I know, today’s title sounds like a Sunday School cliché, but I want to share a childhood memory that will hopefully bring it new meaning, and lots of hope.
I’m one of 14 children, all from the same mother and father. That was a generation thing because you don’t see that too often in this generation. Our mother, with so many stressors and potential obstacles, always displayed such a deep Christ-based faith. Being one of the oldest kids, I had the opportunity, no, the blessing to witness my mother living out her faith through so many of her life’s storms. She was always sure to point out the abundant grace our financially poor family received as a direct result of God’s love. She would tell her children often; “God’s love comes from everywhere.”
I was 8 years old and already had 7 siblings. My father was in the hospital due to a chronic heart condition. There had been no money coming into the household for a month or longer. I don’t know how mom provided for us. No food stamps or welfare. Our credit had run out at the small town grocery store. Some friends brought food for us, but not often.
On this particular evening it was dinnertime and I knew there was no food in the house – nothing. I was hungry, but more concerned for my younger brothers and sisters. I went to my mom and let her know (as if she didn’t already know) that we had no food for dinner. “What are you going to do?” I asked. I saw the sadness and nervousness in her eyes. But with head up and shoulders back, she said with confidence; “I don’t know right now, but I know God will provide for us.” I believed her, because I saw God work like this in the past.
A few minutes later there was a knock on our door. When I answered, no one was there…but they had left a bushel basket of food – ham, bread, fruit, potatoes…it was overflowing. On top was an envelope with the words; “God’s love comes from everywhere.” Inside the envelope was $500 cash. Without Dad’s illness, I would never have got this lesson, and that is a whole ‘nother devotional and principle.
Often we overlook the grace and love that God extends, abundantly, to us each and everyday. When we recently discussed envy, we explored why we scrutinize what we don’t have, and overlook what God has given us.
Today, try and look for God’s love. The breath you take, the ability to read this devotional, technology to get this email, relationships with Stepping Stones and the many people in your life, the opportunity to hear about God daily and freely, all the basics of life we take for granted each day. It comes from everywhere. It’s your decision, dwell on what you do have, or what you don’t. Choose well.
Dear Father God, I thank You for Your constant love and grace. I thank You for allowing me to see You at work throughout my mother’s life. Help me remember that when I am at my weakest, I am at my strongest, through Your power. As my mother was, I too want to be available to help You display Your power and glory to others. I know that my weakness is the ideal stage for the exhibition of Your Power. In Jesus’ perfectly humble and powerful name; and all God’s people said, -AMEN!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9