I was told this many years ago by a young man from Saudi Arabia. He said it is an  old Arab proverb, updated.

There came heavy rains one season and the river was going to flood the village so everyone was evacuating. One old man, though, refused to leave when a neighbor warned him of the rising waters already approaching his home.

“I have faith, my God will save me,” he replied and shut the door.

Then a truck of fleeing villagers stopped at his home.

“You must come with us,” he was told. “Or you will drown in the river.”

“I have faith, my God will save me,” he replied again. The waters continued to rise and flowed into his house so the man went up to the second floor. Then a boat came to his house and told the old man to come with them, lest he be drowned.

“I have faith,” the man said yet again. “My God will save me.” As the water continued to rise the man climbed onto the roof of his home. A rescue helicopter came by.

“Come with us or you will be drowned,” the man was told.

“I have faith!” The old man replied. “Will you not leave me alone? My God will save me.” The river continued to rise and the old man drowned. When he got to Heaven he spoke to God.

“My Lord, I had faith in you to save me. Why did you not hear my prayer and instead let me drown?”

“I did hear your prayers,” God replied. “Just who do you think sent you a truck, a boat, and an airplane?”

The point of this parable is clear: God does hear your prayers and answers them. Just not always in the way you expect to see so you have to be vigilant in watching for God’s answer so that you recognize it when you see it. And this applies to everything in life. Whether you use the word God, Allah, El, Yahweh, Elohim, El Shaddai, Lord, Creator, Light, the Universe, the All, or simply that which IS, the message is the same: your prayers are answered, but you have to be open to a different answer than what you expected. It does not mean that your prayers go unheard.

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