A poor man prayed in earnest for his family. “Lord, we have depended so much on the kindness of others, now we seek a home to call our own. As you know, my body has become weak from this terrible illness which has finally left me and I have leaned so much on others that I don’t even know if I can stand on my own. I ask you , God, for the strength of body and spirit, wisdom, and to help provide a home for my darling wife and children.”
A tear fell down from the man’s eye.
A few days later, a kind and elderly widow heard of this father’s plight. “I have a plot of land you may have to build upon, but it is sorely overgrown with thick brush, trees, and large rocks. I will gladly give it to you, but it will be a laborsome undertaking”, she said. The man also knew this, yet he accepted the widow’s generous offer, knowing such an opportunity might not again pass. The man stood afar and surveyed his newly gained property. Looking up, he smiled and said, “Lord, I asked You for a home and You give me this gnarled forest? I will trust and be thankful for the gift before me.”
Several days into major undertaking of leveling the land off, the man slumped against the twentieth tree he cut by hand. Sweat poured from his body, which was covered by ruddy brown earth. “Lord!” he shouted, “Why did You choose this God-forsaken plot of land? Is this my punishment for not taking care of my family while sick these last few years? Is this type of loving God You are?” Exasperated, the man clenched his fist and went back to work, muttering to himself, “I will continue to trust.”
Several months past. Upon resting under the final tree to be removed, the man looked about him in wonder. Before him stood a beautiful plot of land to build a home. The lush forest surrounding the leveled area would provide good protection from the cold winter winds and offer an abundant supply of firewood to keep warm. In a large pile next to the leveled earth, were neatly stacked tree trunks. They would make excellent logs to build a cabin. Ashamed for thinking God had left him in his most dire time of need, the man rested his head in his hands. Suddenly, he looked in to his palms. These were not the same weak hands that could barely grasp a cup to drink from. Instead, they were strong and fit, as was the rest of his body from the many months of hard physical labor. The man looked up and smiled, saying, “My dear God, thank you. You answered my prayer, even in my worst moments of doubt. You took my weakness and turned it into strength and my lack of understanding, into wisdom. I will rest a while now, and begin to build my family a house.”