Wanda's Snake and Ronnie's Pneumonia, The Power of Prayer - June 2012
"Rejoice always. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Daughter Wanda and Dexter's beautifully landscaped property is electronically gated at the end of Sanctuary Drive in Florida. Beyond is a huge, gorgeous lake. However, the six acres between the highway and their home is rugged, unkempt, wild weeds. Wanda complained to the city officials and was told the owner lives somewhere in Europe and they have been unable to make contact. Occasionally, when she mows her lawn, she rides the mower over a wide frontage of this property to take away the impression of driving through a jungle to get to her house. That's what she was doing two weeks ago.
She came to a clump of tall palm trees. Two large fronds lay on the ground. Her thoughts:
"Well, today, I didn't walk the land to pick up fallen branches and trash before mowing. Surely, the mower can push those palm fronds back a ways. I don't want to climb off my mower."
It worked! The mower flipped over the fronds and to Wanda's horror revealed a HUGE Diamondback Rattlesnake, all coiled in a pile; his head reared back to a striking position just about 12 inches from her ankle!!!! Wanda slapped the riding mower in reverse, scooting back about 25 feet! This snake was fat and ugly…(Aren't they ALL?). His head was three inches across at his jaws. She grabbed her cell phone and called the police.
"Do you all kill BIG snakes?"
"No; but we can send out someone who does."
The man arrived in an SUV with what resembled a huge dog kennel. He had a "grabber" with pinchers which captured the snake's head. It was still in a big coil. Wanda kept her distance, about 25 feet away! This man was well experienced, as he wrestled the snake whose body was bigger around than the man's two hands. It was almost seven feet long! Wanda asked if it was an "old" snake. He said, "No! He's still growing. He's a mature adolescent!"
It was quite a "show" getting that snake into the "dog house." I wondered why the man didn't shoot it with a tranquilizer. Wanda asked, "Aren't you going to kill him?"
"No," he explained, "we'll use him for cancer research!"
His service call was $40.00. Wanda said she would have gladly paid $100!
As soon as Wanda and I hung up the phone, talking about the snake, I talked to God.
I had prayed for Wanda! I had asked God to keep her safe, completely unaware that the next day she would be in danger. What if she had "walked the land" that day, or gotten off the mower and lifted those palm branches? My eyes filled with tears as I thanked God over and over. I cannot miss a day of prayer time about my children. Our ever-present God lovingly awaits our companionship. He created the whole world, yet cares for me in my tiny part of His world. It is hard to understand, but I'm thankful for His caring and the mighty roll He plays in my life.
On Thursday, May 31st, my son Ronnie called me to tell me he was really sick. I could tell by his voice it was serious. I told him to please go to a doctor. He said he was too sick! The next day, he called again. I was worried and again tried to convince him to seek help. Why are men so stubborn? He's not my little boy any more!!! All I could do was pray.
Monday noon, he called me from his doctor's office, saying, "The doctor is putting me in the hospital immediately. I've got pneumonia." That night, his wife Ethel Rose told us the doctor could give her no hope. He had waited too long. The 40 cancer treatments of radiation just ended took away a lot of his strength." Even though it was 9:30, I called Miriam, our Prayer Group Leader, and she prayed with me over the phone. She promised to call the rest of our prayer team group.
The next morning, Ronnie's pastor and my brother Jerry (Pastor at Farrington Baptist Church) were both at Ronnie's bedside, praying with him. I am very familiar with the Bible verse "Pray without ceasing." My heart overflows with gratitude for God's grace and mercy.
Ronnie passed the critical part and was moved from Intensive Care Unit to a double-bed room.
He complained about the noisy visitors all day and into the night of the other patient. He begged to go home. This wish was granted on June 11th, with restrictions: bed rest, medication, diet.
Psalm 136:1: "O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever..
I cannot tell you about prayer -- about God. Just like eating a strawberry ice cream cone: I can tell you all about it; but you must experience it yourself. Prayer is the one resource everyone has when everything else seems gone. It is the quickest way out of the "valley."
"For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" Psalm 91:11.
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" Psalm 103:8.
With God, every day is a day to hope for the very best; to believe our prayers are being heard; to believe good news is on its way; and that anything can happen between yesterday and tomorrow.
There are some people who cannot understand how God can hear their prayers. Maybe we won't really understand it until we meet Him in Heaven. But it certainly is getting easier.
Wanda decided to call Dortha on her cell phone. I think it was about 7:00 that evening in Florida. Dortha answered at 2:00 a.m. in Hawaii! Unbelievable? Wanda holds this little "gadget" in her hand and punches in a few numbers and a "gadget" wakes up Dortha in Hawaii, and they talk to each other. Wanda forgot Dortha was on vacation. But I can't understand how this is possible! The Bible is full of instructions on prayer -- like a cell phone call to God.
Last December (2011), Dortha, Dale and I flew to Florida. Sarah met us at the airport which is about an hour's drive away from Wanda and Dexter's new home where we would spend the next ten days of Christmas. I remembered having only $20. in my billfold. I decided to add some more from the bank envelope. I searched through my purse. No bank envelope! I kept thinking about cashing a check for this trip, but I just never did! This road from the airport to Wanda's home reminded me of Hwy 1960 in Houston: just one business after another on both sides of the street.
I kept praying there would be a Chase Bank in Florida and on this road. For 30 minutes, I kept searching from one side to the other. Then I saw a Wells Fargo Bank. I spoke to everyone: "In Houston, it seems every Chase Bank is across the street from a Wells Fargo. We just passed a Wells Fargo, but I didn't see a Chase Bank." Sarah asked, "Do you need a Chase Bank?" "Yes, I sure do."
She punched some numbers on her cell phone, and said, "We just passed one three miles back. We can be there in five minutes." She exited the freeway to enter on the other side. I spoke at the very moment for God to answer my prayer!
God is Good! No prayer is too big or too small for Him to answer. He cares!
TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.
> Wanda's Snake and Ronnie's Pneumonia - June 2012