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Thursday, May 04, 2006

God Comes to Me in Benjamins

It is probably no surprise to Grenzophiles that God and I have been on strained terms lately. The stress of selling our home (at a loss), finding a permanent place here in Arkansas, and adequately providing for my family has been the first and foremost item on the agenda with me and God. And in the midst of all of this, I have struggled to make God himself the first thing, putting aside the agenda to simply be with him. It has all been hard - one of the hardest dark nights of the soul I have experienced in my life of faith. Like I posted on Crumbs, my doubt in recent weeks has been more bold than my faith.

But God keeps showing up - in one hundred dollar bills.

In the last 6 weeks, we have been on the receiving end of some profound generosity. Friends, acquaintances, and strangers have gotten in on it. Strangers have sold Vanessa garage sale items for peanuts that have resulted in near-unbelievable profits on eBay. Acquaintances have pressed money into my hand. And friends have given over and over and over - big time.

Well, today, on a day that arbitrarily has been set as a D-Day of sorts, God made himself known again. In my box at school was a card. I opened to find 5 one hundred dollar bills in it. I was moved to tears.

I don't take these occurrences as happy coincidences or anything I deserve or should take for granted. Rather, I see them as God's graciousness, supporting and encouraging me. I see them as random and unexpected appearances of God in the midst of a time when he has seemed "hard to get," to use Rich Mullins' wonderful phrase. And I see the generous people who have touched my life as images of God, shining with his glory in a way that seems too bright for me to contain.

Thank you God, and thank you, everyone who has been his hands and wallet in our lives.

The card today only had these words in it, words that have been a creedal text in my life:

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13

4 comments:

A said...

Yeah God!!

Sara said...

PRAISE GOD!!! I'm going to cry myself...

I'm so glad that you and Vanessa are getting to experience God's provision for your family in ways that God has been providing for me these last four years.

I wish you two could come out for my graduation..God used your family to push me forward when i was so scared.

I told Vanessa these words that you told me once and I have never forgotten.

"Sara, you can't make decisions based on fear, your decisions have got to be based on faith."

Who would have thought that God would use that one simple phrase and the verse that says

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7"

to help carry me through some of my darkest days.

I love you guys...

Norm said...

Rob, I know what you mean. Salaries at VHCA didn't exactly provide even a comfortable life. But once in a while there would be a card on my desk or in my box with a gift. Those gifts made a lot of difference.

I think I'm better for going through that struggle. You will be too.

Robb said...

NORM!

(I feel like I am on Cheers.)

Welcome to the Grenz, my friend. I hope you and Cherie are doing well. How's life on the Island?