Monday, June 25, 2012
A Modern Day 'Fish and Loaves' Story
If you have read any of my past blogs, you know that I write these posts so that we will never forget. This post is no different. I hope that you will be encouraged by reading it, but I also hope you see that none of the credit in any of these stories goes to us...to God be ALL the glory. You also know that I have written several times on how we have been given MUCH! Especially during these last few years, God has blessed us so richly through random people in our lives, and it has been both humbling and inspiring to be on the receiving end of the excitement. Yesterday, however, we had a unique experience of being both the receiver and the giver....This stuff is just too good to forget it, so I must write! As part of a series, The Elephant in the Room, the pastor preached on abortion. It was very informative and relevant to our world today, and it heightened our senses. We were reminded of the value of human life and the beauty of women choosing to carry their babies through a pregnancy even when it might be embarrassing, inconvenient, or financially burdensome. Because all of our pregnancies were planned and we were excited about each one, Chris and I can easily forget that many people do no feel the same. Choosing life is an act of obedience with rewards beyond our expectations! After church, a man (who I will not name)walked past Chris and kindly spoke as usual. A minute later; however, he returned. He asked Chris, "Do you have a family?" Chris said yes, and the man laid out a $100 bill on the table and said, "Go buy your family lunch." When Chris refused it, he said, "You have to. The Lord just told me to give you this." How do you say no to that?!? So there we were with $100 that we didn't need , but we were told to go eat lunch. We knew immediately, it was now our turn to pass it on. As we made our plans for lunch, we prayed and asked God to show us where to go, who to pass it on to, and how to carry it out. We all got more and more excited as we started looking for a place to eat. We considered a fast food place where we could "pay it forward," but that just didn't seem like what we were supposed to do. Eventually, we decided on a resturant where we could develop a relationship with a waiter/waitress, but picking the actual place was a bit more challenging. Benton really, really wanted a Chinese buffet, but MaryBeth wanted Chili's. Brandon threw Burger King into the mix while I suggested barbeque. We pulled into The Cotton Patch but there was a 30 miute wait at 1:30. That would mean we might not be eating till 2:30!!! We were driving circles around Lakeworth when mom suggested Logan's Roadhouse. Everyone seemed happy with that, so Chris manuevered our big, old tank out of the turn lane, across two ohter lanes of traffic, and soon we were at Logan's. With no wait, we were seated and ordering our drinks within minutes. After taking our drink orders, the waitress said to me,"You look so familiar." I asked her if she went to Boswell where I teach, and she said, "Yes. I think I was in your class for like 2 weeks, and then I transferred to Watson." Immediately, I remembered exacly what she was desricbing...I even knew where she sat in the classroom. Now for some, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was HUGE!! I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday let alone a student I had 2 years ago for only 2 weeks! We all knew immediately, this was "our girl." Throughout our lunch, we chatted with her. We found out she had graduated from Watson, and she is starting school in the fall. She was very sweet, and we enjoyed just getting to know her a little bit. Over lunch we discussed the sermon amongst ourselves, and enjoyed a mighty fine lunch that was given to us. All through lunch, however, we could hardly contain ourselves knowing that we were about to be able to pass the blessing on to someone else. We were all giddy with emotion, and finally the time came. When she brought us our change from our lunch, I asked her if I could tell her what had happened to us at church; I told her about the man and his gift; I told her about praying that God would lead us to the right place and the right person; and I told her about the craziness in picking our location. I went on to say that I didn't know much about her or what needs she has in her life right now, but God had purposely led us to her. That's when she told us that she was pregnant. At 18 years old and not married, her dad had suggested she abort the baby, but she said she didn't believe in that. We all smiled and gave her a nutshell version of the sermon. We encouraged her that she had made the right decision, and we reminded her that she has a precious baby growing inside of her. God will bless her decision to choose life for that baby. What a full circle kind of day! From the sermon to the man who started the "obedience ball" rolling to the craziness in choosing our location to puttng us at the right table at the right time with the right waitress who needed a blessing and encouragement...ONLY GOD can orchestrate these kinds of events! This man who obediently gave to our family ended up blessing not only us but this teenage girl and and unborn baby. God took that $100 and touched more lives than any of us could have imagined! I am more challenged than ever before to keep my ears and heart more open to the Holy Spirit's promptings. That man at church was sensitive to the Holy Spirit, he obeyed, he blessed, and the Word promises us that he will be blessed. Thank you Mr. __________ for showing us the beauty of Kingdm Mathematics...you give, you receive. Jesus is still in the business of multiplying. Once upon a time it was fish and loaves; today it was $100 bill and a Logan's Roadhouse. Only God...ONLY GOD!!!!