d started going to church and joined a prayer group, but it had only been a few weeks.

Will things ever get better? I was tired of waiting. Frustrated, I plunged the plates into the soapy water. “Lord, real food. Not tomorrow, today. Please!”

That was silly, I thought. What was it they said in church? All in God’s time, not when we want it.

Just as I finished the dishes, there was a knock at the door. I glanced at the clock. Almost nine. Who would be visiting this late?

It was Tico, the husband of Elvira, a woman I’d met at the prayer group. In his hands was a big platter wrapped in foil. “I’m sorry for bothering you so late,” he said.

I told Tico it wasn’t a problem.

“We were having a cookout at our daughter’s house down the street,” he explained. “A lot of food was left over, and we thought that maybe you could use some of it.”

He loosened the foil. There had to be four pounds of barbecue brisket, plus fresh sliced tomatoes, lettuce and bread.

My eyes went wide. “Thank you! You have no idea how much I needed this tonight.”

“I thought we should wait until tomorrow to bring this over to you, late as it is,” Tico replied. “But Elvira insisted. She said, ‘No, not tomorrow. Today.’”

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