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God Throws a Party (And Other Provision)

Feb 12, 2017 03:06AM ● By Bonnie Lyn Smith

This past Christmas, on the last day we met before breaking for the holiday, a good friend of mine handed me a gift on her way out from the Moms’ Prayer Group that meets biweekly around my dining room table (and has for about five years). I didn’t get around to opening it until later, and when I did, I saw that it was an essential oil diffuser, perfect for my nightstand in my bedroom. Awesome gift, I thought to myself, but it also caused me to scratch my head a bit in reflection. I had just started using essential oils, but I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t know that. Hmmmm.

Fast-forward to mid-January when what I thought was the flu turned into pneumonia, and I was bedridden and very weak for several weeks.

Recall God’s provision of an essential oil diffuser where peppermint oil could burn round the clock to open my lungs. Yeah, see, God is so cool like that!

During the most intense week of my illness, I was experiencing a sense of panic that once again, my daughter’s birthday would be negatively affected by a family member (me, this time). Her birthday was that Friday. I got home from the hospital just hours before she woke up on her birthday, but little did I know all the plans God already had in place, as if He were saying:

“Rest, my sweet child Bonnie. I have this covered.”

All week, as I checked my messages sporadically from my sickbed, another friend mentioned how her daughter wanted her to make a cake for mine, and it was almost done. She would bring it to her Friday night. Um, wow.

Then I remembered how I had a strong obsession with wrapping my daughter’s birthday gifts right after Christmas. I even insisted my sons joined in on my “Be prepared” campaign. Already wrapped in the closet. No need to get those ready. Hmmmm.

A text came in Thursday midday to ask if my daughter would want to go to the mall that weekend with one of her best friends. The mom, a friend of mine, would take them for a few hours so I could rest. Wow. 

See, my daughter wanted to have a celebration this year with friends. We don’t throw parties every year, and she had been saving up for a special birthday. So, imagine my surprise when she came bouncing in from Youth Group the Friday night of her birthday to tell me that there were balloons, ice cream cake, and a celebration for her! Wow! 

Just hours out of the hospital and off the IV, I could barely shuffle to the bathroom, but God had planned out my daughter’s entire weekend for me!

That same weekend, two friends from my Moms’ Prayer Group showed up at different times with meals and a “Get Healthy” box. One friend focused on nausea (ginger items) and replenishing my potassium (pomegranate juice), while the other friend brought supplements, items to build immunity, and probiotics. Nothing was repeated. All items were unique. It completely blew my mind.

Who else orders our steps and meets our needs so completely and creatively like that but Jesus? Kudos to my friends for being His hands and feet and for some incredible meals!

Another friend came with a meal that may as well have had my signature on it: stuffed shells with meat, appealing to my incredible pasta-shoving tendencies and carnivorous preferences. There were salad, bread, and brownies that managed to jump in my kids’ lunches all week.

My dear husband did his best to manage week #1 of my illness, but I still was unable to drive on week #2, and three kids with busy lives needed a full taxi service. 

I barely breathed out a prayer about that when my retired neighbor down the street messaged me: “Need rides for your kids?”

Oh, my, yes, please! When you’re in my season of life, your same-age friends can’t offer that as easily because they are also full-time taxi drivers. To have such a blessing just houses away—wow!

While we are still counting down the days to our resident student driver receiving his license, the friend down the street has a son who loves to run errands with his newfound freedom. Guess who got me chicken broth, bananas, and laundry detergent? Yes, God used a 17 year old!

See the theme her? Multigenerational help. All coming to me with a desire to offer assistance in an area I specifically needed it…each unique and chosen by God.

This isn’t a story about how loved or blessed I am, although God sure sent many willing vessels to convey His parental love. It’s about how a relationship with Christ lives itself out.

1. It’s about total dependence on a Holy God who wants to be my Father in every way.

Matthew 7:11, ESV 

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

2. It’s about His Son who died for me.

Romans 8:32, ESV

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?

3. It’s about a Creator who knows my every weakness, hair on my head, and need.

Psalm 81:10, ESV

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Philippians 4:19, ESV

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

4. It’s about knowing that when I am low, weak, and done under, I can trust my God. He comes through. He is faithful.

Lamentations 3:21-23, ESV

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

Provision isn’t always this dramatic, to be sure, but I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to ask God to start revealing how He is providing for you. We don’t always see it until we’re desperate hovering in a corner of sin, shame, or suffering, but we can see it even when life is more peaceful. We sometimes need to ask for His help and His eyes. It’s partly practicing the art of being thankful, but it’s also about looking for where God is working in and directing our hearts and lives. If we look up to discover Him, we focus less on our circumstances and more on the One Who Loves Us.

Meditate on the truth of these verses. Soak it into your heart. Pray the verses out loud or in your heart, and if they don’t seem quite real to you yet, ask God to help you in areas of unbelief. I do this often.

I leave you with Jesus's own words:

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Is there any better reassurance than this?

Luke 12:24-32, ESV

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.

Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration. 

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