I was out in the Carytown area yesterday. One of the worst places to be when you know that you can’t have solid food for 36 hours before a medical test. But I was looking to pick up my last meal for a few days and wanted something special.
However my husband and I ran across homeless people near the trash cans of so many of these trendy restaurants . I began to weep when I saw them because this is America….the land of excess…and yet so many are living like this. Carytown flows with cash. Most times I can afford nothing there. It was heartbreaking seeing people of all ages and colors hoping for some wasteful person’s scraps.
This situation is only exasperated by Covid closing so many churches and shelter resources. It is also created by a ” I got mine. You get yours” attitude so many financially secure people have.
We don’t have a lot in our house but we are blessed. My husband and pooled what we had and bought as many sandwiches and fries we could handle. Thank you to the Carytown McDonald’s for asking what we were doing and donating a matching amount of bottled water.
I was shook so much by one married couple out on the corner with what seemed to be all of their possessions huddled against the cold. I freaked when I noticed a baby stroller but was relieved to find it was a very old dog wrapped in a blanket. I’m not a pet lover but I had to feed it. The poor thing was so tired looking he barely lifted his head at the smell of food. The young husband was so grateful he started to cry.
In the age of Covid you can’t touch, get too close or even see smiles anymore. But I was struck by all the emotions in his eyes and they spoke the volume of the problems in the human experience. His eyes were a golden brown color that I have never seen before and pierced right through me as a reminder to be grateful in all things. Even under the dirt and behind a make shift mask his face glowed.
I also noticed that they still wore their wedding bands. Tells me that they have not been out there too long. Most folks would have pawned for a room. Also tells me that they are determined to stay a family.
My husband and I made one last pass thru the street to make sure we hadn’t missed anybody we saw. Thought I had gone crazy because the couple and that old dog were suddenly gone. No way they could have moved that fast. We had just circled the block.
All I can do is wonder if we had been visited and tested. I pray we passed. My own food is still in the fridge. No need for it. My heart filled me.
I suppose I will answer in fuller detail later. But I was asked earlier about my “why me?” moments. My answer was this: of course I have them. But I try simply to avoid them because then I find my spiritual self asking my carnal self “why not me? ” to which both sides have lofty answers. And then the fight ends with the question to which no pure soul can answer with a holy heart “Who would I rather God had picked instead?”
Cancer sucked. Surgery sucked. Chemo really sucked. And I suppose my upcoming radiation will too. But no where do I believe I have a target on my back. My name is not Job or Job-ette. We live in a world where stuff happens even to those who love God and are loved by God. The magnificent difference is I am never alone. I would have lost my mind without His ever presence.
Would I have chosen this path? A resounding NOPE. But nor would I choose to hand it off to someone else. There is none else worthy to walk in my shoes nor is none else deserving to have the pain I bear walking in my shoes.
I fight on believing that purpose and goodness shall come out of this. That nothing I have experienced, bad or good, is in vain.
I shall not waste time wondering “why” on many days. I would rather spend the many days wondering how to powerfully live.
In the grand scheme of things, there was nothing nuclear about it. The world has not ended. But it certainly felt like I had been hit by a bomb.
I was prepared and unready all at the same time. My infusion nurse had warned me. My oncologist had warned me. Every book and every fellow survivor had warned me.
It had even warned me. In the three days prior, and without further description, everything below my neck had made a steady march toward the shower drain. Adding insult to injury by forcing me to repeatedly clean the “shower shroom” I had purchased in case of such of an event.
I even had a beautician and a back-up beautician on stand by. I was going to take control of this. I was not going to let it beat me. I was going to be brave and rid myself of the trauma. Was even going to go live on social media with it. I was going to declare that “Pink Warriors” rule. A group of us girls were going to fight back.
But this was not to be the case. Whether this was bad luck or whether it was divine providence, I don’t know. Every single lady involved but me was busy that Friday night. My power moment was quickly becoming a whimper.
