He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
I don’t know if Covid has affected you or your work’s economy, but it certainly has had an impact on our world missions ministry. Let me rephrase that. It certainly has had an impact on our department’s budget. Our biannual missions meeting this past week reassured me that God’s work and his people had not been slowed down a bit even though their funds had been affected. Somehow God has just provided creative solutions to continue the good work that he has begun through us.
We’ve cut our budget three times and have eagerly offered the new numbers up to our heavenly Father to see how he will provide. (I’ve discovered that following Jesus is one of the most adventurous ways one can live.) Several days ago I received a letter from one of our missionaries in which he listed some urgent needs with specific costs and prayers for donations. I sent the letter on to members of our World Missions Prayer Group, and that very night someone called me saying she would send a check for the exact amount listed in the letter.
I sometimes have to remind myself that Jesus said, “If you…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:11) As if we would do more for our children than God would do for us, his very own.
When I approached our bishop a couple of months ago asking if I could cut my work days and salary (due to travel restrictions), I had already been reassured that God would oversee my financial affairs while I disciplined my spending. As I walk out this new faith challenge, I have not been disappointed at God’s loving care and look forward to his continued provision.
You may be experiencing your own test regarding finances or health or whatever. Let’s go forward together anticipating God to appear at any moment. He cares.
Father, thank you for your lovely surprises. Strengthen our trust in our care. AMEN.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:6
A precious saint tells the story of a shopping excursion downtown with her father. After the purchases had been made, he took her to the soda fountain for a treat. They both enjoyed a delicious chocolate milkshake and then went home.
A while later, the father overheard his small daughter boasting to her brothers about something she’d picked up at the store counter—a wonderful, long-handled spoon that had come with the shake. When the boys ran off to play, Father gently approached his daughter and asked her about the spoon. Was the spoon hers or had she taken it from someone else? After a few more questions, the little girl admitted that she had taken something that didn’t belong to her. To her horror, her father pronounced that she would have to return the spoon to the rightful owner.
The following day, the little girl and her father climbed into the family sedan and headed for the department store and its soda fountain. Not a word was spoken. All the little girl could think of was having to face the manager and admitting her theft. Would the police come and arrest her? Would she have to leave her family and go to jail? By the time the two reached the store, tears were streaming down her cheeks.
Father and daughter returned to the scene of the crime, and then the father picked up the little girl and seated her at the counter. He signaled for the attendant to come—and ordered two more chocolate milkshakes. As the drinks arrived, the father spoke softly into the little girl’s ear, “Now you can put the spoon down on the counter,” and then he gave her a loving smile and a little pat. No recriminations or denunciations, just loving mercy that allowed her to tangibly undo her childish misdemeanor.
Do you wonder that this dear earthly father became the picture of a heavenly Father for the little girl who grew up to be a faithful servant of her Lord? How often do we think that repentance must be bitter and that restoration must be costly?
Actually, mercy and goodness flow freely to us at our repentance because the cost has already been paid.
Father, words are inadequate to express our gratitude for your kind mercy given us freely through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.