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The providence of prayer

On Feb 2, I was woken by the announcement that I had reached my destination. I had taken the overnight coach from Udon Thani to Bangkok. It was a ten-hour ride. After collecting my luggage, I headed for the restroom, thinking about where to have breakfast later. It was in the restroom that I found my mobile phone missing. I then recalled that it was still charging at my seat on the coach. I had forgotten to unplug it before alighting. I rushed back to the drop-off point. I saw the only double-decker coach there and rushed up to top deck. Something was wrong. This coach had double seats on the left; the coach I was on had single seats. This was not the coach that I had travelled in. I ran back down, but found several single-deck coaches unloading luggage. No sign of the coach I had taken.

I showed my ticket to the drivers there and asked if anyone knew where this coach would be parked. None of the drivers knew as they were all from different companies. They pointed me to a building where the bus companies had their sales counters. I got to the second floor of the building and after explaining my situation, I was told by a security officer that this company’s sales office was not in this building. The office was across the road, about 3km away, but would only open at 7am. I prayed that God would forgive me for my mistake and wished I could turn back the clock to the moment before I alighted from the coach.

I hailed a taxi, got to the office and true enough, it was closed. It looked a little rundown and made me wonder if it was still operating. But there was a computer, and the electrical extension cords had their lights on. As I sat outside waiting for the office to open, I prayed. My mind began to accept the fact that I would likely not see my mobile phone again. What did I need to do? I would need to make a police report back in Singapore. Contact the telco company and cancel the mobile number. I would likely need to purchase a replacement phone. Maybe a secondhand mobile of the same model would be cheaper. I needed to inform them that we changed coaches at Khon Kaen… question after question kept coming to mind.

I was doing some reading when the sun rose. I looked through the main door and saw some coaches parked behind the building, so I decided to go there. I saw a driver washing his coach. I managed to communicate to him that I was looking for a coach that had returned from Khon Kaen. He pointed me to another coach and said “Khon Kaen”, and shouted to the other driver. I went over and showed him my ticket, and told him that I had left my mobile phone on the coach. He didn’t seem to understand English but recognised my gestures. He seemed to understand me and walked to his room. He came out and handed me my mobile phone! I prayed but I didn’t believe it! The driver must have received the most sincere “Khawp khun khrap” and wai for that day. I think my thumb touched my nose when I made the wai gesture to him. O me of little faith! God has answered my prayer! The chances of recovering my lost mobile phone were, humanly speaking, so slim. But, I was able to locate the coach, no other passenger had taken the phone, and I had an honest coach driver!

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” Psalms 40:5

Our God is indeed a living God and He is still working wonders each day: the blooming of a flower, the birth of a baby, the gift of a new day. Often, we miss seeing the gracious providence of God in our midst. We place so much importance on our mobile phone because it is our means of communication. It contains our personal information, contact details, photographs, and passwords. Do we feel the same way when we slacken in our prayers, which are our communication with God?

- Deacon Richard Yew

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