When God Answered with a Photo

by Sharon Tedford @61Things


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 ESV


After our eldest son went off to basic training for the Army, we knew we wouldn’t hear from him for many weeks. The recruits were allowed to write letters, but only after they had earned the privilege. The mail service was slow, and the letters were few. Rather surprisingly, there was also a private Facebook page where photos and brief updates of what was going on in his unit were posted. Every time there was a new FB post, I scoured the pictures of shaven-headed young men, trying to spot our blue-eyed boy. He’s always hated having his photo taken and was adept at dodging the family camera. It seemed he managed to successfully avoid the Army photographer, too. I never could find his face in those action shots.


One day I had reached the end of my ability to wait patiently. During my morning time with the Lord, I cried out to Him and asked Him to prompt our son to write another letter. I even asked the Lord to get our boy into an online photo, so I could at least see his face. Two requests from a mother’s heart to the Father’s heart.


Later that same afternoon I wandered down to the postbox with the dog at my heels. As I collected the stack of bills and circulars, I noticed a hand-written letter tucked away among the randomness. My joy overflowed. It was written in the handwriting of our soldier! I think I scared the dog as I ran back up to the house; I couldn’t get the letter open fast enough.


I tore it open without ceremony. Something fell out. A bookmark? Our son’s an artist and I wondered if he’d made a bookmark for me. No. What fell to the floor was a strip of selfies taken in a photo booth. Our son’s unit was rewarded with a field trip, and many of them had taken advantage of the photo booth. There, staring up at me from the floor, was a strip of our son’s hilarious expressions. 


I got my letter and a photo.


Isn’t that just like our God? I would have been pleased with a letter, but our kind Father filled my aching heart with immeasurably more than I could think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 


As I write this, I am looking at that strip of comical photos of our son. Of course, I miss having him around, but I keep it close for another reason. It reminds me to have absolute confidence in a God who never fails. Our King is faithful. Our Lord is a promise-keeper. The photos are physical evidence that I can hold on tight to the hope I have in a Savior who never fails. 


I’ve left the best thing for last. The letter I received was sent in the mail about 10 days before I even thought to make my heart-felt plea to Jesus. He heard the cry of my heart long before I put breath behind it. He truly does know all about me. 


But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.   1 Corinthians 8:3 ESV


What are you asking the Lord for today? Let’s be those who confess hope out loud. Join me in speaking hope over every situation you find yourself in. God is on the case! He’s already working out His plan for your good.


There is always hope. His name is Jesus. 

When God Answered with a Photo – encouragement from Sharon Tedford, @61Things on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Sharon tedfordAbout the author: Sharon Tedford is an experienced British storyteller who uses her gifts as a singer, author, worship leader, and speaker to connect with her listeners, inviting them into a revitalized relationship with God.  Her humorous stories always end with an invitation to action. Mother to three teenagers and the wife of an Irishman, Sharon encourages people to live a God-focused life. You can connect with her at www.61-things.com.

Sharon’s book, Stand, is a devotional based on the stories behind her songs. Readers will be drawn into a deeper personal experience with God and learn how to stand on the truth of a Heavenly Father who loves them. 

Join the conversation: How has God proven that He will never fail you?



4 thoughts on “When God Answered with a Photo

  1. God is always working behind the scenes, even when we are not aware. I love this story–what a great way to start my morning!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.