God's Gift  
As I stood in my terminally ill cousin's hospital room, I was asked about my plans. I was uncomfortable talking about a trip with my cousin being so sick. I was encouraged so I briefly described my journey. As my uncle listened to me, he quickly caught the vision of my journey. He told me a story and asked me to share it. It is a powerful lesson in the power of prayer.

As I listened, I stopped worrying about talking about my journey. God is awesome. I realized my cousin was about to go home to be with God and that his journey was much more exciting than mine.

My cousin had a daughter from his first marriage. Due to no fault of his, he had little or no contact with her as a child. He had not seen her in 14 years. Things were tense at their last meeting.

Over the years, various family members had grieved this missing relationship in their lives.

My aunt and uncle decided to try to find their missing granddaughter. They began with getting on their knees and praying.

Their heart was breaking over losing their son. They could have decided to stop living and feel sorry for themselves. Instead they decided to prepare emotionally by looking for their missing granddaughter.
They asked God to lead them to her.

I am reminded of the story Jesus told of the missing sheep and how the Shepard went looking for the one lost sheet. My aunt and uncle have another beautiful granddaughter that they love dearly. She was blessed to grow up with the love of her family.

As much as they loved this granddaughter, they had a longing to find this other granddaughter. This other daughter grew up away from the love of her father, sister, and her grandparents.

They began looing for her in the city where she last was. They had her first and last name and nothing else. They looked in the phone book and saw no one by that name.

They had heard she was married but didn't know her husband's name. They copied down all of the last names that matched. It is a common name and there were many. The last resort was to call each and every name.

Next they went to the library to see if the library had a better directory. They had no luck.

Their next stop was the police station. They went to the front desk and said they were looking for their granddaughter. They quickly explained she wasn't in any trouble but that her daddy was dying.

The person sitting at the desk in that police station asked her name. To everyone's astonishment, my aunt and uncle were talking to their granddaughter's best friend.

Shortly, they were visiting with their missing granddaughter and meeting 2 great-granddaughters that they didn't even know they had.

What a miracle God performed. If my aunt and uncle had found them on their own, they might have been tempted to take credit. God made sure everyone knew he had worked.

What a reunion they had with this granddaughter. There was instant love for the greatgrandchildren. My aunt and uncle were relieved to find their granddaughter happy, married, and with two children.

I arrived at the hospital to find my cousin having a reunion with his daughter and meeting his 2 grandchildren.

My cousin died 2 days later with the peace of knowing his oldest daughter was happy and healthy. He had met his two grandchildren.

My aunt and uncle lost their son but have granddaughter, grandson-in-law, and two new great grandchildren in their lives.

God gives and God takes away. My aunt and uncle prepared emotionally for their loss by finding others to love.

My prayer for this family is that everyone will recognize and honor the miracle that God has sent. God gives gifts but we have to accept them as well.

I pray that my cousin's second daughter will smile and say thank you for this precious gift God has offered her. How natural and tempting it would be to be threatened by the arrival of another daughter. How blessed she could be by having a sister.

I pray that my cousin's wife will see these children as extensions of her beloved husband and want to enjoy them. God could perform that miracle. How understandable it would be to resent this other family. What a gift God has offered her. What a witness of Christianity it could be if she learned to love this little family. It is sometimes so hard just to open our hands and accept God's confusing but always perfect gifts.

I pray that my cousin's only grandson will know and love his two cousins. He has lost a grandfather. God has given him a part of his grandfather to love. I hope he accepts it.

I pray that my cousin's oldest daughter will accept the love of her family and the responsibility and healing that brings. Her father was wonderful and she missed knowing him. It would be normal to feel sorry for herself and say no to healing. God has handed her people to love her. I pray she will accept that love and let it heal.

I pray that my aunt and uncle will feel blessed to have so many people to love. They have 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 6 grandchildren and their spouses, and 8 great-grandchildren. What a legacy they have left.

When God wants it clear that he has acted, he does something dramatic. Jesus performed miracles so we would have faith. Certainly the story at the police station was a dramatic demonstration of God acting in a mighty way. I believe he wanted to make sure everyone understood this was his gift. This is a miracle of emotional healing. I pray everyone will accept it as the gift that it is.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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