Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jehovah Jireh

Posted by Jack

I didn’t say this to many people, but here at the house, we were down to our last dollar. For the past few months, our bank account has had a slow leak. Our money was steadily dwindling away and any income we received was inconsistent and unpredictable. I recently came to the conclusion that this coming bill cycle would drain every last penny and leave us with nothing. We tried to plan as we could, but in the end, there were far more unanswered questions than most rational people are comfortable with.

I’ve heard it said that God is always on time, but rarely early. So, we began our exercise in waiting. I kept telling inquisitive onlookers that something was going to happen (I went with that answer mainly because I didn’t know what else to say).

This morning, I stepped outside into the cold and found groceries on my front porch. There were 5 or 6 bags filled with milk, bread, cereal, fruit, vegetables, deli meat, pasta, laundry soap, and even some cookies. Someone stealthily left them there for us to find. These wild and reckless saints honked their horn to get my attention before speeding off without a word.

I am very grateful for this random act of insurrection. These people have been kind enough to offer us some food in our time of need. But, I am not surprised. God is at work, and when Jesus acts, He likes to do it through His hands and feet. This seemingly unusual event is, in fact, completely natural. This apparent oddity is really quite mundane. It is a clear example of humanity functioning as it should. When the Body is at work, it is a plain and beautiful thing. Thankfully, this morning we witnessed a healthy and normal Bodily function.

By the way, while we could rely on groceries anonymously falling from the sky, we no longer have to. I am happy to announce that I have found a new job. Starting on Monday, I will be working at a child care facility here in Springfield. In the mornings, I will do kindergarten readiness work with preschool aged children. In the afternoons, I will work with older elementary students, helping them with their homework and doing educational enrichment exercises. Basically, I am a teaching assistant.

On Saturday, I heard that I was not going to get the ministry position I had been seeking. On Sunday, I realized we had no money. On Monday, I heard about a possible job. On Tuesday, I picked up an application. On Wednesday, I interviewed for the position. On Thursday, I made the official phone call to accept the job.

The process was supposed to involve three interviews over the course of 2 weeks, but based on my previous experience in this field, the Director offered me the job on the spot. I will be making enough money to cover my personal monthly expenses (college debt), and I will also have plenty to contribute to the house account as well. Plus, the hours I will work should be compatible with the development of our community here at the house.

In the midst of the turmoil and chaos of my personal life with Jesus, He never misses a beat. He cares about the small things, like our daily bread. He cares about the big things, like jobs and houses. And He holds it all together when we think we’re falling apart.

We tend to study Jesus in abstract concepts, in vast systematic theologies and doctrinal statements. I wonder how often we experience Him in cereal and bread and fruit. When we hear stories like the ones I’ve told, we sometimes act surprised, amused, or amazed, as if we are shocked that His body is alive and working in our lives today. Simply put, God provides. If we are surprised by God’s provision, it is not because His deeds are out of the ordinary. We are surprised because we were too distracted to notice His deeds in the past.

The truth is, God’s faithfulness does not change based on our circumstances. But when we strip away the wealth and comfort, take down our defenses, and dare to follow Him without a safety net, His actions become easier to see.

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