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Addressee Unknown
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One triple digit Arizona day near the end of June, I cashed in an expiring coupon for a free car wash. Following the interior vacuum and conveyor belt suds, spray and pom­-pom wash, my vehicle was driven to the staging area for hand drying.

As I watched from the partly shaded alcove some fifty feet away, two dozen misters released their welcome spray over my head. Three cascading water fountains added to the ambiance, making a sweltering desert day almost bearable.

As I waited, my eyes followed the bubbling water as it ebbed from the fountains plunging downward to the concrete pools below. And there at the bottom lay hundreds of coins glinting in the sunlight. The current economic crisis was confirmed by the fact that most of the cash was copper. Some nickels and a few dimes hung close to the pennies in their watery grave. But the lack of quarters confirmed we are in an economic downturn. Even so, each of those paltry coins represented something much greater than their face value. 

The tradition of tossing coinage into wells and fountains dates back to European folklore. Because water is the source of life and healing, and was often in short supply, it was thought that wells were the dwelling places of gods. Dropping copper or silver coins into a “wishing well,” was considered an offering to a deity who could grant ones request.

Hopes and Dreams

Both then and now, each piece of change scraping the bottom of every well and fountain world wide, represents millions, perhaps billions of wishes, hopes and dreams made by people of every race, nationality and culture on planet earth.

It is intriguing to consider that if each of those wishes pitched into the water on the back of a penny had instead been lifted up to the God of heaven in a prayer, the Lord would not have been overwhelmed!

On the contrary, our Creator would be thrilled by the throngs of humanity seeking His provision for the daily cares of this life. Every prayer would be heard; every petition granted – though not always as we wish. Someone once said, “Part of prayer maturity is learning not to get what we want but to want what we get.” The Bible says: 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future' " (Jeremiah 29:11).

God can and does answer prayers continually, according to what is best for us. Wishes, on the other hand, end up in the dead letter box along with other mail stamped, Addressee Unknown.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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