I was desperate. I was edgy, but I was sure I could make it to Saturday morning. “Just go to bed”, I told myself, “It will be okay”.
Taxotere aka “The Hair Taxi” said ” Yeah, Right!”
Ever had a sunburn on your head? That’s what it felt like when the “glow bugs” came to fight. Woke me up at 3 a.m. with a jolt. Instantly, my hand rises for my head. Ascends empty and descends full of what used to be.
My face was wet with mourning before I even picked up the comb and started to loosening the plaits I had been wearing to lessen impact. But nothing could save me from the pain in my scalp nor the pain in my spirit as they began to fall on their own. For each one I pulled, another came with it.
Exhausted from trying to keep up, I woke my husband up at 4 a.m . I sat between his knees on the floor to let him finish the job. Towel around my shoulders and bag in hand to protect the carpet.
We turned on the comedy channel, though neither of us really felt like laughing. I was attempting to drown out the screaming that was going on in and on my head.
After nearly two straight hours of digging, pulling and stopping to cool my scalp with a towel, I was left with a gallon sized freezer bag of what used to be black (and grey) natural curls and braids.
My “Whoopie Goldberg” pigtails use to extend just about my shoulders. Very few in my professional life had seen them. I kept them neatly tucked under a curly wig of about the same length during daylight hours. They were my little secret that got exposed the minute I hit my door frame each night and all weekend long. Only my closest family and friends had seen them. Oh, and occasionally, the mail man who I felt no need to be fake with.
My “Whoopies” were my guilty little pleasures. My real me. My freedom. And now I was carefully gathering them for a funeral procession in a zip lock bag coffin. A sobbing march to the super can outside so I would not be tempted to keep them.
SIDE NOTE: It is just hair. I know that. But it was mine. The next person with a full head of hair who has not experienced chemo or alopecia…. and says that I should just get over it….. best believe they should stand at least my arm span away for a week or more.
In rotation, for 50 years. Together, thru a gazillion style and color changes. Fads and bad hair cuts. Extensions and protective wigs. Personality, definition, style! Alter ego! It was mine and I need at least 24 hours to pout and eat some of the crap I have been avoiding. I will smile again Sunday.
As I ran my hand again through the remnant still attached to me, the physical pain was very much there. I would spend most of the morning with cold towels on my head trying to minimize the burn. I tried to talk to God to do the same for my soul. I have come to the conclusion that I was not allowed to beat this part of the race because He needed me to “feel” this for somebody else. Testimonies are never for ourselves, but for those in ear shot or in the reading.
I will be real with you. This day, though horrible for a few hours, was truly never really about hair. It was about the feeling of breast cancer robbing me of something else.
Please, don’t read pity …. read mad as spit.
I know what millions of men and women feel as surgery changes your body. Scars criss-cross in vain places. Things taken off and things inserted in. Skin texture changes and color changes. Ruined taste buds. Weight gain and weight loss. Steroid hots and steroids cold. Steroid cries and steroids mean. Just this week, I met a lady who lost her hearing to chemo. Another of whom it caused heart problems.
Let’s not forget people talking to your chest like your tumor will glow and reveal itself or your missing boob will reappear before their eyes. Or the dumb things that are said like “my 3rd cousin didn’t make it”, “where’s your faith” or “it’s just hair”.
I got myself together Saturday morning. Since the beauticians were still not available, I grabbed my daughter and headed straight to the neighborhood barbershop where I take my boys to. I knew “Pop Trim” as he is affectionately called would be opened early. I needed to get this over with quickly. I called ahead and was greeted with a ” I got you girl”.
The shop is normally full of noise and a lot of trash talking guys. I am one of only a few ladies that can hang in such a place…. well trained by my large family of uncles and male cousins. But today I was first in the door and it was almost silent.
Pop, a veteran of the Armed Forces and a retired firefighter with strong hands, handled me like he was cradling a newborn baby. His quiet demeanor was almost unsettling as I had never seen it before… and probably never will again.
