“When a family at our church lost everything they’d owned in a fire, our entire congregation rallied to help. We raised money for them to have housing in a long-stay hotel, brought food and clothing, gave toys to their 5-year-old daughter and even formed a prayer group to visit them for support. As much as that meant to them, it tore my heart in pieces to see the heaviness in their eyes. Nothing could replace their home or their cherished belongings. I longed for an explanation of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Even more, I wished He’d give them hope again, but that seemed like a tall order after all that they’d endured.
“I didn’t have much money to contribute to rebuilding their home, so I impulsively made a batch of my favorite homemade sugar cookies. As I knocked on their hotel door, I looked down at the large plate covered in plastic wrap and I suddenly felt silly. After losing everything, cookies are probably the last thing they need right now, I thought.
“As the door opened, the little girl spied the cookies and exclaimed, ‘Just like we prayed!’
“I stared in confusion as her father blinked in surprise and cleared emotion from his throat. ‘We asked God last night to send us a sign that everything will be okay,’ he explained. ‘My daughter said she that she thought sugar cookies with sprinkles would be an excellent sign.’
“I nearly dropped the plate realizing what I thought was too simple a gesture was this family’s sign of hope. God knew what they had asked for and He used me in a more powerful way than I ever could have imagined.
“‘Got milk?’ I asked, as we laughed and hugged. In that moment, I marveled at how God can use even the most humble of gifts in truly mighty ways.”
—Juliana Stokes, 62, St. Paul