March 23 I Monday
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” —Romans 12:12
During a trip to Colombia, I stayed in Cúcuta, a border town with a bridge connecting to Venezuela. Every day, I would see about thirty thousand Venezuelans cross the bridge with everything they own. Some of them had already walked the distance equivalent of Winnipeg to Toronto with sandals that were just falling apart.
I met with some pastors from a Venezuelan church. Despite the crisis that was happening in their country, they felt the Lord called them to remain in Venezuela. And at times, at the risk of their own peril, they would smuggle food across the border from Colombia to aid their own people with medicine, food and water.
It is not an easy journey, as some Venezuelan officials, who work at border crossing, would learn of the routes people were taking into the country and show up unexpectedly at the border. They would tax people for what they are bringing into the country. This is not a state tax but a tax of convenience that looks out for the official and his family because they also have to eat and do not have anything. There were all kinds of corruption. Sometimes, these officials would even take the whole shipload of food just to keep for themselves.
The Venezuelan pastors shared of a time when they were making one of those journeys. There was a long lineup of cars at the border. They saw officials pulling cars over, which did not look good, especially since they were driving a massive truck packed with food. One of the pastors said, “Let’s pray that God would make our truck invisible” but another retorted, “Are you kidding? Look at how small those cars are compared to us. We have a truck packed to the gills with food. These officials are going to tax us, we are going to lose all our money and we may even lose this food.” But the pastor was adamant, “No, we just need to pray that God would make this truck invisible.”
As they crept closer and closer to the border crossing, with every car getting pulled over for search and seizure, they were starting to lose hope. But when they got to the border, for whatever reason, the official looked at them, waved them to go on and walked away from his post to go check on the other cars.
What a miracle! When we pray, do we believe that God can and has the power to answer our prayers? Like the pastor, may we pray boldly and trust that God’s power is beyond our finite minds and is able to do the impossible.
Prayer: Lord God, how powerful You are! Help me not only to pray boldly but also to trust that You are able to answer prayers according to Your will. Thank You, Lord.