A woman who was struggling found herself praying one night. Her marriage was on the rocks, she hated her job, yet worried every night about losing it, and credit card debts were putting her in the poor house. Suddenly God appeared in her bedroom.
“I am very sorry to see you unhappy my child. What can I do to help make you happy?”
The woman thought long and hard. “I’d like to have your greatest power.”
God thought for a minute and then agreed. “From hence forth you shall be granted my greatest power.”
A year went by and the woman’s life only got worse. Everything was collapsing in on her. Unpaid bills, credit card companies relentlessly pursuing her, she lost her job, her mortgage company initiated foreclosure proceedings and the final straw – her husband left her for another woman.
She began to cry uncontrollably and between the sobs she screamed to the heavens, “God, you are nothing but a bold-faced liar. You’ve given me nothing but problems.”
Laying in bed, a bed that had become her only refuge for weeks since her husband left, the woman suddenly realized that she was on her own now. “God has abandoned me, my husband has left me and no one is going to help me,” she somberly acknowledged to herself. Somehow, she found the strength to pull herself out of bed, get up, shower and dress. She sat on her couch for what seems like hours, pondering her next move. And then it hit her. She decided to do the only thing that had ever made her happy. Something she was always very passionate about. She meandered up the stairs to the attic and pulled out her paint brushes, along with her paint bottles and set up one of the many blank canvases that for years remained hidden away under the cover of a attic blankets. And she began to paint.
Hours became days and days turned into weeks. When the fog of her renewed obsession finally cleared, she found herself surrounded by dozens of the most beautiful paintings she had ever created. She marveled at her work. “I believe this is my best work ever,” she said to herself. Another thought then entered her mind. “Maybe I should try to sell some of these paintings.”
In a few hours she found herself planted on a sidewalk, next to a park in New York City, her paintings displayed for all to see. A young couple admired one of the paintings.
“How much?” they asked. Somewhat startled, she spit out the words “three hundred dollars.” The couple moved off to the side, absorbed in conversation and then turned back towards the woman.
“We’ll give you two hundred dollars for the painting.” “Sold,” she heard herself say.
Not long after, an elderly man inquired about the price of another painting. “How much?” he asked. “Five hundred dollars,” she heard herself say. “Fine,” the elderly man replied. And he handed her the money.
By the end of the day the woman had sold all of her paintings. She counted her money. $3,700. She could hardly believe it. She floated her way back home, still numbed by the money she just earned.
Over the next few days the woman filled dozens more canvases and once again plopped herself down near the same place by the park in New York City. By the day’s end she counted her money. “$8,000! I can’t believe it”, she sang to herself.
Several months passed by. The woman continued to paint and sell her paintings. She accumulated enough money to pay off all of her credit card debt and bring her mortgage up to date, putting an end to the foreclosure proceedings. With the money she had left over she decided to open her own art studio. Business was booming. Soon, other artists asked her if they could display their own paintings. Her cut was 30%.
A number of years went by and the woman purchased the building she had been renting her studio in. She now had ten tenants paying her rent, which covered her mortgage and property taxes, leaving her with a very nice profit. Plus her studio was making her wealthier each day.
One night, laying in her bed, God appeared. “I’ve been keeping a close eye on you. I’m very happy to see that your life has turned around and that you are doing so well now. You seem so happy.”
The woman stared at God in disbelief. “Keeping an eye on me? Are you kidding? Since our last meeting, since you promised me the gift of your greatest power, my life completely fell apart. I lost my job, my husband left me and I nearly lost my home. Where were you when I needed you most? You did nothing for me. I had to do it all on my own.”
“But don’t you see my child, I did give you my greatest power,” God responded.
Still staring at God in disbelief, the woman shook her head and demanded of God, “what power?”
“I gave you desperation, my child. Desperation forces you to become self-reliant. It unleashes the boundless creativity that resides within each human being. Desperation opens up your eyes and your inner genius, enabling you to see solutions to problems that were previously unseen. It can lift even the poorest of the poor to unimaginable heights. You are now wealthy, wealthier than you ever imagined you could ever be. You are happy and you are in complete control of your life. Don’t you see my child? It was the power of desperation that magically transformed your life. “
God slowly faded away until he was gone. As she lay in bed contemplating his words, a knowing smile began to blanket her face. She finally understood. Her eyes became heavy and she soon found herself in a deep, peaceful sleep.