An unexpected answer to prayer
A fish, a key and God’s answer to a woman’s prayers in Liberia.
Back in March, one of our partners saw a woman stand up in church, testifying that it was a year since she had asked for prayer for her Muslim husband’s salvation. He often beat her for following Christ and refusing to attend mosque.
A few months earlier, when she had told him she wanted to attend a week-long church conference, her husband was livid. A whole week? Who would cook? Clean his house? He beat her severely. Nearly all women who convert from Islam to Christianity here are illiterate and so these meetings give them a chance to ask questions about the Bible. She was determined to go.
Still enraged, her husband locked the house as soon as she left, telling the neighbours his wife would never enter his home again. To make his point, he threw the key into the river and headed to his girlfriend’s house for the week.
On the way back from the conference the woman stopped at the local market, planning to have a hearty meal ready for her husband when he returned from the mosque. Arriving home, she was puzzled that the house was locked. But wanting to start the meal, she borrowed a pot from her neighbour. When she cut open the fish, a key fell out of its belly, and she remarked to her neighbour that the key was similar to her own house key. She tried it in the lock, and it worked! She cleaned the house, and got her husband’s supper ready.
As he walked home from Friday prayers, he saw his house open and a fire going in the outdoor kitchen. Again he was enraged, thinking the neighbours had helped his wife break in, but on examination nothing had been harmed. When he demanded an explanation, she told him the strange story of the key in the fish’s belly. Stunned, he didn’t say another word.
On Saturday night he spoke. He asked his wife if he could attend church the next morning. After the church service, the man asked to speak to the pastor privately. He recounted the incredible story about his house key and said: “I want to serve the God of the Christians. He is the one who knows and has power to do what no one else can.”
That Christian woman beamed as she told her story. God had answered many prayers for her husband to repent and follow Christ. In his gospel, Matthew tells of a fish caught with a coin in its mouth for taxes (Matthew 17:27). In Liberia in 2018, a house key in a fish’s belly became a key to the kingdom for a Muslim man.
Our Lord is still a fisher of men.
— from SIM UK