The Cost of a Miracle

Tess was a precocious eight years old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor bills and their house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big Red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too intently talking to another man to be bothered by an eight year old at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick … and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of miracle does your brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money. “How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents — the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. “That surgery,” her mom whispered “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost… one dollar and eleven cents… plus the faith of a little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Karachi

In our Week of Prayer for International Missions, we are looking into the life situation of missionaries serving around the globe—today we are going to Karachi, Pakistan.  We will read the story of a man who came to Christ and set his heart to win his homeland for Jesus.

Aadam Channar* was only a boy when Baptist missionary Hu Addleton first brought the Gospel to his province in Pakistan. Today he is an evangelist trying to reach Pakistan’s largest city.

“Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan. When we arrived there [in 1956], it was 1 million population. Now it’s 17 to 18 million,” said Addleton, who retired after serving 34 years in Pakistan with his wife, Bettie. “It is a picture of the whole country, because you have every ethnic group living in Karachi.”
About 97 percent of Karachi follows Islam. Christians make up only about 2 percent of the city’s population, according to the US State Department.

Channar grew up in a tiny Hindu village very different from the bustling hub of Karachi, but that did not keep him from approaching the city with the intention of sharing the good news of Jesus among its many people groups.
“God gave me this vision: ‘Go [to] Karachi. Leave your home, area, village.’ So God sent me here,” Channar said. “That’s why I am in Karachi.”
Addleton, who discipled Channar, encourages Southern Baptists to continue giving through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

“We ought to continue to pray for [Pakistani Christians] and to challenge people to go,” Addleton said.

Please pray for Channar as he represents the Lord as His heart, His hands, His voice in the city of Karachi, and ask that more Pakistani Christians would respond to God’s call to do the same.
*Name changed

If you would like to follow all of the testimonies from the International Mission Board you can click here.

If you would like to contribute to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to help support missionaries all around the world, please send a check to:  Living Oaks Baptist Church, 8855 East 91st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74133.  Please write “Lottie Moon” on the memo line. One hundred percent of all the gifts we receive will go to help missionaries share the good news of Jesus.

Be Careful Who You Follow!

As Christians today we need to be very careful of the people we follow in regard to Biblical teaching.  There are so many television and radio preachers today that are teaching bad theology.  There are those who are extremely popular regardless where they stand on key Biblical issues.  Then there are those like Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, who has a special way of clarifying even the most difficult subject.  His love for Christ, communicating the truth of Scripture, as well as fulfilling the great commission is evident in everything he says or writes.

Below is an article by Dr. Mohler in regard to Joel Osteen’s statement about Christianity and Mormonism.  I would encourage you to read this and share it with others.  These are trying times and we cannot allow ourselves to follow those who teach a strange Gospel.

“Does Joel Osteen Not Know, or Does He Not Care?” by Albert Mohler