According to your faith be it unto you. — Matthew 9:29
In New Orleans, we had to teach a couple dozen people, and feeding them was quite a challenge. A lot of them were young people living off on the streets who had decided to leave drugs or their purposeless lives, striving to do something for the Lord. As Napoleon quipped, “Every army runs on its stomach.”
I was on a team dedicated to getting supplies for our soldiers for the Lord. We would usually pray together and claim some verse for supply, such as Philippians 4:19: My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We would then call businesses over the phone asking if they could provide donations including food, clothing, or any other necessities.
It was humbling to become a beggar — quite the opposite of my upbringing — but God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5). As Saint Francis of Assisi said, “I want to be a beggar. Christ was a beggar, and His holy apostles.”
The Lord would touch hearts, people would offer donations (may God bless them), and we would go out in our van to pick up the needed items for our community.
I frequently went out with a brother named Phil, and to keep our inspiration up, we would bring a tape recorder along to listen to the King James Bible: “Faith comes by hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17). This was way before YouTube, Spotify, Bluetooth, smart phones, cell towers, or even Walkmans! Some of the contacts we had to meet were rather “iffy,” and if we didn’t really have an expectant attitude of faith, we could easily be turned down.
We were heading out to a grain silo for a rather large donation of grains one day when the batteries in our tape recorder began to die. We were really enjoying the passages we had been listening to, but there wasn’t another small town for another half hour or so. Where could we possibly get new ones?
I said to Phil, “What do you think if we laid hands on the recorder and prayed for the batteries to have new life? Do you think God would do it?”
“It sounds kind of crazy to me,” he said, “but why not? I guess it’s worth a try.”
So, we prayed something like: “God, we know you can do anything. We know you raised people from the dead, so you could raise these batteries too. You gave us new life, so now we ask you to give the batteries new life. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
And the tape in the recorder went from speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y to speaking at a normal pace again.
“Wow!” exclaimed Phil. “I don’t believe it! I really can’t believe it!”
Immediately the tape speed decreased from normal to going very s-l-o-w-l-y again.
“Wait!” exclaimed Phil in repentance. “Wait! I believe it, I believe it!”
And the tape resumed its normal, standard speed again!
What a lesson it was for both of us. A miraculous example of Matthew 9:29: “according to your faith be it unto you” and James 1:6: “Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
As if that were not enough, God had another trick up his sleeve that day.
After another hour of traveling, the batteries wore down beyond the point of revival, so we pulled into a small roadside grocery store. We went in, found the batteries we needed, and advertised to the assistant manager on duty.
“We’re doing a volunteer Christian youth work and are out picking up donations that companies help us with. We listen to Bible tapes using this tape recorder to keep up our inspiration. We were wondering if you could donate these two batteries to play it since our other ones wore out.”
“Oh right, sure,” she said rather sarcastically, skeptical of these two young men who claimed to be listening to Bible tapes rather than rock music. She looked at us inquisitively and demanded, “Give me that recorder, I’ll see for myself.”
We handed it over. She slapped the batteries into their compartment and pressed the play button. We didn’t remember where the recorder had stopped, but the message came out clearly:
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
“Oh, my Lord!”, she exclaimed, frightened by the relevance of what she had just heard, recognizing the Lord’s hand in the matter, “Take the batteries and go!”
We thanked her and left, praising God for another one of his little miracles.
As we kept these inexplainable miracles in mind, we realized the granary did help us out later with several hundred pounds of needed product.
Author: Paul Hilgendorf