We had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him.” (Ezra 8:22)


A FRIEND AND HIS FAMILY returned from the mission field, where they had lived in a remote region. His son became sick and doctors determined he needed to have his appendix removed. Nervous on the night before surgery, the boy told his father, “I wish we were still on the mission field.” Knowing it would have taken far too long to reach medical help, the father asked why.

The boy said, “Because you would pray for God to heal me, and I wouldn’t have to have surgery.” So in a modern American hospital, they prayed. When morning came, medical personnel could find no evidence of need for an operation.

Ezra faced a similar dilemma. About to embark on a journey from Babylon to Jerusalem, he knew the presence of women and children, along with great amounts of precious metals in their caravan, made it a dangerous venture. Bandits could attack and steal their possessions or worse, kill the travelers. Ezra could have had a military escort but preferred to trust the “gracious hand of our God.”

When is it best to trust God and when is it best to depend on the resources around us? Only you and God can determine what is best. Pray? By all means. But if medical help, military protection, financial assistance, or caring friends are available, don’t forget that God often works through them too.


Pray for wisdom to know how best to trust God and his provisions.


Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.


© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.