Jack was an ardent and practising Christian, he was really a righteous man in the true sense of it. He was also a very successful businessman, one of a kind in his country. God never for once denied him anything he asked for in prayer. At the age of 60, Jack had not offended God, even for one day. He was really determined to make it to heaven without a dent. Wow! What an ambition.

One day, indeed a very memorable day in his life, Jack came to understand fully how mysterious God is, and also how weak and shortsighted we humans are. It was just like any other day for him. He attended the morning service in his church as he used to do every morning. As he was coming out of the church at the end of the service, a beggar in dirty rags was at the church gate singing, “Beautiful ways, wonderful ways of God”. He had always known the lyrics to be “Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful ways of life”. He wondered if that was a new song of praise or a make-up tune by the beggar to attract passers-by and more alms. After ransacking his pockets for some time, he found a $1 note. The beggar could not believe his eyes; he thanked him three times, bowing his head, and then continued his lucky song, “Beautiful ways, wonderful ways…” It was then that Jack remembered that he had a business engagement in a far away city, and he was supposed to be at the airport in the next 2 hours or else he would miss his flight. So, in less than 30 minutes he was already in his car speeding towards the airport. His wife, Jane, was sitting beside him. They were praying as he was driving. All of a sudden one of the rear tyres burst. Jack lost his cool, sweating profusely and visibly angry with no one in particular. Of course, there was nothing he could do except to stop and change the flat tyre.

When Jack and his wife got to the airport, the plane was already taking off. They came out of the car and gazed in disappointment at the plane as it went high and higher. He bowed his head in disappointment. “O God after all these prayers…. I have been faithful to you all these years! What have I done wrong? How could you even let me forget this important business trip until the last hour?” he queried the Almighty God. His wife in an attempt to console him and diffuse the tension, said, “Honey, may be this is a blessing from God in disguise, you never can tell.” “Never can tell what?” He asked the wife in anger, “that all these years I have fooled myself believing in God. Do you know how much I will lose because of this?” “Jack you are talking about God! He is still the almighty and all knowing, the alpha and omega.” the wife reminded him. Again, not ready to forgive God yet, Jack retorted, “Oh damn it, if…” A very loud explosion interrupted their increasingly difficult conversation, and they raised their heads up in astonishment. Behold, the plane had crashed and the sky was covered with a very thick smoke. The beggar’s song echoed in Jack’s ears, “Beautiful ways, wonderful ways, wonderful ways of God”. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he staggered towards his car. He managed to stutter in a dejected voice, “Jane, please take me home”.

***

The big lesson from this story is that we should be ready at all times to embrace God’s will. The future is like a black box; only God knows what is inside. When He doesn’t answer our prayer, we must keep cool and trust Him faithfully. He knows what is in the black box, and I bet you it is not always good for you and I. He answers every prayer, but in a way that is best for us, not necessarily the way we expect Him to. Just leave it all to God!

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