Some years ago, I knew a young man who drove some 700 miles to give a speech at his alma mater. When he arrived he saw a few old friends including an old girlfriend he dated in school. She was going through a divorce and she had recently been unfaithful to her husband.
They talked for hours that weekend and after all was said and done he got back in his car to drive home. He had a lot to think about on the twelve hour drive. Mostly, he thought about how miserable the lives of so many of the girls he had dated turned out to be.
When he finally went to bed that tired Sunday evening he said a little prayer. He told God he was tired of his life and wanted to settle down. "Dear Lord," he said, "I'm ready for you to send me a wife. I've waited 36 years so could you please hurry up? I need her in 36 hours."
He often joked that way with God. It was as if they were good old friends, although he had not been to church in years. But before he fell asleep he had one last request of God: "Please, just one more thing. Make her a Christian."
He had almost forgotten the prayer and the fatigue by late Tuesday morning. He was at a political event just a few weeks before the big election. That's when he saw the girl wearing the "Bush for President" sticker on her sweatshirt.
Suddenly, he forgot all about the election. He was sure that hers were the prettiest blue eyes he'd ever seen- even if he was a little color blind. When he pointed at the sticker and said "I want one of those" he might as well have been talking about the girl.
It would be a few weeks before he would realize that he first saw her eyes just 36 hours after he uttered his tired prayer. By then they were dating.
One night they were eating some venison the young man had made for her. He had killed the deer himself and skinned it and cooked up a wonderful meal just for the two of them. It was the first time they would talk about religion. She said she had been thinking about going back to church. She invited him to go with her. He accepted.
But that evening they also had a serious talk about the afterlife and the supernatural. The young man shared the story of his only supernatural experience. He told of how he had fallen down on his knees in agony and prayer to God one evening four years before. That evening he lost someone he deeply loved and, although an atheist, he prayed to God to place a hand of comfort upon his shoulder in his time of loss.
In only a few seconds he felt the hand caressing his back like only a loving parent could do. His loved one was gone but his atheism would soon also be gone. It would only be a matter of weeks.
And then the girl told the story of her one supernatural experience. She was watching a Christian band play at a local high school although she was not a Christian. She had been through an unbelievably painful experience the year before and she could not let go of her anger and let God into her heart. She bowed her head and prayed in desperation for God to send her a sign that He was there and that all would be okay.
Just then she felt the hand upon her shoulder. She turned around and saw a young girl crying. She said "God told me to come and talk to you but I don't know why."
Later the young man and his girlfriend would realize that those two supernatural experiences occurred on the same night of the same year at roughly the same hour. It was nothing more than a powerful sign from a loving God who was bringing two of his children together to love one another.
It should have been enough for the young man but it wasn't. Like Gideon, he was holding out for one more sign but the sign did not come immediately. It came the following summer when his family had met the girl and fallen in love with her, too. He knew he must soon make a decision about whether they would stay together.
And so he kneeled down and prayed asking God for a sign as to whether the two families should be linked together in marriage. He was making good progress until the phone rang. He put God on a call waiting of sorts and picked up the phone. He heard the sweet voice of his girlfriend saying that the "funniest thing" had just happened - something that he just "wouldn't believe."
It seems that a couple of hundred miles away the young man's parents had stopped at a roadside rest stop off Interstate 20. When they pulled over they noticed a few familiar faces. It was the parents of the girl along with her grandmother whom they had just met the week before.
"What are the chances of that?" the girl asked. "Nothing without the guidance of God" the young man thought to himself.
And so the day they were married he watched her walking up the aisle - part human, part angel, a gift from his Maker.