God is Answering our Prayer Before we Know it

“Hi Melodie, how’s everything?” I greeted my daughter over the phone, around 12.05am on Saturday. She was 12 hours later than we are, should have arrived at the test center located in center city Philadelphia about 30 minutes before the test reporting time of 12.30 pm, Friday. If she does not make this test for any reason, she will have to wait another year. I have been praying and fasting for her for about 24hrs, and decided to phone so I can pray with her. The people @theWell have also been praying for her, but I had not asked anyone to fast with me. This test is important to us, but not something I was prepared to ask others to join me in a fast. Just two days earlier, I was also praying and fasting for Krystal (our second daughter) for her third teaching certification test. God heard our prayers and she has passed.

“We are still on the road,” Melodie said.

I prayed with her, and after the prayer, learned from the rather desperate sounding Lily in the background that they were in some sort of trouble.

“I-95 is shut down, and we are using local roads. We programmed the GPS to avoid I-95, but we are still stuck in traffic,” Melodie tells me, with only the sheerest hint of tension in her voice. “The ETA according to the GPS is 12.40pm.”

This is disaster!

It’s a good thing Melodie did not seem stressed out. The GPS gives minimum time assuming no traffic. She is to report 12.30pm for the test and they are very strict about timeliness. Late reporting automatically disqualifies test takers. First we prayed. Then I got online again searched for real-time Philadelphia traffic. So, I was on the phone giving directions to Melodie to relay to Lily (who was driving), to avoid traffic hotspots in Philadelphia.

I was waiting for my internet service to be installed. The ISP gave me a limited 3G data card which I could use while waiting for my service. Sister V learned of this and loaned me her dongle so the card could be used. A week earlier, mom had handed me a plastic bag of wires, and other electronic stuff. On Friday night, I opened it and found a prepaid phone card that was still valid. On a whim, I went online using the dongle and bought a prepaid card that allowed easy overseas calling. I was calling Melodie using that card.

Melodie then called the test center to explain that the Interstate 95 shut down due to an accident, and the resulting massive traffic congestion throughout the city as all cars diverted from the Interstate. And our great surprise, the test center said they will let her take the test if she makes it by 1.30pm! The traffic was brutal and it is by no means certain that she will make 1.30pm.

I stayed on the phone and online giving driving directions. When they had passed the traffic hotspots, I hung up and desperately cried out to God. I prayed for 3 things: (1) safety, as people in a hurry can become careless; (2) that she’ll get there on time and be allowed to take the test; (3) that she’ll pass the test (which we will know eventually).

I like to believe that my directions helped. By God’s grace, she arrived 1.20 pm and was allowed to take the test.

Serendipitous? I see the good and merciful hand of God already at work even before I knew it. Why should mom pass me the bag of stuff? Why did I open it after more than a week, but on the same night to find a valid phone card and a working phone? Why did the ISP provide a 3G card without a dongle? Why did sister V loan me her dongle? Why did the extremely strict test center reporting rules allow an hour delay in reporting? And how is it possible that I should be giving road directions here in Singapore to my wife winding through the streets of Philadelphia to get our daughter to her test?

This is the amazing hand of God!

But God is not done.

At about 5.40am, I got a phone call from Krystal. “Not so good,” she replied to my query. Mom is at Target and she is not able to start the car.”

“But that is good,” I replied. The car did not break down on the way to the test center; it broke down only when mom is on her way home.”

This is not life and death. Precisely because it is not life and death and I see God’s wonderful love and care for us, and his incredible concern for even the little things in my life that I marvel and praise him.

Thank you Lord! I stand amazed at how you work. You have answered my feeble prayer effort with marvelous goodness. Who can compare with you? I praise O Lord!


(26 August, 2013, on the events of 16/17 Aug, 2013)

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