Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Goodness Happens- watch for it! Wait for it! Prepare for it!

A post from the archives of my old blog….circa 2008....

I find it so interesting that I’ve been thinking on God’s goodness, His grace and His mercy and how He cares for me and mine and I found the following essay in my email inbox. I could have wrote it- but I didn’t. It is too good not to share….

By Dr. Michael A. Halleen

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
Psalm 23:6

Larry and Renee appeared at the door of my office in the church on Christmas Eve. They had come early because he was to set up sound equipment for the candlelight service. This was a unique couple – mostly on the fringe of congregational life, but loud, energetic and funny. Larry was a free-lance advertising man who never had enough work, and persistent health problems kept Renee from holding a steady job. Life, it seemed, was an ongoing struggle for them, continually on the edge of poverty, touch and go.
Our casual banter soon turned to Christmas plans, and Larry became strangely silent. Renee, however, let the words – and tears – flow. She told me that they had been unable to afford even new tinsel for their artificial tree this year and had used what was left of last year’s wrinkled stuff. Worse, they had no money to buy a ham for their holiday meal. It had always been a tradition in her family, but this year they were just broke. It was going to be beans and bread and coffee for Christmas dinner.
As Renee was talking and crying, another couple walked into the church, friends of mine who ran a successful small business. They were carrying several large fresh hams, left over from earlier in the day when they had distributed them to their employees. They asked if I would let people know that a ham was available to anyone who wanted one. The look on Larry’s and Renee’s faces – and, I am sure, on mine – were those of children who had just met a Christmas elf. Renee turned and playfully slugged her husband on the shoulder. "See?" she said. "I told you God knew about our problems! I knew God wouldn’t forget us!" Later that evening they walked out with a ham – and some extra dollars in their pocket from that same generous couple. Their irrepressible smiles lit up the night.
A small moment – no cancer cured or war averted, but a reminder that there is goodness out there waiting to meet us all the days of our lives. It may not come with that just-perfect timing, but the wonder is still there. The sickness passes . . . you find the key . . . a check arrives . . . she calls to say everything is okay . . . he finally understands . . . the sun comes out – God uses small and subtle means to strengthen our hearts.
Goodness happens. Mercy is shown. Watch, receive and be glad.
Goodness happens.
Mercy is shown.
and be glad.
I have watched, I have received and I am glad. Oh yes, indeed, goodness happens. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post—I’ve been thinking on these things. Why? Not because of the Season- although that is good- but because God has been making little good things happen around here.
A few weeks ago, we were shopping for tennis shoes for Ms. Books and Mr. Steady remarked that I also needed shoes. He had me try on a few pair and we found a nice pair with good support and a not-too-terrible price tag. But I refrained from buying them at that time. I told him, “The minute I buy a pair of shoes, Sassafras is going to need a new pair.” Sure enough, two days later she finally simply wore-out the pair she had. I didn’t go out and purchase her a new pair right away as Ms. Books passed down her recently outgrown ones. Instead I added the shoes to my Needful Things List and prayed about it. A couple of days later, my mom brought over a pair of shoes she picked up at GW [Goodwill] for Ms. Books (thinking she still needed shoes). The shoes were too small but, wonder of wonders, fit Sass quite well. I’d say “God is good” right here but it gets better than that.
I was rearranging a hall closet and found a shopping bag shoved way in the back corner- when I dumped it out I found two sweaters, two long sleeved T-shirts AND a pair of tennis shoes- pink no less (Sass’s fave color). Plus a pair of pink suede slip on shoes in Sass’s size. I believe I had stored the bag in the closet two years ago because the items did not yet fit anyone.
Isn’t God’s timing wonderful! The sweaters will be part of Sassafras’s myrrh gift for Christmas and she’s already wearing the shoes. The long sleeved shirts were also a need for Sass as she needed something with more length in the torso. A recent need- so recent I had just realized it that day and thought to add it to my Needful Things List. It wasn’t written down yet but God knew!
Last week I decided to review my Needful Things List. I decided that I should also add things I would like to have but that weren’t necessarily needs- in moderation (I won't be writing a two week cruise on this list....). This decision came about because I want to make it all a matter of prayer- to not spend without putting it to prayer first. There are a couple of things on my list that may seem silly and small but I jotted them down anyway and felt good about it. One “silly item” was blue fabric napkins. I’ve been wanting some for awhile but haven’t wanted to spend the “big bucks” I see them selling for at the stores. On Friday my Momma stopped over with some GW goodies and included in the bag, was . . . . you guessed it– 6 blue fabric napkins. I asked my mom, “Did I tell you I’d been wanting blue napkins?” She told me I hadn’t but that she knows how much I enjoy using fabric napkins and picked them up for me. She went on to add that she had some blue and white snowman napkins back at the house for me too.
You can’t tell me that God isn’t good!
In keeping with the theme of the essay, while God didn’t fix our bigger problems, He met our needs and then some. Another reminder that He watches over us, knows and supplies all our needs.
Goodness Happens.

photo: Breakfast feast on New Years Day.... with the snowman napkins.... and a table cloth (from GW)


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