I had not been long as a Minister in Bristol when I visited one of my members who was now retired. I asked him what work he had retired from, and in reply he took me to a shed at the bottom of the garden. “This is where I worked” he said “I was a shoe maker”.
Every Friday he had walked to the local shoe factory down the road with a sack of newly made shoes, and get paid for his work and return home with a sack of pre-cut pieces of leather to make more shoes . From eight in the morning to six in the evening he had sat on that stool working away making shoes out of the parts supplied. Every shoe had to be perfect or he would lose money.
Once a man reached sixty-five he had to stop work, without a pension (except the government one) So life had not been “a bowl of roses” as he put it.
Back in the sitting room with his wife I learned that there used to be five other shoe factories in the district and he could have given up working in his shed to work in them. But each time he had the opportunity, they had prayed about it, and God had said “Stay as you are”. So he did. “Now those factories are all closed” his wife said, “So God knows what’s best for us”. The husband smiled at me “We have a rule in this house. We never change anything without asking Our Lord first”. “He never fails to guide us aright”.
As I sat and enjoyed these simple saints of God I became aware that their simple faith in Jesus was just what their Lord had been teaching all through the Gospels.
If you believed that God would lead you, and just left it to Him, the best would come about for you. If you asked what to do, God would surely show you.
For weeks I was blessed with this man’s simple way, “God had said stay as you are, so he did”.
I feel sure that for many people, when they pray, they don’t expect to see God’s answer. And in the end they fail to believe in prayer. In their heart they don’t expect, so they don’t receive. We must have a solid trust that God is with us, loves us and
“All things work together for good to those who love God”.
“You will hear a voice behind you saying This Is The Way, walk in it”
“Ask and it will be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open for you”.
It is the way I try to walk myself, and it has never failed for me.