By George Dalton
Five years ago my father died after a long illness and went home to be with the lord. At his funeral I met a cousin that I had not seen since we were boys fifty years ago. You know how you do when you see someone that you were once close to, “Give me your phone number; here take down my number.”
My wife and I had a ranch in East Texas. We sold all of the cattle and equipment and moved to a large city. Part of our ranch was on four hundred acres of leased land where we had several large bales of hay left in the field from the year before. The owner asked me to make sure that it was removed. I contacted a neighboring rancher and asked him if he could help me get rid of the old hay. We agreed to meet back at the ranch one morning a week after my father’s funeral. While driving to the ranch, my cell phone rang. It was my long lost cousin. He said, “I am over drawn at the bank and if I don’t get a thousand dollars today, I will have checks bouncing all over town.” I told him I was on the way to the ranch and would call him as soon as I got back. As soon as he hung up I thought of Gideon and his fleece. So I started to pray, “Dear God I don’t know this man anymore. Is he a drug addict, an alcoholic, a gambler? Father I don’t know him but you do, so please give me a sign telling me if I should give him the money he wants or not.”
Remembering Gideon’s fleece, I thought maybe God can give me a sign. I prayed, ”Father use the old hay. If Bud charges me to haul off the old hay I will know that you do not want me to give that man the money. If he offers to buy the hay for any amount over $5.00 per bale I will know that you want him to have the money.”
Bud walked around the field and asked me how many bales I had? I didn’t know, so we counted them. Exactly one hundred bales. Then he asked me how much I wanted for the hay. I immediately thought, I made a deal with God just a few miles up the road so I said, “Bud you are still in the cattle business, you tell me what it is worth to you and that is what I will take.” He walked around the field for a few minutes looking at the bales and then said, “I’ll give you $10.00 a bale. Is it Ok if I pick them up Saturday?” Do the math. I had one hundred bales and he was going to pay $10.00 per bale. I raced home and told my wife that I needed a check for $1,000.00, then told her the story and she immediately agreed that we should take the money to my cousin. When I delivered the check to him, my cousin that I only had seen once in fifty years, thanked me, then informed me that he had no idea when he would be able to repay the loan. I told him about my prayer, and then said, “I made my deal with God, if you pay me or don’t pay me that is between you and God.” I knew I had just witnessed God’s direct answer to an urgent prayer.