By Lindy Pate
April Fools! A day when jokes and tricks are common. I was thinking about that day and wondering what story falls in line with that theme. And a story about God came to mind. Now I know what you are thinking–our God is not a God of tricks. But he can make something that seems insurmountable disappear and that is rather like a trick.
For example, several years ago the only child of a pastor from a remote village in Papua New Guinea died. He and his wife were overwhelmed with sorrow. The child’s death was sudden and suspicious, especially for a people who assume that there is no such thing as accidental death. All death is murder by sorcery. So the pastor decided to organize a divination ceremony to determine who was guilty. The missionaries working in this area sent out prayer requests asking for God to stop this situation. People prayed for the pastor to change his mind and not lead the community into following other gods. And then the day of the scheduled divination/trial came and nothing happened. A few people from the neighboring village came and had a meeting with the pastor, but no sorcery trial occurred. Later the missionary asked the pastor about the meeting. The pastor looked at him surprised that such a thing would even be considered. “No,” he replied, “I wanted to talk with them about the distribution of my niece’s bride price.”
The missionary left surprised and thankful.
I was in the US at the time and read the email update eagerly, as I had been praying for this situation. I was also surprised, befuddled even, and wondered why I had bothered to pray about the situation when apparently it was nothing. But don’t be fooled. Sometimes that is the way God works. What problem do you have that seems insurmountable? Have you asked God to intervene? You may be surprised by how he works.
Lindy is a Bible translator.