The God Who Remains Anonymous
In his “State of the State” message last month, Gov. Jim Justice talked about seeing God working to turn around the state’s economy. And, recently shined a national spotlight on West Virginia for being the nation’s leader in getting residents vaccinated.
Not only did Justice credit the power of prayer, he mentioned “coincidences” being circumstances where God is at work anonymously.
I could relate to that comment after several recent, quiet, and yet profound examples of the Lord working behind the scenes.
A Changed Man
One involved a homeless man who had taken to often sleeping on the steps by the front door of our church. One time he had too much to drink, as evidenced by the mess that our pastor had to clean up.
However, he routinely refused offers of help from our pastor and my wife, who runs our church’s food pantry. So we chose the only option left: we prayed for him.
About three months later, the man showed up at the pantry. My wife said he looked like a changed man. He told her he had found a place to live; his daughter had welcomed him to stay with her.
His countenance, his cheerful demeanor, and the lighter gait with which he walked were living proof that God indeed answers prayer.
Soon after I learned of this, an editor in a freelancer’s group shared a story about being out of work for a spell in 2018.
Only one who has been through this kind of ordeal can appreciate the gut-wrenching nature of such an experience. Many people love to talk about “living by faith,” but actually doing so is a much different story.
However, this editor talked about opening her email one day and finding a request from a repeat client to edit seven of his previously self-published (and unedited) books.
After finishing that contract, the author asked if she would do four more. Another client sent her a series of short articles to edit too.
“God has provided steady work for the past two years straight,” she said. “I am so thankful for his provision. Recently I even caught myself praying, ‘God, I am so tired, I just need a little break.’ Definitely a different prayer than in 2018!”
Her story prompted other editors to offer their own. Like the one whose husband came into some money that allowed them to pay off their mortgage, get a higher-quality car, and pay off debts so she could transition from fulltime employee to freelancer.
Said another, “When I run out of work, I ask God and the managers I get work from.”
This string of stories reminded me of the experience I had in the early days of the Great Recession, when I started down a four-year-long slide of declining income.
A former boss emailed me to ask if I would be interested in discussing a multi-level marketing opportunity. Though not that favorable toward MLM, I decided to meet with him.
After reviewing his video presentation, I told him I would think it over and pray about it. I still wasn’t that keen on the idea, but with things looking pretty bleak, I thought it was something I should consider.
Then, a few days later, two writing assignments worth nearly $4,000 literally fell into my lap. “Surprised” wouldn’t begin to describe my reaction.
I was also convinced that God still wanted me freelancing, not in MLM sales. That is still the case.