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What Does God Say When People Pray? (part 8)

Luke 18:7 

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And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 

Romans 8:28 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

The impact of reading these two verses confirms the spirit of optimism within me. In Romans 8:28, Paul promises that everything will work out in the end-that those called according to God's purposes will experience God working things out in their lives. Yet, it doesn't promise when He will intervene.

In Luke 18:7, the scripture promises that God will hear and answer the prayers of His elect; He hears our cries. But it doesn't say when He will respond.

Every Christmas, Susan insists that we sit down together and watch "It's a Wonderful Life." The moral of that movie coincides with the optimism of these Scriptures. "What we do really does make a difference in people's lives." But it also illustrates an implication of this Scripture, we may never know the impact our life has had on others. 

By a twist of fate, or the providence of God, depending on your perspective, Roman Turski learned the impact of a good deed.

The war seemed imminent after Hitler annexed Austria, so "Roman Turski" quit his job as a flight instructor in France to go back to Poland, his homeland. On the flight home, his plane developed engine trouble so he landed in Vienna to have it repaired.

The next morning, just as Turski left the hotel to shop for souvenirs, a Jewish man ran past the door and crashed into Turski. His face was white as a ghost, and all Turski could hear him say above his panting was "Gestapo-Gestapo!"

When Turski was a boy, he had participated in some anti-Semitic activities, like throwing stones through the store windows owned by Jews, but this time, he did the right thing. He ran with the man back to his hotel room and hid him under the bed. He took off his coat, messed up his hair and sat up in bed like he'd just woke up. When the Gestapo burst through his door, he spoke the only German he knew and said, "I don't understand it." 

When the Gestapo left his room, Turski helped the man up from beneath his bed and pointed to Warsaw on his flying chart. Using hand gestures, he asked the man, "Do you want to go to Warsaw?" He drew prison bars to indicate that the man would be arrested if he landed at any airport and made it clear that they would have to land in an open field. The man's narrow face and dark brown eyes showed great appreciation at the offer.

They evaded customs at the airport and took off toward freedom. Turski sat the plane down in an open field, just across the Polish border. As he said goodbye to the stranger, Turski gave him most of the money he had on him and showed him where he was on the map.

Turski took off again, leaving his "Jewish friend" behind. When he arrived at the airport, the immigration police met him with a warrant to search his plane for an illegal immigrant. Turski, of course, cooperated fully.

When the war started, Turski flew fighter planes for Poland. When Germany crushed them, he went with thousands of his countrymen into Rumania where he was captured and put into a concentration camp. After he escaped, he flew for the French Air Force and when they collapsed, he joined England's forces. While flying for England, his plane went down.

The chief surgeon of the hospital thought he was a hopeless case, but a surgeon from out of town volunteered to operate. The brain surgeon read a news item in the newspaper about a Polish hero, Roman Turski, shooting down five planes before crashing himself. The newspaper said his condition was hopeless. The surgeon asked the Royal Air Force at Edinburgh to fly him there to try to save the war hero. They agreed and the hospital allowed him to operate.

Why would he go to all that trouble? A few years before, the surgeon with a long narrow face and brown eyes was running from the Gestapo when a Polish pilot rescued him-a man named Roman Turski. 

Turski would live to received decorations from four different governments for his heroism. And to thank the man whose life he saved, that later saved his life.

-Fresh Illustrations

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