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My Good Samaritan story

by Jacob Ninan

The other day I was getting into the train at the New Delhi railway station to travel back to Bangalore. When I boarded the train, reached my seat and had put my baggage under the seat I suddenly noticed that my wallet was missing from my hip pocket. I was shocked, because apart from the money that was in it, I had lost a few ATM cards, and a couple of ID cards, and these would be very cumbersome to replace. I realised that I didn't have any money for food or drink throughout the long journey (around 40 hours -- it finally turned out to be 48 because of fog along the way). I thought that the only way to survive was to eat slowly my packs of biscuits which I had bought earlier, and to drink water now and then from the taps at stations when the train stopped. I thought of telling someone in the coach about my predicament and taking a loan from him. But I got put off by the thought of having to 'beg.' One thought came to my mind, "Lord, this is not a nice thing to do to me when I had just given some money yesterday to one of Your people!" But I realised that this thought was either from my flesh or the Devil, and it was neither true nor honouring to God. God is not like that, it was not He who had done this, and I too had not given that money hoping for a return. I quietly prayed for the thief who, I thought, needed the money more than I, that God would help him to spend the money properly and also that he would repent of this type of behaviour. I also told the Lord that I knew He knew how difficult it would be for me to get replacements for all those cards and asked Him to somehow get my wallet back.

A few minutes later my phone rang, and it was someone from the next coach telling me that he had found my wallet lying on the floor, and asking me to go and get it. When I got to it, I found that all my cards were there, but the money was totally gone, including the coins. I let out a sigh of relief and thanked God profusely for this mercy. I realised it was a sheer miracle that I could get my wallet back. I told the man how I was in a helpless position, not being able even to reward him with money for his help.

I sat down again and wondered if I should tell my wife about it and cause her anxiety, or wait till I got back home. Finally I thought that she would be ultimately happy that I shared this with her, even though for sometime she might get worried. I called her on the phone and told her briefly about what had happened, emphasising the fact that God had heard my prayer and given back the wallet with the cards, and encouraging her not to get worried about me because I still had the biscuits with me to sustain me.

But my wife called my son who in turn contacted his network, and things got buzzing. After some time he called me to say that someone would meet me at some station along the route and hand over some money to me. A little later a friend of his rang me up to tell me the name of the person and the station at which he would meet me. Praise the Lord.

My Good Samaritan was a missionary doctor. He called me to tell me that he would meet me. The problem was that the train would be reaching that station in the middle of the night, and because of the heavy fog, the train was travelling very slowly and we could not predict the exact time when it would reach there. So we kept contacting each other as I passed different stations. The result was that neither of us got sleep that night. It choked me to think of this man losing his sleep for an unknown stranger all because of his love for the Lord and His people.

Finally his station came up at half past ten the next morning, and he was there along with his wife to give me money and also some wholesome food. I didn't have enough words to thank them with. I promised to return the money to him as soon as possible.

I was asking the Lord what it was that He was trying to get across to me. At first I thought that it was to give me a sense of how it would feel to be hungry and poor. Yet I could not find much use for that insight since I thought I could imagine that already. Finally what I understood was that this was a practical demonstration of God's sovereign control over situations and an expression of His love to me, in order to encourage me. Someone picking my pocket and putting me in that difficult situation may have been just a normal thing that happens in an evil world, or specially designed by Satan to knock me down. However the fact that God stepped in to answer my prayer in that miraculous manner and that He organised several of His people to work in order to help me was, in my eyes, a tremendous endorsement of His love and care for me. He can easily replenish the money that I had lost. But the encouragement that I received, and the the new bond with my Good Samaritan and his family were invaluable. The normal thing would have been to get upset with God for letting this happen to me. But the fact was that God had turned a bad thing around to work for my good.

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