I was raised by a man whose main theme in life was to help others, that was his total motive. He wanted to lead them to salvation and the knowledge that God was a good and merciful God to those who asked for forgiveness. He was never in it for a profit and never got one…however what he did get was provision for his family and whatever church that was his current pastorate. He took on a church that seated a thousand people with only eighty-eight souls that the former pastor let after he had ravaged the congregation…and left to start another work a few blocks away with the congregants that had swallowed to Kool-Aid, independent of the organization. What he did leave were the bills and the mortgage on that beautiful, brick edifice and those few who were left to continue. In my mind I have a vision of Atlas with the world on his shoulders, that was my dad and my mother right by his side with all the support he needed and my brother and I, too young to be of any help at all.
There is a miracle associated with how he managed to pay the church bills and finally move us out of that 16-foot trailer parked at the foot of the fire escape stairs to a house that would become a home…until the church was no longer in trouble and the officials of the organization loved our family to another parish to start all over again…but that is for another blog, what you have just read is the prologue to my own little Christmas miracle this year… and here it is…
Since my dad was such a man of faith, he never, even in those times of the stress of not receiving a salary on a regular basis and needing to pay the church bills, let me repeat never… asked, begged, hinted at or borrowed money from anyone, period. His thought was, and a title to a well-remembered sermon he preached when I was nine years-old, that God will provide a table in the wilderness. He would tell how God gave the Children of Israel manna, meat and water, how He provided them a cloud by day and a fire by night and how their shoes never wore out. He said if God did that for them, He would surely do it for us, and He certainly did.
Having cut my teeth and being raised in this way I have never lost my faith in my God of provision, not only for my salvation and the hope that Jesus is coming again for me but that all my need would be supplied according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus… (Philippians 4:19)
That being said (taking my time, here right?) recently my financial status has been altered to the point that I couldn’t give to the church the offering I wanted to give. Knowing how it was needed I was pretty sad. I prayed and told God that I knew He saw my heart and that I knew He would supply my need. Since Christmas Day is my birthday (I know, I know you already knew that) Facebook kept sending me notices that I should have a fundraiser for my birthday to a worthy cause. I, like my dad before me, have never, ever, would never, ever ask for anything for myself and very reluctant to ask for anything else! Anyone reading this who knows me knows I am telling the truth and I offer you the total freedom to call me a liar out loud and in public if you have any knowledge that statement isn’t true, so I kept ignoring the notices…until one day I didn’t. The amount set was only two-hundred dollars but that was more than I had to give so I went for it, just hoping to not be embarrassed when no one gave anything. I donated five dollars to my own cause to get the ball rolling, now I only needed one hundred and ninety-five more to go with it!
To my shock and awe money started coming in from people I knew up close and some I hadn’t heard from in years! Stunned does not describe how I felt… it continued to come in on Facebook and to me in Christmas cards and handed to me personally and my chin was on the floor. I knew God would take care of it, but the final tally was almost two thousand dollars! Praise God! All those kindhearted people, at Christmas time when everyone is stressed for money, gave to my church for me and I have never been so proud or happy!! My heart is full of love and the awesome feeling of seeing another miracle happen for this old girl!
The words thank you cannot express how I feel at this moment in time to you who gave and to the God Who supplies all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!!