God’s Business

Tuesday, March 18

3-18By Beryl Swain of Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases…many words…For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

—Matthew 6:7–8

Her husband left her for another woman. Her children were adults, away from home. This left Mavis feeling depressed, lost, and unwanted. Hoping to cheer her up, we invited her to spend a week with us at the farm. We prayed God would minister to her and meet her needs during this time. I made many plans for her entertainment.

On the morning Mavis was to arrive, I awoke feeling seriously ill. “Quickly, ring before she leaves home and tell her I’m too sick to be a good host,” I said to my husband. But the call was too late. Mavis was already on her way. I didn’t understand how something like this could happen when we were only trying to help.

When Mavis arrived, I had a high fever and was incapable of doing anything to make her welcome. “Some holiday!” I thought. Mavis spent her entire vacation cooking meals for herself and my husband and preparing tasty “sick bed” cookery for me. She even taught my husband to use the sewing machine I had not yet mastered. When I finally was well, it was time for her to leave.

“Thank you so much for asking me to come. It’s the best week I’ve had in ages,” she said. I had to ask forgiveness of God. I had to let go of being in control. God blessed me but not in the way I expected. God knew her needs far better than I did. Our loving God knew she didn’t need me to entertain her; her real need was to feel useful, needed, and wanted. And she certainly was.

Prayer for Peace
Sometimes, God, we try to tell you your business. Help us trust you to know our needs and the needs of others. Help us trust you to teach us ways to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others
Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, it’s hard to do, but I will pray to you without my own agenda.

Leave a comment


  1. Ruth & Garry Boyd

     /  18 March 2014

    I also forget at times, to let go and let God. Thanks Beryl for sharing

  2. Diane Akers

     /  18 March 2014

    A very wonderful shared story of things we don’t understand. Touched my soul as to how the Spirit works. Thanks!

  3. Jeanne Davis

     /  18 March 2014

    Excellent story, thanks so much for sharing.


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