Angels without Wings

The other day, on my way into Greenville, SC, my truck blew a tire. It didn’t just go flat. It fell apart because of something I had run over. Thankfully, I was able to get pulled over and even though the tire was destroyed, the rim remained intact.

This happened on my birthday.

It was an unusual gift. It was also an unexpected expense. As I considered how I was going to afford this, and what bills might be late because of it, it was as though the Holy Spirit started challenging me: “You claim my grace to walk the Christian walk. Why not pray about this tire situation in the same way?”

What a prayer of faith is supposed to look like

I know none of you do this, but when I pray about my worries, I don’t really pray to God. I worry to Him. What I mean is that I go to God, state my worries, and tack “in Jesus’ name, amen” on the end. That’s not a prayer of faith. That’s just worry with God’s name slapped on it, and it’s no wonder that when I pray like that, I still feel burdened. I haven’t trusted God with anything. I just vented.

The other thing I do, if I am not worrying to God about something, is I tell God how to solve my problems. “God, I have this blown tire and I don’t know what to do. It would be really great if You would do XYZ,” where XYZ is the script I am trying to hand to God. Again, it’s no wonder I walk away from those prayers still feeling burdened. I haven’t trusted Him for anything. I just handed Him a list of instructions.

So, what did this prayer about my tire look like after the Holy Spirit challenged how I was praying? “Lord, I have a tire that I need to replace. I don’t know how it’s going to be paid for. I am trusting You to provide. Thank You for what you’re going to do. Amen.” I did not say, “I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it.” I just said, “I don’t know how it’s going to be paid for.” I left it all in God’s hands and then I thanked Him for what He was going to do. The giving of thanks is key. It’s not just a show of gratitude; it’s also an exercise of faith.

After praying like that, I left it alone.

What God didn’t do.

You know what God didn’t do? He didn’t send a winged angel covered in heavenly light to my door with a $250.00 check. You know what else He didn’t do? He didn’t send a flock of ravens by like He did for Elijah and drop a 20-dollar bill here, and a 10-dollar bill there. God didn’t even send me 250 dollars’ worth of manna to sell on e-Bay.

God used PayPal.

What God did do, is go to a dear friend of mine, tap her on the shoulder, and move her to meet my need. I wasn’t expecting that. I did not ask for that, but that’s how God chose to answer. A few text exchanges where she asked about my situation and the need, and the next thing I know, the funds are in my PayPal account thanks to her.

God often meets the needs of His people through His people.

Why does God work that way? He works that way because there is double honor and double blessing when He does. First, He gets the glory for moving in the life of a fellow believer. That fellow believer gets to be a blessing to me, and she is blessed by God for her obedience. I thank God for His provision, and His name is glorified. Even those who don’t know God take notice when God uses His people to meet the needs of His people: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

My angel didn’t have wings. She had a PayPal account. She wasn’t a being I’d never seen or met before. She was an angel whose name I knew. She did not come from Heaven, but she brought me a little piece of it through her act of kindness. It’s how God blesses us and glorifies Himself. It’s why He uses angels without wings.

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