by Shirley Corder
When our daughter, son-in-law and two little grandchildren left for a missionary destination half way across the world, our prayer life went up by 200%.
One day our daughter wrote to ask us to pray for a little boy. He had fractured his leg, and it had been wrongly set. Doctors were battling to save his leg. How we prayed. Not just for the little boy. We prayed our little ones would never break a limb. That none of them would ever get ill. Or have an accident.
Within a matter of weeks, my daughter was teaching a group of small children their alphabet. “Let’s look for things that begin with ‘B’,” she suggested. Then she noticed a huge snake coiled near her two-year-old.
Her husband somehow managed to capture the snake in a bucket, using a broom. The snake turned out to be a Boa Constrictor. A boa constrictor in a bucket with a broom! After reading this, I looked at the dictionary with much trepidation to see what began with ‘C’! We praised the Lord. God’s goodness and mercy had saved the day.
It didn’t always work like that. Over the next years we prayed them through an iguana bite, Dengue fever, a lung infection, a split chin (repaired with super glue!), an almost-broken nose, and yes . . . a fractured leg.
What happened? Did God get tired of our prayers?
Today, my daughter will tell you it was worth the trauma. As they look back, they see the blessings God worked during that period.
At the same time, I struggled through a dreadful year of treatment for aggressive cancer. We prayed regularly for good health—so why didn’t God stop the tumour from growing?
One scripture that became very real to me was Isaiah 40:31. They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. As I waited on God, He gave me so many blessings. As a direct result of cancer, today I am a published author and a public speaker. I also have a website especially to encourage and inspire those in the cancer valley.
Last week, my husband and I set off for a town some hours away. I was scheduled to speak the next day on the topic, “Change of Life – From nursing sister to published author.” Fifteen minutes from town, we became vehicle #4 in a nine-car pile-up. Why? We only finished praying for protection about 30 seconds before it happened! (Makes you wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t prayed!)
My son drove through to fetch us, and I delivered my talk as scheduled (albeit with a new illustration.) I believe God spoke to many people. Already, as we look back, we see God’s goodness and mercy upon us.
Over the next few days, panel beaters and an assessor decided our car’s fate. Would they salvage it, or would it head for the scrap yard? It was a scary time. We needed that car. And yet, as we waited upon the Lord, He did renew our strength. He didn’t renew our car—sadly, it was written off. But He renewed our strength.
Yes, we need to pray for protection. But we also have to allow God to be God. He will allow things to happen that we don’t like. Yet as we look back, we will see His goodness and mercy at work in our lives. Most of all, as we learn to wait upon Him, He will renew our strength. (You can read the story of the accident with photos, here.)
SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on the often unexpected things God used to help her through the rough times in the cancer valley. It is available globally in print or online, in print and e-versions.
Please visit Shirley through ShirleyCorder.com, where she encourages writers, RiseAndSoar.com, where she encourages those in the cancer valley, on Twitter or on FaceBook. Sign up for her writers’ newsletter.