Our businesses are important to us, as they provide the things we need for our daily lives. Things can also happen there that need prayer for God to be our Provider, as Toni Weaver testifies in this story.

At 3:00 A.M. on November 4, 1994, the shrill ring of the telephone jarred us awake. My husband, Dewayne, answered it. Someone from our alarm service was calling to say the alarm at our roofing company was going off and they had notified the police. Our office was about eleven miles away. My husband hurried to see what had triggered the alarm.

Middle of the night phone calls unsettle me. I began to pray. I could imagine burglary and vandalism and wondered what Dewayne might encounter when he arrived at our business. Fifteen minutes later he called. "You need to come right away," he said. "The building is on fire."

I rushed to get dressed. As I drove to the office, I prayed all the way. Mainly, I asked God to let angels protect the records in my file cabinets. All our corporate records were in them. Not only did I have our customers' records, but I had a payroll of fifty men. If those files were destroyed, it would takes days, or even months, to redo them.

When I arrived, our modular office was engulfed in flames. Fire trucks and firefighters were everywhere. They had broken out the doors and windows. Smoke enclosed the area. What I could see of the inside of the office was black and wet.

The firefighters began hauling charred furniture outside. Finally, they dragged my file cabinets outside. They were black and scorched, but the files inside were saved! I wanted to shout Hallelujah so loud everyone around could hear. Instead, I silently thanked God for this miracle answer to prayer. My files were the only thing salvageable from the fire.

Because my computer had been destroyed, I did lose data and had to rebuild the employee files. But I had a starting place because of the files that were saved.

The night of the fire, the Lord impressed on me that he would turn this tragedy into a praise report. I did not know how, but I was convinced he would do so. I trusted his provision.

We discovered after the fire that our office building was underinsured by $24,000, as we carried only coverage for the "hard cost" of the office. What a blow! Nevertheless, we invested some extra money, and by January we started the construction of a new concrete office. On April 1 it was completed--beautiful, permanent, and larger and better than the previous one.

When we received our property tax bill, the new building had been appraised for $29,000 more than it had actually cost us to build. This was God's way of redeeming our loss. We had been able to rebuild for much less than the market rate, thus increasing our value. Someday, when we sell the building, we will realize the gain.

I looked up the word "restoration" in the dictionary and found that it means "to restore to an improved position." This is precisely what God did. He is a God of restoration, of rebuilding. He gave us an even better building; he turned a tragedy into a victory.

Sometimes when we do lose material things, it is difficult to see beyond the loss. But Toni and Dewayne today have a thriving business in a much better office building. The most important lesson to learn, however, is that we must trust in God to provide for our needs and must place ourselves in his wise and loving care.


From: Miracles Happen When You Pray by Quin Sherrer, 1997, pag. 53-55, Zondervan Publishing House,  Grand Rapids, Michigan.