We may say a prayer for something in our lives that needs an immediate answer. Yet sometimes when the answer comes, it is nothing like we thought and seems totally wrong. But in the end we find out God was right all along!
For Sheila, a mistake turned out to be a miracle.
I want to share this story that blessed me.
“A Divine Misprint”
By Sheila Corey, from the book “God Answers Moms’ Prayers”
It was our fourth move in seven years of ministry, and even in a congregation of 350 members, a new wave of loneliness swept over me. One morning as I dressed my two preschool children, a thought came to me and I got on my knees to pray, “God, I’m lonely. Send me someone who is lonely and needs a friend, too.”
I then began to scour the church directory in search of a woman with children who might want to get together for the day. After many unsuccessful attempts, I dialed the number next to a familiar name. A woman answered.
“Cheryl?” I asked.
“This is Sheila from church. How are you?”
“Uh, I’m fine,” she replied.
“How are the kids?”
“They’re okay. A little wild today.”
“Well, I’m calling because I’m taking my kids to the pool today and wanted to know if you could join me.”
There was an awkward silence, and then reluctantly she said, “Okay.”
I asked for directions to her house and was surprised to find she lived on the same road as we did, just a couple of miles east of our block. She came out of the house when I pulled into her driveway, and I soon discovered that the woman I was picking up was not the woman I thought I had called!
I put on my Sunday face and welcomed her as if she was an old friend. I was, after all, a minister’s wife, and thought she probably knew me.
As we drove along, we talked about the church. She asked if I had met a particular church member yet, and I said, “No.” I asked if she knew another church member, and she said, “No.” In the course of the conversation, we eventually realized we were from two different congregations.
She asked how I got her number, and I told her about my search through the church directory. We discovered that she shared the same first name as the lady I intended to call, and that her telephone number appeared in the directory by mistake.
Amazed, I told her of my prayer that morning. When I finished, she said through her tears, “God answered your prayer. My husband told me recently that he had an affair. I don’t know who to turn to. I truly do need a friend today.”
Cheryl and I spent the day talking, crying, and at times even laughing with amazement at God’s way of putting two needy women together. After dropping her off at the end of the day, I went home, immediately opened the directory, and called her.
She laughed and then replied, “Yes?”
“Just checking to see if you were real.”
“I guess our friendship really was made in heaven,” was her chuckling reply.
“Amen to that, my new sister. Amen to that.”
The church directory was printed a year before my husband and I arrived at our new church. God scheduled my moment with Cheryl through a misprint. He knew Cheryl’s need a year before she did! He knew, even in my loneliness, that He could use me.
I learned that day, as did Cheryl, that God knows the needs of His people. If we are available to Him, no matter what our circumstances, He will use us to meet those needs.
Love and Prayers,