“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Guest Poster Tom Parsons - A Diaper in the Basement - God is So Good

Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Often we have desires in our hearts, but God doesn't fulfill them in the timing we hope. We begin to get discouraged, to take matters into our own hands, or even give up. As we struggle, however, we are not alone. And here's an example of just that, from fellow FaithWriter Thomas Parsons. I hope this story blesses you.

A Diaper in the Basement
By Thomas M Parsons © 2010 
Adapted from This Little Life of Mine 

A lady in the church I pastored as a young man told my wife and me that all of the pastor’s wives who lived in the parsonage got pregnant. The story was that an earlier pastor’s wife had left a diaper (unused, I trust) stuffed in the overhead rafters in the basement of the house to insure that future pastors’ wives who lived there would have children.

Now, I don’t believe this. This certainly sounds like an old wives’ tale. I mean, how would a woman ever reach the rafters of the basement ceiling? But, that’s what we were told.

Linda and I had been married for nearly eight years, but we had no children. It was not that we didn’t know how to make children. We did. It was not that we were too shy to make children. We weren’t. It was not that we were using some kind of preventative. That was not the case.

We had resigned ourselves to being one of those couples that never could conceive children. In fact, we had put our names on an adoption list. We were told we would have to work our way up the list, a process which would take months, even years.

Linda had an opportunity to give a devotional message at a ladies’ meeting at a nearby church. There she met an elderly lady who inquired about our children, or the lack of them. Linda explained, without going into detail, that we could not have children but that we were on an adoption list. The lady said, “I am going to pray that God gives you children.”

Okay. So why should this lady’s prayers be more effective than ours? We had prayed for nearly eight years that God would give us children. How was this lady going to change God’s mind? I mean, come on!

I accepted an invitation to pray the invocation at the local public school, for a banquet honoring the school’s athletes. Linda and I were going to get a free meal, a benefit of these opportunities. But Linda was sick. Throwing up sick. All day throwing up sick. So I went to the dinner by myself.

When she was still throwing up a day or two later, I took her to the doctor. He took one look at her and said, “I think you’re pregnant.” He did a pregnancy test, which in those days involved the death of a rabbit. The rabbit’s death was not in vain. Linda was pregnant.

Shortly after receiving the news, the adoption agency called. “Are you still interested in adoption?” the lady said. “You are nearing the top of the list.”

“Thank you,” I said, “but we are having a baby this fall. We just found out a couple of weeks ago.”

“Congratulations,” said the lady from the agency. “Do you want us to remove you from the list, then?”

“Please do,” I answered.

Maybe there really was a diaper somewhere in the basement rafters. Maybe the lady who promised to pray for us had an inside line to the Lord. It didn’t matter. Linda was pregnant.

Over the next six years, God gave us three beautiful daughters, all of whom are now wives and mothers, each with her husband serving the Lord and collectively giving us eleven grandchildren.

Tom Parsons and his wife, Linda, live in Columbus, Ohio. He is now retired after serving as a pastor in two churches for twenty-five years, and as an English and Bible teacher in a Christian school for nine years. In his retirement, Tom devotes much of his time to maintaining his website which he calls "The Master's Place," and writing. He has published three books, "Windsor's Child" about how the Lord revealed Himself to him when he was a small boy in Windsor, Ontario; "The Foolish Galatians," a series of essays based on Paul's letter to the churches of Galatia; and "Come, Lord Jesus," a commentary on the book of Revelation. Tom also edited "Joy Comes in the Mourning" which was written by a friend, Barbara Forsyth. He is now working on his first novel, which he calls
"The Missing Person." Tom and Linda have three grown daughters, and eleven grandchildren.
Find him at www.tmpministries.com

God certainly works in mysterious ways, doesn't he? Marc and I actually have a story similar to this (though ours has nothing to do with diapers in the rafters OR a rabbit - dead OR alive). God is SO good!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

1 comment:

  1. Us, as well. A similar story. My parents, too. Only they went through their adoption while being pregnant with me. We had a prayer warrior petitioning for us, and within one month, a pregnancy.

    Oh the mystery and joy of prayer! Someday we'll see how it all worked together on behalf of God's kingdom.



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