Thanks before Receiving

Why should we thank God before we receive the answer of our prayer?

Ripe Tomatoes

“I want three ripe tomatoes, John”, Mina cried out in her near delirium. Her fever was dangerously high and she was dying. Her husband, John wanted to explain that it was impossible to get three ripe tomatoes, but she wasn’t listening.

John and Mina Clark were serving as missionaries in very primitive northeastern corner of Africa called Belgian Congo. It was first half of twentieth century, before missionary aviation could bring medical help within hours.

“I want three ripe tomatoes”, Mina was calling again. How could John calm her? In the Congo , no one had ever heard tomatoes. All he could do was fall to his knees and pray. His prayer was long and rambling, not always making sense. He simply blubbering from the depth of his heart but God knew what he meant. John asked God to heal Mina, perhaps to send a doctor – though it would take a week for a doctor to reach this jungle outpost. And yes he also prayed for tomatoes.

The next day one of local tribesman knocked at the Clark ’s door. With him was a woman from neighboring tribe. In her arms she carried a basket covered with banana leaf. After some casual conversation, the woman explained why she had come. About a month earlier, John Clark has visited her tribe. She figured that he, as foreigner, might be able to help.

What was her problem?

“Sometime ago a traveler left seed with us” she explained. “And I plant it. The plant has now boner a harvest, but I am afraid to eat them, as I do not know weather or not they are poison”.

John Clark lifted the banana leaf and saw something astonishing in her basket – ripe, red tomatoes, three of them.

The woman saw the missionary’s obvious delight. “You can have this” she said “for I have many, many more at home”.

John thanked the woman profusely and then took the three tomatoes to Mina. Shortly thereafter, the doctor arrived, ahead of schedule and soon Mina was on the road of recovery. John never knew whether doctor’s medicine or the miraculous tomatoes had more to do with her recovery. Whichever he knew it was God’s amazing answer to prayer.

As he thought through these event, John realize something event more amazing. God must have planned all long in advance. God must had known when that traveler would give the seed to the African tribeswoman. God must had known when the woman would plant the seed and the tomatoes would ripen. And God must has directed the woman to his mission station on the day after he had prayed for three ripe tomatoes to appear out nowhere. Amazing

We should give thanks when we pray to God because He has provided the answer before we receive it, even before we ask it. He knows the best for us, and because of that we should give Him thanks.

From: I want three ripe tomatoes, John – book 100 Amazing Answers to Prayer.

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