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Children Want to Share Family Problems

    Kathy's family of four had lived comfortably on two incomes until she became ill and could not work. "Things went downhill fast," she says. "Before we knew it, we had sold every 'toy' we owned-my husband's small hunting trailer, the row boat, even our telescope." But Kathy's medical bills and other debts kept mounting. Worse, they had two vehicles that were almost paid off---but they could no longer make those payments either.

    One day a collector phoned to warn Kathy that both vehicles were going to be repossessed. "But they're both almost paid off," Kathy protested. Yes, the collector told her, but if she couldn't make the payments, the cars would have to be picked up. "I couldn't let that happen-not when they were almost ours---so I phoned our life insurance agent, and asked to have our policy cashed in." The agency sent Kathy the paperwork, and she filled it out and sent it back.

    A week passed, and then the car dealership contacted Kathy, demanding payment or the cars within three days. Upset, Kathy phoned the agency to ask when the life insurance check would be ready. "Oh," the secretary said, "those transactions take at least two weeks, usually longer."

    "Two weeks!" Kathy gasped. "I need the money today." She explained the family's dilemma, and the secretary was very sympathetic. But there was nothing she could do to speed things up. When Kathy hung up, she put her face in her hands and wept. Between her illness and the bills, life had become overwhelming, and the only thing she could think of to do was to pray. Of course she believed that God could help her--but where was He?

    Her small children came into the room. "What's the matter, Mommy?" one of them asked.

    Kathy looked up. She hated to burden them with adult problems. And yet,didn't the Bible say that children's angels always behold the face of the Father? If she asked her children to pray with her---something she had never done before---could the angels carry their prayers to God very quickly?

    Kathy explained to her children that the family was having some trouble, and everyone--even them---needed to pray. The children seemed honored by their mother's request. Quickly they knelt and folded their little hands. "Please, God," they raised their voices in perfect confidence, "help Mommy and Daddy."

    Slowly, Kathy felt a ten-ton weight lifting from her shoulders. Her mind seemed peaceful, steadier than it had been in weeks. Could the prayers of children do all this? Were their angels, even now, petitioning the heavenly throne? "Just as we stood up," Kathy says, "the phone started to ring."

    Not another bill collector! But when Kathy answered, she was astonished. It was the sympathetic secretary from the insurance office. "I don't know how this happened," the lady began, "and in all my years here, it never has before. But I made a call to the accounting department after we talked, and your check is being mailed today. You should have it in time to pay off your cars."

    "Oh!" Kathy was speechless. But when she hung up, she and the children got down on their knees again, this time in gratitude. Amazing, Kathy mused. Hard times DID focus attention on God.

    Kathy and her husband manage their money more carefully today. They know that prudence and self-discipline are their responsibilities. But now, "Whenever we need something, material or otherwise, we don't hesitate to pray together," Kathy says. "We believe that the angels of children have God's immediate attention. What a blessing, and a faith practice for all of us!"

    � 2002 by Joan Wester Anderson

    For more stories of God's love, visit the website at:www.joanwanderson.com