It was a thriving daycare center that welcomed 40-50 children on a daily basis. Located in the basement of a small church, it served to help assist with the church finances, and thus operated on a shoestring budget.
Like every other morning; breakfast was cleared away, and the cook began preparations for lunch. It was then that she discovered she only had 1/2 loaf of bread for sandwiches. Hardly enough to feed 40 hungry children. She called my mom, the director, to see if she could get some petty cash to purchase more bread.
“We don’t have any petty cash right now.”, was the response that caused her growing dread to mushroom.
“How will I make lunch today?” The question echoed in my mom’s mind as well as she scrambled for a remedy to this serious situation.
She called the pastor – my dad – to come downstairs. He confirmed that there simply was no money at the moment to buy more bread.
There was only one thing left to do: Pray.
Together, the cook and my parents went to the kitchen and did the only thing they knew to do – they laid hands on the 1/2 loaf of bread and prayed for a miracle.
I don’t know what was in their minds at the moment: faith, hope, doubt, desperation…
But less than an hour later shrieks came from the vicinity of the kitchen. My mom went racing in to see what was the matter. There she found the cook hysterically crying and shouting as she pointed to heaps of sandwiches – enough to feed every child in the daycare – and next to them a 1/2 loaf of bread.
This is a story I have heard all my life.
This story, combined with many others like it, and a childhood marked with similar experiences that I saw firsthand have shaped my concept of faith.
And while like most other people, there are times when doubts creep in, yet they are quickly dispelled as I remember the multiple times God has answered prayers in such tangible ways as He did for the cook at Evangel Temple so many years ago.
Stories – like how my dad was healed of Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 30, with full medical documentation, or how He provided shoes for my brother when my parents had no money; the times when random checks would arrive in the mail from church members as “love gifts” for my family on the very day when our rent was due or the blind lady that went forward for prayer at church and immediately after began to see.
These events have dramatically shaped who I am today.
Stories passed down.
But if I don’t instill in my children an understanding of the rich heritage of faith they possess, they will be forgotten and the power of their message will stop with me.
This is why God, over and over, instructed the Israelites to pass on the stories of God’s power to their children, because all it takes is for one generation to forget His goodness before the next generation turns cold.
Dear mommy, your job is a serious one. While you wipe noses, brush teeth, kiss boo-boos, and tuck your precious treasures in at night, tell the stories. Not just Clifford, Winnie the Pooh, and Disney Princesses – tell them about the times when God came through for you. Tell them about the times you prayed, you battled in prayer, and perhaps even doubted a little – but the answer came.
Don’t let the stories be lost with you.
Begin now to build a storehouse of faith for them. Deposit into their accounts rich treasures that they will be able to draw from when their own faith dwindles.
Tell your children!
As I reflected on the passage from Exodus 13, I got the idea to make these prayer journal pages. Print them off, date your prayer needs, and then date and describe how the answer came. Keep them in a binder as a reminder to you and your children – and hopefully your grandchildren and great-grandchildren – when your faith is weak, how the Lord answered these prayers.
Track the simple ones as well as the big ones.