Over thirty years ago Rev. C.E. French delivered a message at a large Pentecostal church in Tennessee. French had been a missionary, returned to the states, and his wife was teaching at a nearby college. At the time he was probably in his sixties. I happened to be in that service. His sermon left an indelible impression upon my heart.
In his delivery Rev. French told the story of a missionary evangelist, preaching a revival in the foreign country where he was laboring and who was staying in the home of the pastor hosting the revival. One day the missionary had an inclination to do some shopping and wound up at a local grocery market. While there he felt inclined to pick up several items. Doing so, he questioned his actions and wondered why he would have any desire to purchase these particular products. All the while he was buffeted by the devil with disconcerting thoughts of how the pastor would view his bringing these goodies back to the parsonage.
On his walk back to the pastor’s home he was passing a housing unit that had a stairway with several landings. He felt impressed to go up those stairs. Having arrived at the second or third landing he was then directed to a particular door. When the evangelist knocked on the door a little old lady opened the door saying, “Hello, I’m Granny Hurt. How is it with your soul today?” The evangelist quickly explained that he had picked up several items at the grocery store, felt that he had been directed to Granny’s door, and offered the bag of merchandise that he had purchased. Granny said, “Let me get my list.” She retrieved a list written on a piece of brown paper and carefully went through her list checking to see if everything was in the bag. Then she said, “Well, Lord, I see you sent me everything I asked for today but my ginger.” Excitedly answering, the evangelist said, “Granny, as sure as I’m standing here, the ginger is in the bottom of the bag.”
Granny Hurt was one of those wonderful souls who wholeheartedly trusted God. She believed and expected that God would bring her what she needed. She may not have possessed much in this life as far as material goods are concerned, but she had a radiant life that few ever find.
Many years ago it was also my privilege to hear a popular evangelist tell of how he would visit his grandmother, staying with her a few days at a time. During those visits he noticed that his grandmother spent a lot of time in prayer. On one occasion his grandmother said that prayer was a real struggle during her prayer time. “The sky was as brass” she stated, but God still answered. A knock came to her door and someone brought her food. This little widow trusted God for everything. Most of her small social security pension was given to the local church. What a blessed life she lived!
A vibrant prayer life is a radiant life because praying brings one into communion and fellowship with the Living Christ.