Friday, January 30, 2015

Unexpected Beauty and Joy

 A few days ago I looked out my window in the early dawn and saw the branches of the dark fir  trees pressed against a sky of gold. 

Suddenly my mind takes me back to the day our house was so badly damaged in the 1962 Columbus Day storm. The roof over our living room and kitchen had been rolled up like a scroll and tossed into the neighbor's field, shattered windows left shards of glass covering our floors.

The months that  followed were difficult; I was pregnant with my fourth child and money was scarce as we repaired the roof, windows and walls.  It was all we could do to purchase food and the supplies we needed to live. 

That was when a friend slipped a ten dollar bill into my hand; "You need to do something for you, Eva  Use this to get yourself something beautiful to give you joy."

The Sunday after that our little country church on the hill had a guest speaker; a WW2 veteran whose airplane had been shot down  during active combat over Germany. This man escaped capture by hiking across Europe.  Back home he felt led to give his life to traveling across the United  States, telling his true-life stories of God's miracles.

As my family and I got ready to leave, I strongly sensed  God wanted me to give this man my 10 dollar bill. I hesitated, but the feeling wouldn't go away; I walked over to where he stood at the door with his Bible in hand.

"For you," I said, as I gave him my gift.  Although God gave me peace and joy at that moment it was no comparison to the joy I felt when received a letter from several months later. 

"Dear Sister, I experienced a great blessing and thank both God and you for it; These past few weeks have been difficult for me and this morning I woke to the realization that the only thing in my cupboard was 2 cans of corn. But I couldn't eat it because I had a medical issue;  First I prayed and then I reached for the old Bible I used when I spoke at your church. I opened it and there on the page lay the ten dollars you gave me that Sunday morning." 

After I read the letter, I wrote on the page in the front of my Bible, "It is more blessed to give than to receive. Lord, I don't want to ever forget."

Have you ever felt a nudge to do something out of the ordinary?  Or to give, when you are in extreme need yourself?  Pay attention.  When a person is obedient to God's direction—miracles happen.  Sometimes we get a glimpse of what God was doing, yet in other circumstances, we may never know. But there is always a blessing when we are obedient to our mighty Creator. 

My friend had told me to use her gift for something beautiful--something which would bring me joy.  In my obedience to the Lord, I found both beauty and joy.

Isaiah 55:12 - "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

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