Scissors and clippers flying around my head, he took breaks in between when the sobs came. He never acknowledge them. Didn’t hand me a tissue. He just let me have my tears. I thought I wanted an army of women with me to cheer me on. But the healing touch of this stately rescuer who knew how to properly war was more than enough.
My eyes flowed upward toward the ceiling seeking my true Rescuer. I know He is with me and will never leave me comfortless.
And then into the eyes of my daughter who was filming my buzz cut. I pray for the day that breast cancer goes playing in traffic. I want my girly girl to never know what this feel like.
I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalms 27:13
1/7/18. I will always remember that date like it was a star date in the Star Trek Captain’s Log.
Started off as a normal Sunday set-up. I had just cleaned up the area around the sound booth and was adjusting everything to get ready for that morning’s praise and worship. Service was a running a few minutes behind, but we were still fresh off our morning’s high of pre-worship hour prayers.
Then it happened. My phone rang. I almost never answer it during service. In fact, two minutes before I had nudged one of our teenagers about having their phone in use during Sunday school.
But I recognized the number. That familiar 264 exchange that every “kidney” family in my region of Virginia recognizes.
Breathless, full of anticipation, and almost terrified, palms and face sweating in two seconds flat, I answered to the coordinators voice…. “WHERE ARE YOU?”
You see, protocol call dictates that when the organ sharing center receives a possible match, you must call the prospective recipient to make sure they are within four hours of their chosen transplant hospital. Once whereabouts are confirmed, they then say they will call you back and promptly hang up.
Yes, you read that right. In one of the shakiest moments of your life, they hang up with a promise to call you back within an hour…..or so…. If it is a good match.
I was still in the sound booth. My son was sitting on his favored spot approximately 6 rows in front of me. I didn’t know whether to tell him or not that his life was about to change because we had been disappointed by these phone calls twice before.
I simply texted him “be ready to go when I tap you.”
His answer to me was a simple “Ok”. Never even asked why. Just trusted that if I said go, we go.
For me, on the other hand, this would be the longest 59 minutes of my entire life. Seems like time and space stood still. Room temp was suddenly too warm for me and the air too stale. I can’t remember if I set the microphones correctly… pastor could have been screaming and I would not have heard him. The praise and worship team was faithfully belting out songs that my impatient ears could not discern. All I could distinguish was the rhythm of the beating drum that was now matching my racing heartbeat.
Just about 45 minutes into the process, I had to set a course correct. Not on the sound board, but in myself. I had to steady myself on a bumpy ride by apologizing to God, to Jesus, to Holy Spirit. I had become so consumed with that phone call I forgot to continue in personal worship and attention to the Word being brought forth. I was esteeming what I wanted from God…more than I was esteeming God.
It was as if in that moment, Holy Spirit was ringing within my heart and asking “WHERE ARE YOU?”
I steadied myself. I readied myself. I began to worship through tears of pending decision, proclaiming that as much as I wanted this gift to release my son from 5 years of agonizing dialysis treatments, that I wanted the Presence of the Lord even more.
As my spiritual belly began to be filled with more and more of knowing that God was with me no matter what, I heard in my spirit, “hang up” and I looked down and the phone I had been clutching in my hand rang.
Tearfully I answer. Joyfully, 58 minutes into the wait, the coordinator responded……”HOW FAST CAN YOU GET HERE?”
And such is the stuff of our walk in Christ!!!!
How often have we positioned ourselves to want and need from God, some things directly tied to a promise that we are sure He made to us, and then only to find ourselves in a position that seemed more than we can bear. We sadly turn our “knock and the door shall be open” approach to believing into a heartsick lifestyle of being unfulfilled, unsatisfied and yes, even unbelieving unless we see the manifestation of the desire.
Hebrews 11:6 instructs us that “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Note it says “diligently seek Him”. Not diligently seek it.
