by David Sisler

Jim Zerilli was a policeman in Detroit. One day he answered the phone in the precinct station and there was only silence on the other end of the line.

"Who's there?" Jim asked.

And there was only silence.

Somehow Jim sensed that someone was on the other end of the line, that this was not a crank call, so he asked his partner, "Will you see if this call can be traced? I think something is wrong."

Equipment problems kept them from tracing the call, so Officer Zerilli said, "I think you need help. I am going to ask you some questions and I want you to tap twice for yes and once for no. Do you understand?"

There came two taps.

Officer Zerilli said, "Do you live in the northern part of the city?"

One tap.

"Do you live in the southern part of the city?"

Two taps.

From memory, the policeman began to call off street names. Always there was one tap. Finally, he got two taps. He had found the street.

Then he started with house numbers until once again he received two taps. Forty-five minutes after receiving the call, Officer Zerilli dispatched an ambulance to the home of a man who had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side.

Don't give the credit to man's ingenuity. Give the credit to the graciousness of God.

The young man had been married for five months. Due to an argument with his father after the wedding, the man had not spoken to his Dad during those five months. One Sunday night he came home and said, "Dad, I am sorry I haven't called. My wife has left me and I don't know what to do."

His father said, "Let's pray."

And they did. In the graciousness of God, the young man invited Jesus into his life. He got up from his knees and went to the apartment where his wife was living.

"I want to make it up to you," he said.

"I want to think about it tonight," she said.

In the morning she was committed to the hospital with a nervous breakdown. The young man visited her every day and encouraged her and prayed for her.

Four days after the father and son had prayed together, the father was awakened by a phone call.

"There's been a fire at your son's house. You'd better get there fast."

The father pulled on his clothes and rushed to his son's house. When he arrived, he found it completely destroyed.

"Was anyone inside?" he was asked by the firemen.

"I don't know, but I can show you where my son's bedroom was," the father replied.

They found the bedroom and the charred body of his son.

Later the father said, "I could not have endured the death of my son if I did not know I would see him again. God is so faithful. He did in my son's heart on Sunday night what could not have been done after Thursday."

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about God, "Great is your faithfulness. Great is your lovingkindness. Your mercies are renewed every morning."

The stroke victim who recovered understood the truth of Jeremiah's words. The grieving father rejoiced in the truth of Jeremiah's words.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, do you understand the graciousness of God? Through personal faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, you can.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 1/21/95

Copyright 1995 by David Sisler

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