Monday, December 07, 2009

The Land of Plenty

"In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty." Psalm 37:19

"You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed" Joel 2:26

I feel like a broken record this morning. In a good way. I feel like every other day I'm logging on here to share yet again, how God is just blessing us. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't share, but then I remember that the whole purpose, the whole point of being blessed is so that you can bless others. And sometimes, that blessing comes through a testimony. Testimony is such an important thing- it increases our faith, measure by measure. Every time we hear how God blesses someone, it increases the amount of faith that we have so that we might also receive what God has for us. I like to think that God has a whole storehouse just for my family. He's got this huge cavern full of blessings and one by one he just keeps reaching in and pulling something out and dropping it on us. When He does that, we thank Him for it, we praise Him for it, and we share it with others, so that they too, can unlock their heavenly storehouses. Then it seems that God smiles at that, and reaches into his bag-o-tricks and drops something else unexpected. Six days into December, and I feel like we've celebrated Christmas several times already!

But before I share what God did for us over our weekend, I want to share something that is even more precious to me- and that is a testimony from one of you- from one of my dear, precious readers. I feel so honored that someone who is reading this little blog thought to e-mail me and share with me how God blessed him recently. I won't share his words verbatim, but let me tell you a little bit. This young man, who we'll call Jay, wants to be such a blessing to his family. I'm not sure where Jay is from, but I do know that he has a heart for God, and a heart for honoring his family, and he's been struggling a little bit with that lately. Recently he was told to do something he didn't want to do, and he was going to do it anyway, even though it was going to be a sacrifice on his part. I believe that God saw this sacrifice of Jay, and his willingness to honor his family, because just before he was to leave to take care of this bit of business, another family member stepped in and the whole thing was taken care of. Just like that, God answered the prayers of Jay and gave him a different solution that took care of the problem which was weighing heavily on Jay's mind.

If you're reading this, please pray for Jay. He has such a passion for doing God's will, and is really struggling right now. Pray that God will bless him in a way that only God can do, and that through Jay, his family will see the light of Christ and will come to love and praise God as much as Jay does. Also, please pray for wisdom for Jay, as he's also dealing with taking care of some things that he needs direction and guidance for. I just know that God is going to honor Jay's heart and willingness to serve- and I can't wait to report back about all that God is doing in this young mans life.

We serve a God of plenty! And as I indicated last Friday, we serve a God who can give us so much more than we can even imagine- if we would only let Him! That right there is something that I think I am learning- to let God bless me. I've been working on that for a long time, and as I found out this weekend, I'm still learning! With the various seasons of unemployment that Andy's been going through over the years, I had to actually learn to say yes when someone offered help. Whether that help be in the form of money, food or clothing, it's sad to say, but once upon a time, I would turn down that help and insist we were okay. I was shown the error of my ways, and I've learned to accept the blessings that God lines up for us, but I have to admit that it's much easier to accept something like that when I know it's something we need. Like the clothing last week. We needed clothes for the kids, and I had no troubles at all letting this other family bless us, and I've since let them know how much of a blessing it truly was- so we all go blessed! They are blessed for the giving, and we are blessed for the receiving. I love that.

But what happens when God reaches into that storehouse and drops something on us that isn't expected, or that we didn't particularly need? I'm afraid I'm still failing at that.

Andy recently was gifted with a full weekend trip to go visit his family in North Carolina. At first, neither of us were eager about accepting such a gift. It just seemed... I don't know, superfluous maybe? Here we are, struggling to make ends meet, and Andy is going to go flitting off and spending a weekend away? Well, God showed us right away how this was a blessing.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

We were looking for bills to be paid, money for the back account, and God's answer was an all-expense paid trip to North Carolina. Does that make any sense? No. But it was a blessing just the same. Andy had a wonderful time connecting with his family, and I think the family had a wonderful time with him.

So did we learn from that? Oh, how quickly we forget those lessons we learn. (Can you see me rolling my eyes?) This weekend, while working at Abigail's production of the Nutcracker, Andy was handed a piece of paper with a hotel itinerary on it. He is going to help with another production this coming weekend, and they thought to give him a hotel for the weekend instead of making him drive back and forth. Our very first thought was excitement- how cool was this going to be! Our very next thought was how it isn't practical. How we really can't afford a weekend away, so Andy would likely go by himself.

Oh thank God for friends and their Godly wisdom. And their prayers as well. Yesterday it became all too clear that this was not just meant as a hotel stay to bless Andy so he didn't have to drive all weekend. It was meant for the whole family. While we're in the midst of our struggles and troubles, God is giving us a weekend getaway! A weekend where Andy gets to do the theater stuff he so loves doing, and the kids and I get to lounge around by a swimming pool for hours at a time! We also get to spend some time watching a ballet that we all enjoy watching already- and it's just a win-win weekend. We'll get to spend a weekend away, away from the hustle and bustle and the daily reminders that all is not as it should be. Does this blessing make any sense? Not really, not from a worldly point of view. All the same, it is a blessing, and God thought we should have it, so we will rejoice in Him and be glad. And we will be so, so thankful for this gift and for the gifts to come.

Because God will provide and meet all our needs every time. And sometimes, He just wants to give us something whimsical and fun, and I love that.

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