In our individual journeys, we must be careful to remember when God calls to ask “Where Are You” that we be found seeking Him and not just the “thing” we are in hopes of. We need to be diligently obsessed with His Word, trusting His timing and praising His goodness even when it seems if all will fall apart.
And when He “hangs up,” we need to trust that He will indeed call again. While we wait, we need to focus on Him and His goodness. Hang up on any thought that causes you to doubt and despair. We need to abandon our consumption with the “will He” notions of whether we will be given that perfect mate. Ignore the siren of ticking biological clock. Avoid the stress of will the money come in time. Steel yourself to know more of Him….even when your child’s life is in the balance..
Trust God and His Goodness. . Even when it seems distant….it is in God’s plan. Even if it turns differently that what you expect, it is in His plan. Even if it is a no…because of reasons greater than we understand….better is in His plan.
Let the love of Him guide you. Let knowing that He only wants the best for you to guide you. Understand that loving Him more than anything you could ask for or desire is key in the knowing that soon He will be looking to call you to higher heights and greater blessings. Some so marvelous that you will forget what you originally wanted. Reset your control and let God have His way with it.
One last question. He wants to know and I am a bit curious in my prayers for you too.
Since we are confident that God is always on time, how soon can YOU get here?!
Wow. Hard to hold back grateful tears!!! Today marks 1 month since Isaiah has been given the most wonderful gift. I am so amazed at his progress and much to his embarassment, I get mushy over each milestone. He thought it was too much when I cried watching him eat his first (approved) baked french fry in 5 years.
Want to thank everyone who has stood with us and by us. Every who helped in prayer and financially. Those who cover me at work and those who dutifully make sure my church doesn’t miss me too much. Those who brought a plate and those who pushed a vaccum. For every card and every phone call.
You will never begin to know how much this means to me. How much it means to us.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
– Hebrews 4:15 KJV
We often joke in my household that I would never make a good politician because I tell everything about and on myself so there would never be any dirt to dig up…unless you looked under the carpet. I believe the wearing of my heart on my sleeve comes from having a testimony of a loving God that has been too good to me to keep it to myself. I pretty much live an open book. Or so I thought.
My ministry is the often sharing of being joyful in troubled times, trusting God no matter what and believing how He would restore all. Nice, tidy, wonderful sounding inspiration…missing one major detail. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was fear. Maybe I could not stand to have to utter words aloud that would cause me to think and deal with it or myself.
But recently I was faced with three persons that “outed” me. One was struggling to hold on in faith when modern medicine said “no way.” Another because of past mistakes was wondering how God could ever love her. Finally, the third who had lost the roof over her head due to medical and legal difficulties. Each supposing lack in their faith because they were scared, they were hurt, and they were ashamed of the way they felt.
Normally, I would have an easy answer for their queries of “I don’t understand how you do it?” But God challenged me to pull the last bit from under the rug. It didn’t sound like such a testimony to me, but from each of the “three” I received either a “why didn’t you tell me” or “gee, you hid that well.” Finally I was convicted by “I really needed to hear that….I am normal”.
My secret you ask? It was simply the answer “ME TOO”.
Most of you already know that it has been close to 5 years now since my son simultaneously went deaf and into final stage renal failure. I have not been slack to share most of the experience… highs and lows. What I failed to share… and even now I hesitate to say it…..the day I got mad with God.
You see, after years of countless surgeries, repeated illness and thrice weekly dialysis treatments, a suitable donor match had been found. We immediately went into preparation mode to get the house ready for infection control, not spending a spare dime since I would be out of work for weeks, and tip toeing around family and friends because we wanted to keep the surprise quiet until after the procedure. We cancelled all travel, all vacations and even my participation in what could have been a career changing convention concert.
And then “it” happened! I was in devotions one morning and I clearly heard God say to me “Forget the Back-up Plan…” I didn’t have a clue what that meant at the time, but I knew it meant to trust Him. In my mind’s eyes I immediately applied that thought to my finances, my job and so on and so on. Everything except what would come next.
