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Wow, That’s A Long Time

As I walked out of church service one night, I was stopped by a woman I did not know. She appeared tired and said emphatically, “Yesterday evening, God had me praying for you all night.” I don’t remember any more of the conversation than that. I only remember thinking to myself, “Why would anyone pray all night for me? Who am I for someone to do that?” At that time in my life, even though I was in Bible College,  I could not imagine doing that for anyone.  I honestly do not even remember her name.

That feeling of falling

A few years later, I was about to go on a long trip back east. I owned a residential and commercial tree service at the time and someone called in a small emergency tree job. I thought “that would be a nice way to make some extra cash before the trip”, so I went with my wife to see what it was all about.

The tree wasn’t very big, and not really much of an emergency, however,  the people were worried.  The small tree had snapped off at the base and was leaning precariously against another next to their home. I didn’t climb trees much anymore because I usually ran around giving estimates, however, the tree was small and I thought I could manage it easily. Using one of my employee’s gear, I strapped on the gaffs, the belt, and began climbing the tree.

Coming undone

At about 45 feet, I tied in and leaned back expecting that, as I put pressure on the figure eight, it would catch hold.

It did not…

Dangerously, someone tied the rope incorrectly.  I didn’t check my rope, having not climbed for a while. As I leaned back it unraveled and, falling through the small branches, I landed with a thud.

Catching my breath

To tell you the truth, I felt sure I was really hurt.  After falling that far how could I not be? I could not breathe nor think straight. However, after about 60 seconds, I began to catch my breath and sat up. Though I felt fine (except for a little pain on my side), I thought to myself, “Wow, I should hurt more than this. Maybe I am in shock or something?”

Just then the ambulance arrived with the emergency medics. They checked me out and could not believe I fell that far and was still alive. One said quite frankly, “We had expected to find a dead man.” I said I was fine and just wanted to go home. They refused, I insisted. Reluctantly, and after signing more than a few forms releasing them from all responsibility for the next hundred years, they let me go. Just for good measure, I went to the hospital to be sure I had no unseen injuries.  After being  X-rayed, the doctor found no broken bones or internal bleeding.

My whole life lay in front of me

I had not yet had children, gone to Africa, built an orphanage, ministered among the Luo tribe, or written a word of this website. In fact, I had not done much of anything yet. Had I died that day most of what God wanted to do through me would have perished too.

I don’t think the woman who prayed all night for me knew exactly why God asked her to do so. Now, in view of what has taken place in my life, I no longer wonder why my Father asked her to do that: I am just really grateful she did.

Praying, when God says too, can have profound effects

We need to yield to God when praying for others, even if we do not know exactly why.  Just say yes to His Spirit by faith and pray, trusting that it is important to do so. You never know if you are praying for a man or a woman whom our Father will use to touch many through or simply be helping to save someone who has their whole life ahead of them.

Who Am I by Casting Crowns