At 25 years old, I was a cheerful and industrious college student living in Queens, New York. I was thankful for what God was doing in my life. However, I also felt the tension of long nights of studying and a hectic work schedule trying to make ends meet.
Winter was approaching, and I often had difficulty staying warm in my rented basement apartment. Finally I managed to save enough to purchase a used space heater. The heater looked like it had seen better days, but at least it took the chill off the room and made life bearable. Also, with the heater, I could study in the apartment rather than at the library and then trudge home late at night.
You can imagine my disappointment and frustration when I came home one evening and discovered that the electric space heater would not work. I flipped the switch and even plugged the heater into a different wall socket. But to no avail.
Discouragement filled me as I prepared for bed. I was tired of it all: tired of the struggles, tired of trying to stay warm, and tired of trying to survive on so little. That night I poured out my heart to God with many tears.
A day passed. Then two. The heater refused to turn back on despite my pleading with God for a miracle. As if things couldn’t get worse, on the second day it began to rain. Now it was not only cold but also damp.
That night, I read my devotional and prayed, kneeling at my bedside to ask for God’s sustaining grace above all else.
In the middle of the night, I awoke. It was still raining. Sleepily I crawled out of bed to use the restroom. With eyes still closed, I swung my legs off the bed and was shocked to find cold water up to my ankles!
Shrieking, I jumped back into bed. Suddenly it was not just the cold water that made my heart race as I realized that the heater was still plugged in. With tears of relief I sank back on my pillow as I realized what God had just done. I should have been electrocuted. Truly, even in my grief, God had been looking out for me. He had heard and answered my prayers.
“Before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24).
Joy Alexander works for the office of the president at the General Conference.
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!