Just a few days before we were supposed to check into the hospital, I get a cold emotionless call from a third party nurse. She gave no explanation. She would not answer any of my questions. She offered no empathy or sympathy. She simply said a very technical version of “No Go. “
I don’t remember any reports of earthquakes that day. But I felt it. I didn’t know how I was going to tell my son, who was so excited about finally being free from the pain and isolation of dialysis. I was furious. Was God playing with me like a cat with a string? Imagine if you will, me going off by myself because I didn’t want any people to know though I knew in my spiritual mind God had a plan…..my heart and my head was all jacked up. I wanted to know what I had done wrong. I wanted to know what I needed to do better
As if God had not seen me, I reminded Him of all the nights I stood by my son’s bedroom door praying and listening for his breath making sure it was still there. I reminded Him, how we believed through all the extreme body pain when the high dose narcotics wouldn’t do. I reminded Him, how we stayed faithful even when were too tired to function. I even bargain that even if my prayers were no good, then surely somebody amongst all the folks that prayed for our family there had to be one….even just one… whose faith was greater.
My screams were met with simply “Forget the Back-up Plan.”
It became clear that God was telling me to trust Him even when I could not trace Him. We found out later than the donor had a sudden condition that disqualified him. If we had received that kidney, it would have failed us quickly. We would have been in a bigger mess than what we started with. Just like His Word says in Jeremiah 29, He has a plan that has a good and certain end. For our Good and not to harm us.
As I told my three friends, it didn’t happen overnight. Months have passed now and I still jump a little when the phone rings at night. I will be honest and let you know that this piece took days to write because tears started to flow amidst a whole lot of “God I am sorry. “
I reveal all these things to simply let you know that whatever you are going through, You ARE normal. Being faithful and believing is not always easy, but so very worth it. Yes, Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord Always, “ and then goes on to say “Again I say rejoice. “ I surmise that if we have to be told and then reminded to rejoice then apparently it “aint” always easy.
Believe it or not, He knows you hurt. He is not a God so far out that He is not touched with our personal pains (Hebrews 4:15). He is okay with you being honest about it. He will not strike you down for asking questions.
Just remember that it is faith that moves mountains… not tears. Cry but keep pushing!!!!
“ But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
In the past few weeks, I have heard so many complaints of not having money for “this” or not having funds for “that” when it comes to Christmas. Some to the point of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” for things they just can’t afford that will only bring them a momentary joy. Many are allowing themselves to drown in debt to prove that they are loved and that they do love. So much Christmas spirit lost to being “Christmas broke!”
Others still moan that the recent elections and darkness in the world around us just ruined the season for them. Politics, prejudice and pain instead of tidings of comfort and joy.
Listening to all of groaning (and a time or two participating myself), I now think of Mary on her first Christmas. If anyone had a reason to complain, it would be her. Though the Bible does not say so, so don’t shoot me, I imagine that Mary’s First Noel is a bit different than the meek and mild story we relate on Christmas Eve.
On what should have been her honeymoon season, she was married to a good man who, nevertheless, was most likely caring for her out of obedience to God and probably not such much out of love for his betrothed wife or her unborn child. She had been forced to exit home and leave family behind because an egotistical dictator wanted to count everybody. She had spent days upon days riding a donkey, which would not have been great on any regular day, but a nightmare at nine months pregnant. And adding injury to insult, due to a lack of accommodations, would soon find herself in labor next to the very beast of burden she had just used for transportation.
Yet, I don’t remember a gripe story in Luke 2:1-20.
But it does mention in verse 19 “she kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
No doubt she was amazed from the time the Angel told her that she was chosen to be the blessed mother. No doubt she was amazed when Elizabeth’s unborn child leaped in excitement at the coming of his cousin. No doubt she was amazed that Joseph chose to stick by her when he could have had her stoned. For now she was surrounded by a heavenly host pronouncing “Glory to God in the Highest” and a short time later a royal delegation would come to bestow great gifts.
