Insights from God in regard to puppies, watches, and technical problems.

As a teenager, my father told me about an answered prayer. As a watchmaker, he misplaced a tiny part while he was cleaning a watch. Frustrated after a long search, he paused for a minute and prayed. He told me that his hand moved across the desk and lifted a small cover, and the missing part was under the cover!

A couple weeks ago, I was frustrated and depressed after working hard for three days on a technical problem in my field of work. In early evening, I exited my swivel chair, knelt down on one knee, and prayed: “Lord, please give me an insight here. I am missing something about this analysis. And I sincerely request your help”.

My prayer lasted no more than a minute. I returned to the chair and the laptop and my intense thinking. Slowly a seed of a thought entered my mind, but from an unexpected angle. It was a slow Aha! not a fast one, as I pushed and pulled on it with my brain muscle.

After about thirty minutes, I concluded it was indeed a novel insight that I and my fellow engineers had overlooked. Feeling a little excited, I called my business partner who had worked on the project. “It does sound like a brainwave” was his admission. The insight changed some things considerably and made the analysis more understandable. Smiling on the inside, I felt relieved and happy, and at the end of the evening knelt again to say “Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you”. This was a direct insight from God, I have no question.

Although such direct answers to prayer are rare in my experience, the fact that they do occur encourages us to ask God for them. I think the request needs to be specific. It can come out of desperation: “Lord, save me” yelled Peter as he was sinking beneath the waves*. Or it may be less dramatic, but still important to us in regard to family members, friends, work, health, or whatever.

Bindi was the name of a little min-pin dog I owned years ago (Bindi means “little girl” in aboriginal Australian). Soon after we bought her as a puppy, she came down with distemper, which is often fatal. My wife prayed urgently that the Lord would heal Bindi. Although I was a bit surprised at the directness of her prayer, I agreed to watch over Bindi later that day when my wife had to be away.

I will never forget that little puppy, as sick as she was, struggling to get to the litter box….in her puppy brain she was still trying to do what she knew was right. A few hours later, when my wife returned home, Bindi was much better, and she added happiness to our family for fourteen more years. From this experience I learned not to let my human thinking limit my prayers to God my father.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers….

*“ But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him”. (Matthew, chapter 14, Amplified Bible).

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14 comments on “Insights from God in regard to puppies, watches, and technical problems.”

  1. Lynn Burt says:

    I really enjoyed this. God does care about small problems in our lives as much as the big ones. He just wants to be part of our lives everyday. Thanks for posting this as I needed it today. Please pray for Elmer Madden and his son Brian. Elmer found his daugher Debbie dead yesterday. He lost his wife about two years ago. They really need God’s peace.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Lynn, I appreciate your words “God just wants to be part of our lives everyday”. This concept can be hard to understand. I think the Bible says somewhere that we are created for God’s pleasure”. I made a note to pray for your friends. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Marie says:

    Thanks again Ian. I have asked God for help so many many times. I always feel bad when a prayer is answered in the future but I have forgotten I asked for help and forgotten to thank God. He is always there to answer but sometimes we get impatient. It is wonderful to know we have a wonderful God to ask to help us. God be with you.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Marie, I am funny about this. When I recall “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”, I paraphrase that to mean God owns all the resources and He can do anything and He should get the credit”. So I try really hard to thank God every day for different specific things. And when it seems like a real or special answer to prayer, I tend to say “Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you”.

  3. Sheila Thompson says:

    Love it Ian! It is situations like this in life with answered prayer and interactions with a loving God that give me faith to believe the things in the Bible that I don’t understand and when He doesn’t answer my prayers as I would like, it is because He knows something I don’t.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Sheila, I love your words “It is because He knows something that I don’t”. Very true, and so we learn to roll with the punches, be resilient, and carry on in faith.

  4. Jules says:

    I’ve had that same experience with children that I am treating, either “Lord, please calm their behavior so we can get our work done” or “Lord, please tell me what to do about this particular problem.” I get most frustrated at work when I forget to stop, take a deep breath, and simply ask for help! He is always right there waiting on me to ask.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Thats a great remedy Julie: “Stop, take a deep breath, and simply ask for help!” I am going to try to do that more often.

  5. Julian Pfitzner says:

    I agree with you, Ian, that direct and obvious answers to prayer are rare, at least in Western countries. I have recently read Phillip Yancey’s book “What good is God” which I can highly recommend. In this book he gives examples of answers to prayer which seem to be more common in countries where Christianity is not the main religion such as China. When my wife was ill with cancer we prayed earnestly for her to be cured but she was not. I think we must be careful not to assume that God will answer every prayer as we wish and we must be careful not to question the strength of our faith if we do not get the answer we want. I believe that God answers prayer in a way that is best for us which might be “no” or “wait”. I have confidence that God loves us and wants the best for us.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Julian, well-chosen words! I like especially your comment “We must be careful not to question the strength of our faith if we do not get the answer we want”. I ran into that recently, and reminded a person (who was worried about a possible lack of faith) that she had already demonstrated her faith simply by asking God for help.

  6. Mary Ann Pollock says:

    Ian what a great blog. This is something that I can really relate to. I have prayed for many small items that I thought that God would not want to take time to deal with. How wrong I was, because God was so gracious to answer my prayers. Over my lifetime I have seen God’s hand in so many miracles that I get perplexed when I hear people say they don’t believe what God can really do. Keep the great blogs coming.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Mary Ann, I loved your comment “I have prayed for many small items that I thought that God would not want to take time to deal with. How wrong I was…”. I am glad you decided to pray, and I think this is an important lesson for the rest of us.

  7. Garrick Little says:

    Outstanding Ian! You captured the nuances of a personal encounter with God as you honestly sought the Lord in prayer. I think at times as we engage God we may tend to get, well…. too spiritual and forget God looks on the heart. An honest seeker of God will be rewarded. I agree at times we fail to come to God for what are our real, heartfelt, honest and down to earth needs.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Garrick, I enjoyed your illuminated words: “An honest seeker of God will be rewarded”. I have used a similar phrase several times in my life: “Ask God to reveal Himself to you”.


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