There’s an old country song that laments the results of Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places… Sometimes we find it in unexpected places. But I’m not talking about that kind of love, I’m talking about the little gifts from our Father kind of Love.
Have you ever had times when you needed something and the answer, or solution just came out of an unusual way? I mean things that happen in such a way that it just smacks of God because its such an overwhelming sense of peace and provision for things that aren’t even uttered out loud?
Some people might call these things coincidences, but there are no such thing as coincidence when it comes to God’s ways. It’s been a while since I’ve had such an experience, but there have been a few over the years that I still marvel over. Not that they are earth shattering, “EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT” type things, but just things that came at the time when they were needed the most, and my Father was pleased to give them to me.
Some of these stories I’ve shared with folks before, others, are still personal, and until now, private.
One time years ago when American Boy was little, my dad had to have quadruple bypass surgery. Heart disease had run in his family- his dad died of it and his younger brother died of a heart attack when he was in his 50’s. My dad had always been active, ate well and took care of himself, but his heart was still not up to shape. He’d already had 2 heart attacks in recent years, including the one which led to this operation, so being 1200 miles away, I was a basket case with worry and prayer. The night before, I had a hard time sleeping. I only ran through my life’s memories with my dad over and over again and finally got up and went out to the kitchen where my desk was. I flicked on the light and sat down with tears and prayed for peace to sleep, and that my dad would be OK. I happened to look at the calendar hanging there, a gift from my friend back in Canada- who had sent it to me for Christmas. Each month had a Psalm verse. That month was Psalm 23.
I was not a steady Bible reader at that time, although I had read it. But hadn’t had things memorized very well- so I got my bible and read the whole Psalm. Some I’d heard before- at funerals, so one would think “oh dang, no…” But God wouldn’t have my eyes fixed on the Valley. He had my eyes fixed on where He led me to- green pastures and still waters. The most incredible peace came upon me at that moment, I just cried, Thank You Lord! And went to bed, slept soundly knowing that no matter what, my Dad was in My Father’s Hands.
When I found out the next day that my dad came through fine, I realized it was my birthday. My Father had given me my Dad for my birthday. And I am still so incredibly grateful for that.
The four to six months after Michael died were, to put it bluntly, hellacious. While I was still numb and wondering what I was going to do without him, missing things about him, missing him… the house was falling apart, I needed extensive dental work done and the car was acting up. Those were just within the time between his death and Christmas. And don’t even get started on how I was going to celebrate Christmas and New Year…
Money was well, non existent for the most part. We had saved as much as we could over the years when he was working steady, but most of you know about the things that had happened over the years to eat up most of that. Besides the loss of income when he got sick left us very tenaciously living on the last bit of our savings. I never asked for it, but God blessed me by a few online folks I’ve never met face to face who chipped in and sent me a little package with checks inside. It wasn’t a windfall, but it sure was appreciated and helped cover the car repair. Another online friend, and brother in Christ, was my not so secret Santa and had a local plumber come and fix my pipes under the kitchen sink and covered the cost for that. Again, I was so extremely grateful for the help because I had tried every ‘trick’ I’d learned over the years to repair that thing or at least rig it to keep it from rotting the floor of my kitchen.
So, that was part of it- but after even all the help, I was still struggling to find the money to pay the phone and electric bill. I was trying hard not to use much, and most people would laugh at the low amount of each, but to me, having bills add up to 100.00 when I had about 25 in my bank account was an impassible hurdle. I just didn’t have it.
Fast forward to February. I was going through some books, trying to decide which ones to keep and which ones to either try and sell or donate. By this time I found out that I had to leave my home and find a new place to live, so I began to sort things. I came across a devotional for Married couples. I had read it, but Michael never was into that kind of thing, but I started flipping through the book figuring I didn’t need it anymore, and found a 100.00 bill in it.
My jaw about dropped on the floor. I know I didn’t put it in there. When I realized it was Valentine’s Day and the book that it was in I was amazed. I don’t know if Michael had put it in there consciously, or just picked a random book- he used to put money in books once in a while, just in case, but usually ones we’d find it later. This was not the kind of book that was read on a regular basis. Once again, with a smile through tears, I said, “Thank You Lord!” I was able to pay my bills one more month.
OK one more. There have been so many times when I’ve done things that I wonder if they have any impact, any kind of value or ripple. Often times in my dark moods, I am so down on myself, that I wonder if there’s any purpose to my life at all. Since moving here, my life has been nothing like I thought it would be, and many times it seems so empty or pointless. I know I am here for a reason, so don’t worry… but I still have too many days…
Anyway, I was going through one of my old Bibles not too long ago, and I happened to see a piece of paper taped in the front. On it was a ‘prophecy’ of sorts- one of my old Veterans from my twitter days had e mailed me a few years ago to ‘tell me a word from the Lord’. And this is what he said,
My beloved daughter, the trials you are going through are just that. Trials to make you stronger. I am always with you when you cry. I cry too for you when you have no tears left. You have no idea how many of the hardest hearts you have touched for me. Your soul’s beauty and all of your deep, deep love for the broken is a blessing unto you and unto My Father’s House.
He had sent me this a couple of years before losing Michael and everything that’s gone on since. At the time, yes I was struggling with things, and this message was a blessing. But it wasn’t until I really needed it, that I found it again and it held so much more truth to it that I could understand before.
God doesn’t do things randomly. He doesn’t do things either just because we need or want. He’s not some genie in a bottle to grant us whatever our hearts desires- He wants our wants to be His own, because He knows us and knows what He created us for. Walter (thank you Dad!) said something yesterday on the Spotlight thread that explains it so well-
“Good days are to be relished as they are God’s gift, just as the hard days are the lessons… It all works out in the end as its all in God’s hands...”
Sometimes we ask or search Him for answers, only to be answered with silence. Other times, we seem to find God in unexpected ways. Either way I am so comforted to know that He is ever present. He is here.
Love is here…
Have a blessed and beautiful week all.