But surely in her pondering, she must have thought of where they would go the next night. I wonder what her thoughts were when they ran to Egypt to escape Herod as he slaughtered innocent babies in a search to destroy the one she was cradling. Time and time again as he would be sought after, persecuted and ultimately crucified, what were her thoughts…… what might have been her complaints? Did Mary always know and consider the tests and trials of mothering the Savior of the World? How did she feel loving the one child she had that was destined to die.
I would like to think that she always knew that God would provide for her needs and for the ways of escape. I would like to think that she always trusted in God’s plan. Even in his last breaths Jesus made sure somebody was available to take care of his mother. (John 19:26-27). But I am sure, even as she sang sweet lullabies to the Son of God dressed as the Son of Man, she had her days. She was 100 percent human entrusted with the care of the 100 percent King of Glory.
Provision on the run could not have been easy. Watching Him give His all for a dark and devious world, could not have been easy. Certainly watching Him die for people who would someday complain about Christmas would be no holiday!!!!
So I admonish you (as I do myself) that if the season we call Christmas is “getting to you,” then I can almost guarantee you that your focus and pondering is in the wrong place. It isn’t in a line at a black Friday sale. It isn’t at a tree lighting ceremony. It isn’t at the annual pageant at your church this Sunday.
The true joy of Christmas is not even at the manger. It comes thirty-three years later at an empty tomb where the ultimate gift is given. He gave you salvation and peace and even a promise to be there during the lonely points when we miss those who have gone on before us. No gift you can or cannot give could ever top that. Stop trying and stop stressing.
But gift HIM your best gift. A surrendered heart that is willing to ponder Him.
“But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning.” Revelation 2:4 (ERV)
In my office, in my particular section, in my specific group, we are a pretty tight bunch. Not to say it is a virtual love fest all of the time. Just like all families, which I believe we have become, we genuinely and generally care about each other.
In the midst of a team effort of solid performances, quarterly reports, deadlines, demands and demons (aka budget goals) that cause most groups to be pretty cutthroat, we have managed to make our environment better by really getting to know each other. We share our joys and sorrows, pasts and presents, and our hopes for the future.
For instance, today is doughnut day! I believe the excitement of that square cake box filled with a dozen naughty delights is made even sweeter by the fact that I don’t just pick up a dozen glazed (even though most folks would gobble that.) I get up early to go to a special shop that is known for the best doughnuts with the largest traditional variety. None of the crazy bacon or weird stuff, but good, honest, homemade, preservative free calories.
Over the years, I have observed my work family and realized that this one will eat this and that one loves that, who will only eat a half and who will eat the other half. And that my boss… well… he will eat the box if you put sugar on it. The doughnut baker has also come to know my work family, so much so, that he starts working on my order when he sees me get out of the car. It has become a thing of extraordinary service that he knows us so well that the first time I asked him to omit a certain treat, he wanted to know if somebody was on a diet or had quit.
So my question to you is this, What Kind of Doughnut Does God Like?
Sometimes in the midst of our so called “service” to God, we get caught up in the mature ins and outs of weekly attendance, volunteer groups, planning committees, building funds efforts….. all great things by the way…. But then forget the sweet intimacy of relationship that God want to have with us. We become little Marthas, “troubled by many things”, and miss out on the Mary experience of which Jesus Christ said was a “good portion, that would not be taken away.” (Luke 10:42). He took the time to know you before you were even formed (Jer 1:5). We must prioritize the time to get to know Him again.
Now don’t call your pastor and tell him I said you have to quit everything!! Just be mindful that God doesn’t mind you being busy, He just does not want you to be so busy “doing for” Him that you “forget about loving” Him. There are times you just need to sit and let Him talk to you, whether via the written Word or mediation, instead of just making your prayer time about need, wants and demands. The songs you sing should not just make you “happy” but imagine Him leaning via the throne room to listen in. Don’t get so caught in the preaching, teaching and ministering that defines you that you totally forget Who it is all about in the first place. Big hint… it is not you.
