Today, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at our V.I.B.E. (Venturing Through Biblical Education) morning gathering, we shared how we each have, and continue to experience God’s Providence in our daily lives in different ways. We have been reading the wonderful book by The Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann titled, “The Bible Makes Sense”. Today’s reading, Chapter 2, talks about how we are fed in the wilderness of life, just like Ancient Israel was fed the Heavenly Manna while they were going through the desert of life to The Promised Land. My Personal AHA moment from this chapter was, now that I am reading it for the second time, “When we are going through hardships of life, God opens up the heavens and meets our needs”. That is only the first part of the miracle, the second part is up to us – we are called to feed others, as we are fed. I will not say more here, but I highly recommend that you read this small but mighty book.
Many of the attendees, including me, shared how God’s Provision is always there for us. One participant shared how Psalm 13 speaks to her, as the author complains to God in the beginning of the poem and concludes with praise – God’s steadfast love endures forever. We all agreed that in hindsight, we often see God’s Provision manifested.
After the gathering in Elgin, I had to come home, pick up my father-in-law and go to see his surgeon for an impending spinal stenosis surgery to relieve him from the pains he is enduring since last September (2018). So, the journey to Kingston began at about 12:15, we went and had lunch before the appointment and arrived on time, and to our surprise he was called in to see the surgeon within a few moments – that is NOT the usual case. After meeting with the physiotherapist and having Bert do a few activities, the doctor came and expressed how a surgery can be his saving grace from all this pain. No, injections will help, as the MRI is clear, the nerves are pinched at different levels and causing him excruciating pain.
After the appointment, I had to go to Costco and pick a few things for my sister. I was not stressed or feeling rushed; as recently I have learned to stay at the eye of the storm, as that is calmest place and I am trying to apply this understanding to my both, personal and vocational life. I recall, during Holy Week, someone asked me if I felt stressed out for all the services I had to do? I told her, “I will get done whatever I can, and whatever I cannot, there is always tomorrow. But, If I die overnight, I am certain someone else will complete the tasks”. Why sweat the things we have no control over? My motto these days is, “Do your best and trust God with the rest”.
So, I went to Costco, Bert (my father-in-law) stayed in car. I promised not to be long. However, as every Costco Member knows, you always buy more than you went for. So, I saw salad and other things and convinced myself that I need to get them, so I went back to the same aisle that I was in about a few minutes ago. As I was reading the label of the guacamole dip, and trying to see if it will still be ok after I return home from the Festival of Homiletics in Minneapolis, next week, someone tapped on my shoulder and said, “You are the lady from The Elgin United Church. I have come to church a few times, but not since you went on your sabbatical trip last September. But, I have been praying for you since then and asking God to help you with whatever is going on in your life”. I got Spirit Bumps from my head to my toes. I thanked her for her prayers, because so much has happened since last September. I had to ask her, was she from Elgin? What is her name? I could not find her name in my memory bank, especially if I have not seen her for over 8 months. She told me her name, and it still did not click, and she also told me she is not from Elgin, she is from Morton, (A few towns away) and it still did not click. But the heavens opened up and one thing clicked for sure – God’s Provision reminding me, that people have been praying for me behind the scenes.
Yes, I might be learning how to juggle life: family responsibilities and accountable ministry. But, God has these “strangers” praying for me and providing me strength and perseverance.
So, today, I invite you to pay attention to the unseen Provisions that God has for you. I invite you to imagine a whole army of people praying for you and God meeting all your needs, NOT your wants. Be grateful for who you are, what you have and how you are cared for. I remember hearing something once and I totally am paraphrasing here, “We live in the womb of God who cares for us from eternity to eternity”.
Beloved, have a Happy and a Blessed Mother’s Day weekend, where we celebrate all sorts of mothers, not just those who have physically given birth, but also those who nurture others spiritually and give birth to transformed lives.
May you be fed by God, who is our Father and Mother, Source of ALL Life, and feed others extravagantly. Amen.