Sometimes Scripture shocks us--and shocks us right back to life! In the mid-eighties my husband Ben went to prayer meeting alone because I was sick.
Throughout that evening the physical weakness that had weighed me down earlier became more intense by the minute and finally seemed to stifle my attempt to breathe. Weakness was winning--but only until I cried out to God a most unusual plaint: “Lord, my life is hanging by a thread!”

It didn’t seem like much of a prayer, if a prayer at all. More like a troubled child’s impulsive whine . But the child’s Father was listening. And the three Blood-Bought words He sent to heal and deliver were full of Life--and life-changing abundance for the decades that followed: “--but it’s scarlet!” A scarlet thread? Was that colorful adjective really how God answered my apparently unspiritual cry? Well, He wasn’t listening for liturgy. He listened to hear His Word hidden in my voice. And then hastened to perform It! (See Jer. 1:12). Physical healing invaded my body immediately. And completely. Praise Our Faithful Heavenly Father! I praise Him still--and always will.

I’ve told you what happened that summer evening. But I honestly marvel at how the Lord performed His serendipitous miracle. And why. Now this explanation might take a couple of minutes. (You’ve been warned!) As a child in Willow Grove Baptist Church I read Bible verses in order to win our kids’ class competition in Training Union. Not my favorite part of the Sabbath. I wasn’t saved or in the least interested in imbibing those Old Testament passages. Yet I laboriously pored through the longest chapters I could find. I was in it to win it. But God was interested. In fact, He was right in there, more than ready to make me a winner. As a rivalrous child confined to the commitment of taking in more verses than my friends Annette and Patsy, I must have read one of those peculiar passages in Joshua 2 along the way. The adventure of a Canaanite woman who rescued God’s two spies by lowering them from her home in Jericho’s massive wall. Via a cord or rope made of many . . . red threads!

From here I can just imagine the Father’s Sweet Smile upon that unwilling but competitive young heathen sacrificing her black-and-white “I Love Lucy” program for the perusal of Rahab in Jericho. But folks, it’s Way too late to tell me the Holy Spirit doesn’t help us know how to pray as we ought (See Rom. 8:26). For when years later He heard my whimper filled with only a single scarlet thread, He dispatched His host [angels] to deliver healing into my being! And here we go into God’s Written Word, Psalm 103:20-21, to understand His perspective in this mystery: “Bless the Lord, ye His angels, that excel in strength [that ‘strength made perfect in weakness’--2 Cor. 12:9], that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His Word: ‘Bless ye the Lord, all ye His hosts, that do His pleasure.’”

God explained His Strategy to me like this. When angels [they don’t like being unemployed] hear a believer speaking God’s Word, they hurry to do that Word! Doers of the Word! Pretty amazing, isn’t He? What a Mighty God we serve. What a Precious, All-Powerful Father Who listens to hear His Word whispered, whimpered, or even whined!

P.S. If you were here at the ranch house near my writing chair, you’d notice a ragged piece of red cloth hanging from the west window. I call it scarlet!

Watching for Jesus,