The Power of Remembering: Pennies from Heaven
Today’s Daily Moment of Hope is adapted from Sometimes He Whispers Sometimes He Roars by Marilynn Chadwick. To receive a copy of this book, please go here. An ordinary penny taped to a greeting card in my Ebenezer Box reminds me of the time God answered my prayer in a way that left me in awe. For months I had been noticing pennies in the strangest places. Sometimes I would discover one at my feet—just as I was praying about something. Funny, I thought. It’s as if God wants to let me know that He hears my prayers. I was going through a spiritually dry season in my life. I can’t remember the details. What I do remember is that I desperately wanted to believe God was still at work and that He cared about me. Could these pennies be little messages of encouragement from God? Perhaps it was wishful thinking. Still, I hoped. And there it was. Another penny. Found in the heel of my shoe. The last penny had been under a glass on the kitchen shelf. The one before that, right in the middle of my bed! I began saving these little reminders—pennies from heaven—I called them. I dropped each one in a jar in my kitchen. One day, I shared my “penny story” with my friend Kenna. I told her how these crazy pennies kept showing up. Pretty soon, she began finding her own pennies. A few days later, I happened to be reading in John’s Gospel about the man we know as “Doubting Thomas.” Jesus’ disciples suffered terribly after the death of their beloved savior. But miracle of miracles—He appeared to them—alive! All the disciples saw Him. Except for Thomas, that is. Thomas had wandered away and missed the first showing. I could imagine how his face fell as the disciples excitedly told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Discouraged, Thomas vowed, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were…I will not believe.” Jesus appeared again eight days later. This time, He singled Thomas out. “Put your finger here,” He told Thomas. “See my hands.” “Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas gasped and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-29). Could it be that God cares enough to encourage sincere doubters like Thomas, or even like me? If so, maybe all those pennies I’d been finding were truly God’s way of speaking to me. Lord, I prayed silently, I do believe you’re sending those pennies to strengthen my faith. Then, as an afterthought, I added, Lord, you showed your nail-scarred hands to Thomas. I want to see your nail marks, too! How could God answer such an impossible request? A few days later, I received a card in the mail from Kenna. “Dear Marilynn,” she wrote, “I found this penny in my dryer. Perhaps the Lord sent this penny as an encouragement to us both.” I caught my breath. Taped to her card was an ordinary penny. But as I looked closer, I saw that right through the center of the penny was a nail hole! And suddenly I knew. God had sent me my own nail mark, just as I’d prayed. As I touched that penny, I felt like Thomas touching the nail hole in Jesus’ hand. It all became clear. God is powerful enough to rule the universe. But He’s also personal enough to send a nail-pierced penny to another “Doubting Thomas” like me, in need of encouragement. Maybe you feel like a “Doubting Thomas” today. If you start paying attention, you might be surprised like I was when I started to find all those pennies! Start to watch for signs of God at work. They’re everywhere. You just have to look for them.