Editorial: Windmill showed God's attention to detail

The writer works in the home office of the United Church of God, Milford, Ohio. She enjoys writing for and working with young people and is the former managing editor of US Teens. Mrs. Treadway and her husband, Charles, have four children.

By Janet Treadway

HAMILTON, Ohio--Many years ago my husband and children and I lived in a house that had a huge windmill in the front yard.

I loved that windmill, especially in the springtime when the wind would grab the blades and twirl them. The beautiful flowers that surrounded its base only enhanced its beauty.

Oftentimes, early in the morning, I would stare out the window while sipping on a cup of coffee. The windmill's beauty and movement would send such peace and calm. It was a great way to start my mornings.

After a few years, the paint began to fade. We had four small children at the time, so between time and money the windmill took a backseat in our priorities.

Made a wish

One morning, while sipping on my coffee and looking out the window, I silently mentioned to God that I wished I had the money to paint the windmill.

I did not give it much thought after that, but a few days later I looked out the window and noticed something profoundly different. Were my eyes deceiving me? The windmill seemed brighter and looked new!

I ran outside, and to my disbelief it sported a new coat of paint. Furthermore, the paint was the color I had dreamed about.

I knew no one in my family painted it. It had no new paint when I went to bed the night before. I ran in to tell my husband, and he thought I was crazy until he took a look and saw for himself. How did such a thing happen?

We went about our business that day, still wondering where the paint came from. When I returned home that evening, a young neighbor came over to tell me that during the night he painted the windmill red.

Now, this kid was not crazy; he just wanted to do something nice. I did not know the boy, nor had I ever mentioned to him that I would like to paint it.

I was too happy to be angry with him. I knew who inspired this young man to paint my windmill. God heard my request, and the prayer was answered.

Needless to say God made me feel very special that day.

Sometimes we think God is interested only in the big things, that we should ask Him only for things that are critical.

But God wants us to be happy. He wants to build a personal relationship with us and show us how much He loves us.

4-year-olds like dolls

On another occasion my little girl, who was 4 at the time, wanted a Cabbage Patch doll. That kind of doll was popular, which made it expensive. All her friends had one, but we could not afford to buy her one.

I advised my daughter to pray about it. So she did.

The very next weekend my daughter had not one but two Cabbage Patch dolls. Her friend's mom gave her one, and the next day her grandmother gave her another one.

Twenty-one years later my daughter still has those dolls. They symbolize how much God cared about her request.

It is true that God does not give us everything we want, but as loving parent He wants to love us and please us.

Urgent request

I have also had prayers answered that were lifesaving. Had God not intervened I would not be here.

When I was a teen, in a fit of rage a close relative placed a loaded gun to my head and told me he was about to kill me. I stayed completely still for fear that the gun would go off. I prayed silently that God would spare my life.

Of course I would not be writing this article had God not responded in the affirmative to that urgent petition.

The little things

God is there to help us in the times of urgency, but He also cares for the little things that matter to us. In John 15:7 God tells us: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."

God wants to give us the good things. Do we see a loving God who wants the best for us? Or do we see a harsh, uncaring God?

When I see a windmill I am reminded of God's great love for me. When we talk to God, we need to remember He wishes us much happiness. God is there to hear our urgent requests, but He also cares about the smallest things that matter to us.

The August 2002 issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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