Friday, March 18, 2016

When God provides

“God is telling me He’s got this.” My friend sits behind a desk and computer, a little overwhelmed with the tasks before her.  A little overwhelmed by the fact that she is nowhere near half way to her support due in a few days. There are six dollars in my wallet. Six. My debit card is finally working, and I have no excuse for not going to the ATM machine on campus, but at the moment, I only have six dollars in my wallet. 

                The excitement in her voice as she tells how God’s provided becomes my focus, but my heart is somewhere listening. Give. I try to remember if my laundry card has money on it, will I be able to wash my clothes? Give. I think I can do it later...after the weekend is over, after I get more cash at the store. Give. What about…Give. I remember the woman who took me to lunch yesterday, who spent much more money than I ever would have spent on myself to feed me and challenge me to follow God. Give. I pull out my wallet, find the larger of the two bills and throw it on the keyboard. “Jennifer…that is not why I am telling you this story. No.”

                I shake my head. “I know it wasn’t. But God told me to.” (We will not mention that we just spent the better of two hours in class two days ago discussing whether or not God actually tells us what to do with decisions and just go with the fact that sometimes you know it’s the Holy Spirit and not emotion.)
                She rounds the desk and gives me a hug.

                After I finally got home for my nap, I flipped onto facebook and was surprised to see my co-worker was on campus. I needed to go say hi. As much as I wanted to avoid people or another migraine, or anything of the sort, I knew I needed to go. Sighing, I shade my eyes from the sunlight as I walk back across campus, berating myself for not procuring sunglasses to at least help. I speak with her and her daughter. The eighteen-year-old girl I’m meeting for the first time has my full respect and I wonder if she knows that. Finally,  I can go home to peace and quiet. I say good-bye, give hugs and start to walk away when my co-worker calls me. “Jennifer, wait.” She leads me out of the cafeteria and opens her wallet. “I still wanted to…” I try to protest.

                She had wanted to buy me groceries. I had conveniently forgotten to send her the grocery list. Not so much because I don’t need them…but because her financial state is so much more precarious than mine, and she has to feed three children.  “Nobody knows I’m doing this.” As if that mattered to me. I don’t care if anyone knows, I want her to be safe. I try not to watch what number bills she pulls out, not wanting to know how much, but the bills drop to the ground and I see it is more than I want to accept. I don't really need it and I don't want to admit the fears this is beginning to calm. 

           God doesn’t let us choose who to let help us. He doesn't let us decide whether or not we're in need.  

                A friend’s friend is asking why if he has given faithfully, God has not returned. I don’t know. For three years my parents and I searched for a home appropriate for our family on the mission-field with consistently failed results. Why didn’t God give a house if we were willing to give our lives? I don’t know.

                But why does God give at all?

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