Monday, January 20, 2014

Seeing His Hands

I sank to my knees in the middle of the kitchen, paying no attention to the fact that the linoleum was cold and hard and the fact that my husband might think I was insane.

But he didn't.

He joined me on the cold kitchen floor, and raw emotion crashed over me like waves.

I cried, and in a quiet voice I prayed:

"Thank you dear, Lord. 
Thank you for your many blessings,
but thank you most of all for revealing yourself to me.
Thank you for knowing I needed to see your hands working in my life,
and thank you for so graciously giving me what I needed.
Just thank you."

In his book The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says, "In order to experience a miracle, you have to take a risk." Of course, he's not talking about taking just ANY risks; he's talking about taking those risks the Holy Spirit is speaking into your ear, the ones that don't add up on paper - but hey, 5 loaves and 2 fishes can't feed thousands either, right?

Just about a year ago, Josiah and I were struggling with whether I should quit my job to stay home with the kids or continue working. We both felt me staying home was best for our family, but...

let's just say we were wondering about God's ability to do math.

Everything we felt, heard, and experienced, though, told us that I was supposed to stay at home (and the decision to homeschool was not far behind). We trusted that God would provide...and oh, has He provided...in so many ways.

Here's the thing, when you're put in a position of pure dependence on God in alignment with His will, then you are in the very humbling and awe-inspiring position of seeing His hand move...a lot.

And in the last 10 months, that's exactly what we've seen:

  • when we needed a new van and He gave us one for 1/3 of it's actual value
  • when that van lost it's transmission while we were on vacation in the Smoky Mountains and He provided in so many ways, through so many people
  • when we bought a lot of books at an auction for $10 and wound up selling one of them for $880
  • when friends of ours sponsored us to go to a Smart Stepfamilies conference and bought us lunch afterward
  • when $250 showed up on our doorstep right before Christmas
  • when loving family members went out and bought quite a few presents from us to the kids
  • when our dear friends handed us a check and simply said "Merry Christmas"
  • when grandparents sent gift cards and money for Christmas that have been such a blessing
  • and yesterday, when one of Josiah's regular customers who just loves him blessed us with over $100 in groceries and a $25 gift card to match...and I found myself thanking God on the kitchen floor.
It started pretty simply, apparently. One of Josiah's elderly customers chats with him regularly, and just loves him to death; she even sent us some of her homemade rhubarb jam at one point. When they spoke yesterday, she asked how Christmas was, and he said it was great. He told her that things were tight, but how we'd been blessed by God through the people around us. He told her that I'm staying home with the kids and homeschooling. She talked about her grandkids.

And then...

She came up to Josiah and asked him to come out to the car with her. She handed him a $25 gift card, and then she took a small bag of groceries out of the full cart and gave the rest of the cart to him. I don't think he'd mind me telling you he cried and gave her a big hug.

He showed up at home with a kitchen full of groceries - staples that we use every, single day - and that's when I sunk to the floor, overwhelmed with joy.

See, here's the deal: our budget is tight, and things are late sometimes, but we're not absolutely destitute; we're decently broke, but we're not starving or anything. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying I don't appreciate the groceries. That is such a huge help.

But more than that, I was overwhelmed by the sense of God's presence in my life, staring at me on the kitchen counter in such a tangible way. It was more than my heart could take; it sapped the strength from my legs and the joy spilled from my eyes.

Pure, joy and thankfulness.

Conversely, this has been a hard post for me to write. It's hard to tell the world you're poor and someone gave you groceries. That's just not how we're put together. The world says no matter what's going on in your life you're supposed to put on a happy face and pretend we have it all together.

But God says:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God 
so that at the proper time He may exalt you....
1 Peter 5:6

and

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
2 Corinthians 11:30

So I had to write it. I had to. God has blessed us so much, and used so many people to do it. How could I not shout His praises for it from the rooftops? How could I not tell everyone about all the beautiful ways He's touched our lives?

I just had to, and now that I have, I will send this into cyberspace and hope you're blessed by reading it.

What risk is God telling you to make? What is He telling you to do that's making you respond by saying, "but God, it just doesn't add up?!"

Listen to Him today. Let Him guide you. He'll never steer you wrong.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. 
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11




7 comments:

  1. That is amazing and beautiful. I am so glad I read it, and I'm so glad God put it on your heart to write this. Really.

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    1. Thank you, Lauren. The older I get the more I realize that doing what's good isn't always easy...and vice versa. I appreciate you dropping by!

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  2. Psalm 9:1-2 (1) I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all thy wonders. (2) I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.

    Psalm 9:9-10 (9) The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble. (10) And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Thou, Oh Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.

    As I watched you sing your heart out in praise to our Lord last Sunday, I knew that one of my favorite hymns "How Great Thou Art" would never quite sound the same as it did seeing the Holy Spirit shine through you as you sung it with every ounce of praise you could muster. I have never been as proud of you or as thankful that God lent you to me to raise you and grateful to be your mother.

    This post is a beautiful testimony from a loving heart that evoked tears. Thank you sweetheart for sharing this. Although I already knew most of this, reading it is a reminder for everyone of what trust in our Lord is all about. He will NEVER forsake those who love Him! I love you so very much and am truly thankful God blessed me with you. Love, Mom

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  3. This is such a beautiful testimony! God works through the practical, and I think that it's easy for me to forget that. My husband and I are at a similar crossroads, and finding the faith can be hard - "I believe, help my unbelief!". Your encouragement has been heard!

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    1. Thank you so much for YOUR encouragement! :)

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  4. I can't help but to say, God is GOOD. Loved reading of how He has used others to bless you in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I'm so glad you did write this and share. xoxo

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