God is still God working with his invisible hand - 17 November 2020

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

A late afternoon train, a man with a heart longing for his wife and God’s invisible hand at work.

One late afternoon years ago, Marcel Sternberger took a train home from Brooklyn after visiting his sick, dying friend. It was his first time on that particular train, as he does not live in that area. The train was packed, but the moment Marcel got in, a man suddenly got off and he was able to sit in the open seat.

The man sitting next to Marcel was reading a newspaper. It was a Polish newspaper and Marcel could see that the man was looking through the classified pages. When asked if he was looking for work, the man replied that he was looking for his wife. He went on to explain that he was originally from Hungary. During the war, the Russians took him away to bury the dead Germans. He was able to escape, but back home he discovered that his wife was gone. Some people said she was sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Others thought that she was a part of the group of people liberated by the Americans and brought to America. The man decided to come to America to look for his wife.

Marcel was shocked at how familiar this story sounded. A few days prior, he attended a function where he met a Hungarian woman. She told him that her husband had been taken away by the Russians to bury the Germans. She had no idea if he was still alive. For some reason, Marcel wrote down the woman’s name and phone number. He asked the man next to him what his wife’s name was. “Marya Paskin,” he replied. In silence, Marcel opened his wallet and took out the paper to look at the woman’s name. It was Marya Paskin. He asked the man what his name was. It was Bela Paskin.

Without telling Bela what he suspected, Marcel asked him to get off with him at the next train station. They walked to the nearest telephone booth. While Bela waited outside, Marcel phoned the number on the piece of paper. Marya answered. She could remember Marcel from meeting him a few days prior. He asked her to tell him the story about her husband again. It was identical to Bela’s. Marcel concluded their conversation with the words: “Marya, you are about to experience the greatest miracle of your life. Hold on.” Marcel handed the phone to Bela saying that there is someone special on the phone.

Outside the telephone booth, Marcel had to wipe away his own tears as he stood watching Bela, totally overwhelmed with tears streaming down his face shouting, “Marya! Marya! Marya!”

In Jeremiah 32:27 God says: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”

Some people will attribute that afternoon’s events to coincidence. Still, was it a coincidence that Marcel went to visit his sick friend that afternoon? Was it a coincidence that he got onto that train? Was it a coincidence that the man sitting next to Bela got off there? Was it a coincidence that Marcel met Marya a few days prior to this day? Coincidence … or was it God’s invisible Hand at work to establish yet another miracle? God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for demonstrating Your greatness to us in spectacular ways. Help me to also keep trusting You when a breakthrough seems or feels impossible to me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen