The year was 1975. Sam Peters* had a damaged heart and had been in failing health for quite some time. To complicate matters, Sam was severely depressed as a result of losing his wife of 65 years to cancer.
Bill Peters*, Sam's brother, was worried about his elder brother. On one particular morning, Bill couldn't shake the need to call Sam. Funny thing, Sam got an urge to call Bill too. Picking up his rotary phone, Sam heard someone on the other end. It puzzled him since he hadn't dialed any numbers nor had his phone rang.
"Hello? Who is this?" Sam asked. "Hello? Is anyone there?"
"Uhm, yeah. Who's this?" a male voice answered on the other end of the phone.
"This is Sam Peters," he answered.
"Sam? Is that you?" his brother Bill asked. "How can it be you? I haven't even dialed the phone yet."
"Well, strange as it sounds," Sam replied, "I didn't dial my phone either.
True story, folks. I knew the brothers and they were godly men full of integrity. Both brothers insisted they didn't dial their phones.
Sam wondered about the odds of something like that happening. Out of curiosity, he called the telephone company to see how often this happened. "Ma Bell", which was the nationwide telephone company at the time, surprised him with her answer. She told him it was impossible, it didn't happen. The higher-ups told him one of the brothers was lying…someone had dialed the other's number.
Rotary phones are cumbersome. Dialing a rotary phone goes something like this…dial '8'…click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click…dial '9'…click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click…dial '6'…click, click, click, click, click, click…well, you get the point. One of the gentlemen would have remembered dialing the other's phone number.
What's my point in telling this story? Why is it an important story to tell? To be honest, I believe it was a miracle. So did Bill. So did Sam. The best part of the story is it built up Sam's faith. The incident lifted him from the depths of despair and gave him enough life to kick around for another six years.
Sam's take on it was simple.
"To me," he would share with anyone who would listen, "God was saying, 'Hey Sam, I've got your number. I know your address. I know your name. I know your beginning from your end. And I know what life is throwing at you between the two. You may be down for awhile, but you're not out'."
Then he would take the opportunity to share God's love with those listening. A lot of people were saved during those last six years of Sam's life.
May I get personal with you? Do you need a faith-lift today? Is this thing called 'life' tough for you right now? Are you depressed? Do you feel hopeless? May I give you some of Sam's simple wisdom?
The truth is this…God's got YOUR number. He knows YOUR address. He most certainly knows YOUR name. He knows YOUR beginning from YOUR end. And He knows what life is throwing at YOU between the two. YOU may be down for awhile, but YOU'RE not out.
I especially like that last line because I believe it is based on truth from God's Word. Here's an encouraging scripture from Isaiah 43:2…**
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."
This was written as a promise to Israel for when they were to return from captivity. I hope you don't mind but sometimes I "borrow" some of the Old Testament promises for myself. This is one of my favorites. God didn't promise we wouldn't face trials and tribulations. He did promise we wouldn't have to go through those trials and tribulations alone.
A New Testament scripture which comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 12:9…**
"And he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
This story isn't about happy-ever-after endings. It's about believing God is faithfully holding me up, even in the worst of times. It's about knowing in my weakness, He is strong.
There was a lot of power packed into that one phone call.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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