As the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal noted,
we have a God-shaped void in our lives that can only be filled by God.
When Neil’s brother Frank died, his wife Germaine sent some of his belongings to my husband. There was quite an age gap between these brothers, as Frank was the first son born in the family of eleven children, and Neil was the second last son with four other sons in-between. There was a very special bond between them with Neil spending a few summers helping Frank build homes, barns and any other carpentry work that came Franks way.
In amongst these treasured articles of Franks, was his Bible and a tattered copy of Charles Spurgeon’s “The Power of Prayer In A Believers Life”, held together with an elastic Cord, both were well read, used, and worn, including the cord.
Now you may think this is quite a natural occurrence in a believers life, but the rest of us who knew Frank, remember that most of his life he was a very rebellious, short fused, stubborn man who often resorted to using his fists to settle an argument.
Frank was drafted into the army in World War 2 and spent most of his time in solitary confinement because of his stubborn and insubordinate actions and words. These very harsh conditions led him to pneumonia, high fever, and hospitalization, which rendered him unable to sire children.
There is so much about Frank’s life that made him like he was, but I haven’t got the space to write about it here. What I do want to write about is his born again Christian mother who prayed constantly for all her children. She prayed fervently for Frank year after year and his fearless ways towards his daredevil escapades, that would leave ones mouth open wide in disbelief that he even survived.
Like many sinners, he also cheated on his wife. His father was his role model for that, leaving them all wondering how many other half-siblings they had elsewhere.
He and his wife Germaine worked this out with her forgiving heart, and they moved to her home province of Moncton, New Brunswick.
It was here many years later that a mothers fervent prayers for her son were answered and Frank accepted Jesus as his Savior. Needless to say, Frank was in his seventies before this promised miracle from Jesus occurred and his new life began.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Frank finally found the peace he had been searching for all his life in Romans 15:13, as it is for any of us truly seeking God. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
God is faithful at hearing and answering our prayers and petitions. Mom Brodie had been dead for many years before God answered her pleading prayers for her son. God became the perfect example of a loving father to Frank who is now with Him in heaven, enjoying the fruits of Christ’s sacrifice and gift of everlasting life to all believers.
Lately I have been reading Frank’s little tattered book of prayers by Spurgeon, and learning so much not only about prayer, but about Frank and how this miracle changed his life from one of ingratitude to gratitude. Written on the inside cover of Spurgeon’s book he wrote . . .
“The Holy Ghost is the believers apothecary. He alone knows the proper quantity of each ingredient, how much faith, love, repentance, humility, in every supplication. This is harmonious amalgamation of the things that are sweet to God, mixed together in the oil of God’s Spirit to beat sin. Only in true faith can the Holy Spirit alone give us true passion.”
The Scripture verse Frank had written was so appropriate for his past and now present life – “Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” James 2:19.
I will end with a quote from Spurgeon’s tattered book of The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s life – take it to heart as Frank did.
“Oh, for a mighty cry! A prevailing cry! A heaven-shaking cry! A cry that would make the gates of heaven open! A cry that God’s arm could not resist! A cry of saints knit together in love and filled with holy passion! May theirs be the great plea of the atoning sacrifice, making this the burden of their cry, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years . . . in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2) Let God but throw the stone into the stagnant pool of His church, and I can see the waves of revival going out all around the world. God’s kingdom will spread, and days of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord. Let us now say in His sight that even if He does not please to hear us at the beginning of the supplication, it is our desire to wait upon Him until He does. You still remain hidden behind the mountains, yet we wait for You as they that wait for the morning.
But tarry not, O our God! Make haste our Beloved.”