Ministry Resources

The Crystal Canister – Never Forgotten

Author: Sylvia Stewart

“God, do you know where I am or even remember that I exist?”

I felt tired and cross. When I flung my question toward God, it seemed to hit the ceiling and bounce back. I understood King David’s claim that a heaven of brass kept God from hearing his prayers.

We had been missionaries in East Africa for a number of years. Recently we had moved from Bible School work to a more widespread assignment.

My husband held responsibility for five full-time positions. The most pressing was overseeing nine building projects and all the financial record-keeping for them. He also served as lead pastor at a national church; organized the evangelistic outreaches in our area of the country and occasionally taught a class or two at the Bible College 50 miles from our home in the capitol city.

Finally, exhausted, he had agreed to let me do some of the “go-fer” work: go for the mail, go to the bank, pay the light and water bills and pick supplies up at the store. Even so, he often stayed up into the wee hours at night in order to make a dent in all the record-keeping on his computer.

Work Day

We saw each other when we got up in the morning and at meals, but that was about it. One morning, before he could finish his pancakes, six contractors were waiting for him on our front porch. He finally ditched his plate onto the kitchen counter and began his work day.

I spent long evenings alone by the fireside. Feeling ignored is never pleasant. “But it is because he’s working for the Lord,” I told myself, “and that is a good thing.” However, after several months of this kind of schedule I began to feel that both my husband and God were taking me for granted. That’s when I flung my question at Him.

To further complicate matters, we expected a group of pastors and businessmen in a few days. Our already overfull schedule would only be more hectic with guests to host and introduce to the work God was doing in our country.

Most of us have gone through depressing times when we have felt forgotten.

Job did. He said to God,

“If only you would . . . remember me,” (Job 14:13 NIV).

King David said,

“Do not cast me away when I am old (and) my strength is gone,” (Ps. 71:9).

Paul wrote to Timothy,

“. . . No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me,” (II Tim. 4:16).

Even Jesus, in his humanity, cried out to God on the cross, “My God . . . why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).

However, we are not forgotten! We are not forsaken!

God says,”Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” (Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6).

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up,” (Ps. 27: 10 KJV).

King David, in his old age proclaimed, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread,” (Ps. 37:25 NIV).

We may feel forgotten and forsaken, but God continually remembers His children. We are not dependent on the state of the economy or the size of our social security. God is the provider for all our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

I soon had proof.

The group of men arrived. A day or so later, one of them presented me with a beautiful crystal canister they had bought for “the missionary’s wife” on their way through Poland – several days before my desperate cry to God.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear,” (Isa. 65:24 NIV).

Today, the crystal canister sits in a prominent place in my kitchen to remind me that God never forgets me.

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