So back to today’s question! The great Creator of the Universe, of whom, His Word is constantly referring to the sweetness of it, must surely like a doughnut with honey and a glass of milk. My husband, the great thinker in the house, says (in his big baritone voice) “If you view all that God has made, you would know He would like a variety box.”
I responded, “ If you would look in the mirror, you would know that God likes something a little nutty.”
Father, in the matchless Name of Jesus, we enter Your Presence thanking You for all that You have given us and given us to do to “occupy until You come.” But Lord today we want to take the time to return to our first love experience with You. We repent for letting our self-services and even our good intentions get in the way and we commit ourselves, once again, to really getting to know You again. We are excited about the adventure. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Luke 11:13. So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Every time my younger sister comes to the house, she walks by it and groans. Every time my one of my grandsons, Jeremiah, comes to the house he exclaims, “I love it here.” So, naturally, the situation has me torn.
You see, today is Saturday, January 31, 2015 and still…. in all its splendid glory and beauty, gracing my living room like a strong tower and great representation of faith…. the tree of Christmas 2014 is still up.
Yes, I was the last one in the family to decorate, I always am. And yes, you are right, I am probably just too lazy to take it down. But, the delay lead to the joke, that lead to the miracles.
It was funny at first when on January 6, …. the official last day of Christmas tree removal etiquette…., I irritated the sister, who shall remain nameless, (you know who I am talking about, don’t you , Cheryl?) by saying “ Shoot , as long as the tree stays up , I will have a prepared place for the gifts to keep coming.” But it stopped being such a joke before long because for days….. almost every day…. stuff started coming and coming from strange places.
Actually, gifts started coming from people who said they were just thinking of us. Rebates owed started coming. A grant that had been denied was suddenly overturned and a huge medical expense paid. Some bonus money from work I wasn’t expecting showed up and on and on and on. We even took one blessing, turned it into a seed into a homeless woman and her child and watched God multiply it into a home for the two of them.
I do believe even the “unsaid” sister thought about a request or two. So much so, my husband, said “Leave it up all year, we will just change the decorations each month.” LOL.
Now surely, we know that the Christmas tree had nothing to do with it really, though it had become a testimony of God’s goodness to all that heard about it. My heart was struck by “having a place prepared for the presence of His presence and His presents” Since we have already established that the Lord loves to give gifts, spiritual and material, to his children, we should also note that Psalm 35:27 tells us to “Let the Lord be magnified, who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants.”.
So, would it be safe to say that the “great Christmas Tree miracle of 2014” was really the result of the members of our household and others happily blessing God. Our prepared hearts were praising and thanking him for the unusual testimony He had given us to share. I believe God was using us to get this point to a few others : He does want to bless you and care for you …… and truly that “ no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly in Him. Blessed is the man that trusts in Him” (Psalm 84:11).
As much as I have grown to love having it in the corner of the living room, I may take it down today, simply because I don’t want folks to get the notion that it is about the tree. All blessings in this house come from the Lord. Our greatest gifts came in the birth, death and ultimately, the triumphant resurrection of Christ…..freedom from the bonds of sin, sickness, death and the promises of eternal life.
Though, I just might wait until after Jeremiah visits again so I can hear him say one more time “ I love it here, It is always Christmas.” Or maybe after Valentines …or Maybe Easter…or maybe until you show up to help. You get the picture!
Prayer: Father, in the amazing Name of Jesus, we thank You for the amazing gift of Your son, Jesus Christ,and all the grace and pleasures You have afforded us under the covenant of His blood. Lord we do not take lightly the gifts, both spiritual and in the natural , that You have given us. We appreciate them and know that You bless us to be a blessing to others. Guide us as we use your resources and talents to glorify Your kingdom. Amen.