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Thoughts from a fellow pilgrim...

Last-Minute Miracle

The problem: We needed a piano by Thanksgiving.
The promise: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son"

(John 14:13).
The prayer: "Lord, if it will bring glory to You, help us find a piano in time!"
How did God answer? First, let me give you a little more background to this story...

After Grandpa and Grandma both went to be with Jesus earlier this year, their large old farmhouse sat empty. My parents decided our family would move into it because our current house wasn't finished, and it'd make it easier for us to keep the farm running. So September found us tackling the huge job of sorting through things and moving needed items to our new home. As we decided how to arrange furniture and such, we came to the conclusion that it was time to look for another piano. We would not be inheriting Grandma's piano, and both of ours were older instruments—they had served us well for years, but were quite ready to be retired.

So we placed several want ads in local papers and online. A number of calls came in, but none sounded just right for us. Finally, in mid-October, Susanna got in touch with a lady who had a piano in our price range. She set a time to go look at the instrument...but when the day arrived, we realized there had been a miscommunication and the piano was actually located in another city. We were disappointed, but figured God must have some other plan underway.

Then Susanna headed off to Indianapolis for a 10-day violin class, and the rest of us were very busy with harvesting and preparing for several craft shows. Around the 12th of November, I looked at the calendar and realized time was running out. A friend of mine, Helen, was planning to spend the week of Thanksgiving with my family and I, and we had been hoping to be able to make a recording together. The song was a very special one: God gave the lyrics to another friend back in November 2005, and a couple weeks later had given me a melody for the poem as a direct answer to prayer. The resulting song—"Good, Trustworthy, Faithful"—had been a tremendous encouragement to both Helen and I, as well as many others. All year long my sisters and I had talked about recording the song, but had never had a chance to do so. Doing it during Helen's visit seemed perfect—if we had a piano!

So I really started praying in earnest. I was confident God would provide what was needed if it was His timing for a recording to be made. Yet it seemed that for a long time I'd had one prayer after another answered with a "no" or a "wait." I knew God could give us a piano in time, but would He?

The days passed by in a blur of activity. Then Susanna and Daddy got a dentist appointment in the area of the piano we'd tried to see in October. Mother gave the lady a call. Surprisingly, she still had the piano...and yes, she would be home Tuesday.

Tuesday? Yes—it was the very day Helen was arriving. It seemed silly to go looking for pianos that very day (wasn't it too late?), but we sent Susanna and Daddy off that morning with a prayer that God would make it clear if the piano was for us.

Helen arrived safe and sound, and we enjoyed visiting together that evening. About 10:00 p.m. Daddy and Susanna returned home with exciting news. Susanna said the instant she tried the piano, she knew it was what we were looking for! We were to make a special trip to pick it up the next day. Wow! We would have a piano while Helen was here after all! I couldn't stop smiling. :-)

So the next evening we all loaded up in the van and headed out. We girls all agreed with Susanna's assessment of the instrument, and then the moving process began. Though it was in an upper-storey apartment, we somehow managed to get it down three and a half flights of stairs and into our trailer without incident. We were pretty sure that so much jostling around—not to mention an hour's drive in a cold trailer—would put it well out of tune. It hadn't been tuned for 13 months, anyway. Yet I was confident that God would somehow take care of that...would He really give us a piano just in time for Helen's visit, only to have it unusably out of tune?

We arrived home and brought the piano into the house. Then came the moment of truth: would it be in tune enough for us to make the recording? We all held our breath as Rachel sat down and started to play...

And guess what? It sounded good! Not perfectly in tune, no—but it was quite good enough for the recording. To me, this was nothing short of a miracle!

The next day was Thursday, Thanksgiving day. After spending the morning cooking and then enjoying a delicious meal, Susanna, Helen, and I spent several hours in the music room...and by the end of the afternoon we had put together a recording. It's not professional quality, but it comes straight from our hearts as a testimony of God's faithfulness and goodness in all He has brought us through over the past year. It is truly a song of thanksgiving (what better day to have recorded it?) and we pray it will be an encouragement to all who hear it.

Looking back at this series of events, I can see so clearly why God didn't give us the piano earlier this fall when we were first looking. He kept us from seeing it in October...and He continued to say "Wait" to our prayers—not because He didn't want us to have a piano, but because He wanted to give it in such a way that it was clearly from Him. And, as is so typical of our generous Father, He didn't just give us the piano—He worked through the situation to give us two beautiful sofas (another long story in itself), answering prayers far beyond what we had expected or even thought to ask.

Some may read this and think, "Ah, it's only a piano...I have much bigger problems in my life." You know what? I do, too. But God knew my faith had been faltering, and He planned this miracle as a way of assuring me that He is never, ever late—He has everything under control and nothing is impossible with Him! As Anne Graham Lotz testifies, "He is the God of the fat chance, the slim chance, and the no chance." He longs to show Himself strong on our behalf and He delights to give us good things.

Truly, God is good, He is trustworthy...and He is always, always faithful.

Trusting His love,

P.S. The recording we made that day can be downloaded here [5.4 MB MP3]. It's not professional quality, but it comes from our hearts as a testimony to God's faithfulness in our lives. May He be glorified!

This editorial was published in the Jan.-March 2007 issue of Hidden Wisdom Magazine, copyright 2006, Abigail Paul.
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