I remember in elementary school we took a field trip to the local bank “to see the vault where they keep all the money”. Being a dirt road trailer park kid this was exciting beyond words to me and all my friends.
We piled on the bus, each of us buzzing with anticipation and daydreaming about what it would be like to have so much money. Where could we go? What could we do? (In reality most of us were probably thinking about the latest GI Joe toys or Hot Wheels toys we normally couldn’t afford).
We took the tour, saw the vault, and listened intently as the bank manager told us all about finance and how the money flows through the economy.
But we weren’t paying attention. Every single one of us was distracted by the strange grey sack sitting awkwardly in the center of the bank lobby.
Near the end of the bank manager’s exuberant talk, he addressed the strange sack.
THE STRANGE SACK
“It’s full of coins”, he said, “and if you are able to lift the sack off the floor it’s yours to take home with you.”
My heart RACED as I’m sure everyone else’s’ did at the thought of taking home over $500 in coins! (The banker told us what coins were in the sack, but that’s over 30 years ago so I don’t remember if it was pennies, or nickels, or what – but $500 in coins was more than my parents paycheck.)
Before I go on, you have to realize I was scrawny in elementary school. Heck, when I graduated high school I was just buck thirty-five soaking wet. And even as I watched the bigger kids fail to lift the sack I was determined to lift it.
But I knew I could not lift it on my own.
So I prayed.
I prayed to God with every step that I took to please give me the strength to lift the sack of coins so I could take it home to my family to buy groceries. Or pay bills. Or whatever they needed it for. Forget GI Joe, my family NEEDED this money.
And I knew that if I was able to lift the coins my parents would be so proud of me.
One step closer. Praying. Just three kids in front of me. Praying harder. I’m the next kid in line. Oh please Lord please let me lift the coin sack.
I had the faith the God would give me, a bony little kid, the strength of Sampson. And I reached down. Grabbed the sack. And pulled with all my might knowing it was MINE…
And the sack didn’t budge.
Not even a little bit.
And I walked away dejected, heartbroken, and I cried. Right there in front of my entire class I sobbed and felt completely alone.
The ride back to school I sat quiet on the bus while my classmates laughed and played. Why had God not answered my prayer? He knows my family needs the money, so why?
A few weeks later my Dad came home in a good mood. I overheard him tell my mom he had gotten a raise and we would finally have some extra money.
It was then that I realized even though our prayers aren’t answered immediately and in the way WE desire them to be, that there is still a plan in motion to help us when we need it most.