Dr. Sam Smith

Every now and then God sends us a “pick-me-up” just when we need it most. I needed one today, and God did not let me down [He never does].

My daughter sent me the most beautiful e-mail. It contained pictures and music and a wonderful story. It was especially precious to me, and you will understand why.

“Once there was a man who asked God for a flower and a butterfly. But God gave him a cactus and a caterpillar. The man wondered why God had not heard his prayer, and he went away sad. Some time later he went to check on the things God had sent him. He discovered that the thorny cactus had bloomed into a beautiful flower, and the ugly caterpillar had become a magnificent butterfly.” [paraphrased]

So many times we feel that our prayers have not been heard or answered. We forget that God always hears us, and He is always faithful to give us what we need – not always what we think we want at the time – but always what we need. It has been my experience that He has given me what I thought I wanted at the time, only to find that it was not only something I didn’t need, but it was something that created problems later on. I believe He gave it to me to teach me to give less thought to what I want, and more thought to what He knows I need. I have a feeling that you have experienced the same thing in your life. We so easily get our wants and our needs confused, but God is never confused. He always knows the difference.

Using the example of the cactus and the caterpillar, we can also see that many times the things that we perceive as bad or wrong in our lives prove to be very good. We need to never discount a tragedy or a hardship as a bad thing until we see what God’s purpose for it might be. It has been said, “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.” Read that again and think about it for a while.

Our God is a perfect God. He never makes mistakes. He never says, “oops” or “uh-oh” or “I wish I hadn’t done that”. He always knows what we need and when we need it and what we do not need and when we do not need it. No exceptions. Our job is to trust Him, and what a marvelous blessing it is to know we can. We are privileged to have the blood-bought right to pray to Him, and we are even more blessed to know He will always give us the best.

The author of the story I quoted earlier concluded with this thought, “God gives the best to those who leave the choices up to Him.” That really speaks to my heart, for I know it is true. Pray without ceasing, knowing that the God you are praying to loves you more than you can imagine, and He will always give you the very best. It may seem a cactus and a caterpillar, but trust Him to know it will become a perfect flower and a beautiful butterfly. Amen.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” [Matthew 7:9-11]

[The story of the Flower and the Butterfly can be seen at: www.tommyswindow.com]

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