“I have heard since my youth that Jesus is coming. I have heard it many, many times, but He has not come. I don’t believe anymore that there is a God.” So boasted Macario Relampagus. At one time, he had been an elder in his local Seventh-day Adventist church, but now he regarded his former brethren as enemies. Whenever churchgoers passed his house, Macario would mock them, laugh at them and make fun of them. He even took up drinking liquor.
Macario’s wife Patring, a deaconess in the church, refused to follow him in his irreligious ways, and she suffered for it. Macario would not allow her to go to church, and when she managed to sneak off to a church meeting, he would beat her. He also bought pigs and forced her to cook them for him. The one thing that kept Patring’s faith strong was earnest prayer. Each night when her husband went out fishing to earn their living, she would pray for him.
“To every sincere prayer an answer will come. . . . The prayers you offer in loneliness, in weariness, in trial, God answers, not always according to your expectations, but always for your good.” Gospel Workers, 258.
One night as Macario sailed into the deep sea, Patring prayed extra earnestly that God would change her husband’s heart and draw him back to the Lord. “Father in Heaven,” she cried, “I rejoice in You as the sympathetic Father who comforts and encourages me. I need this so often. Help me in my suffering, and I plead that You would please draw Macario, and make him aware of Your love.” Patring prayed long that night.
Meanwhile, Macario drifted along, enjoying the calm weather, bright stars, gentle waves and quiet breeze. Reaching a good fishing spot, he shut off his motor, spread out his net and stretched out for a nap.
An hour later, about two o’clock, a strong wind startled Macario awake. A thick darkness now shrouded the stars, and the wind and waves tossed his boat to and fro. In the tempest, Macario clung to the side of his boat so as not to fall into the water. Panic stricken, Macario shouted, “Lord, save me!”
Instantly, a bright, nearly blinding light flashed around him. A voice said, “Go back to your faith, while the seven plagues have not yet been poured out.” Then the bright light disappeared and the wind gradually ceased.
His heart still pounding, Macario switched on his boat’s motor, not even bothering to draw in his net and fish. He throttled the engine as fast as it could go.
When he arrived at the seashore, he ran to his house and banged on the door. “Patring, let me in!” he gasped.
In amazement, Patring opened the door and asked, “What happened?”
Without answering her question, Macario panted, “Tomorrow, I don’t want to see the pigs. Get them out of here! I am going to worship with you on Sabbath.” His wife could only conclude that God had answered her prayers and worked a miracle!
“The long night of gloom is trying, but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God’s unwillingness to have His people perish, has been the reason of so long delay.” Evangelism, 694.
May God help us to be ready at His appearing!
Joseph Palange is a medical missionary in Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.
How You Can Help
Pray for Macario to stay faithful to the Lord.
Pray for the work in the Philippines.
Give. You can support the work by sending your donations to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give electronically, visit: missionspro.org/donate.