This morning my heart is full and my memory bank is running over. So many times the Lord has provided in our lives and they are all flooding in this morning. Let me share just a few times that are fresh in my mind.
But wait, let me first tell you what sparked this avalanche of thankfulness. This morning I was reading about giving and the blessings that come from being someone who gives generously. There was a time that we put God to the test on the faithfulness of His word. We didn’t know we were doing that but we were.
We had one Scripture verse that we wanted, no, we needed to be true!
“I pray that God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:19 CEV
We needed for the Lord to supply all our needs. We had been out of work and without a place to stay. We were parents with small children and we were doing everything we could to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table but we were lacking. And we had a heart to trust God and His word.
Those are the memories this morning. At the time Dave was working for a crop dusting company. One of their growers was a vegetable farmer who had a large vegetable market in town. When they would harvest the fields he would tell the guys to stop by the fields and get some broccoli or potatoes or carrots, whatever and take it home.
I recall the one time Dave came home for lunch and he had the pickup bed of his Datsun truck loaded with broccoli. We couldn’t eat that much in a month but we were grateful. In fact, I served Dave a large plate of steamed broccoli for lunch. Then we loaded up the kids little red wagon and sent them up and down the street, knocking on the neighbors doors, offering them all fresh broccoli.
Later that day a dairyman friend stopped by. He had been to the butcher’s and was headed for home with the beef he had picked up and decided to stop in for coffee. Before he left, he had given us about 50 pounds of meat and 10 pounds of cheese. Now when Dave came home that night I was able to serve him hamburger and broccoli with cheese sauce. Seriously, God had supplied!
Or I could tell you of the time that I got a call from the butcher’s and they asked me to come and pick up some meat that had been left for us. When I got there they asked what kind of vehicle I drove. Strange question – they wanted to make sure I had a big enough vehicle to haul all the meat home! Yep, they filled up my Jeep Wagoneer – I mean filled it! So much so that I had no room left in my empty upright freezer and the freezer of the refrigerator so I called around to find anyone that needed meat. I had more than enough.
We lived out the verses below! Give and it will be given back, running over! Yes, it ran over.
“I’m telling you to love your enemies and do good to them. Lend to people without expecting to get anything back. If you do this, you will have a great reward. You will be children of the Most High God. Yes, because God is good even to the people who are full of sin and not thankful. 36 Give love and mercy the same as your Father gives love and mercy.
37 “Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. Don’t condemn others, and you will not be condemned. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.” Luke 6:35-38 ERV
But this is the other thing that ran over…thankfulness! Thankfulness to the Lord and thankfulness to those who were used to provide our need and finally, thankfulness from those that we were able to share with.
See what I realized this morning is that when we give thanks, when we are truly thankful and express it, it comes back to us also – more than we can hold, spilling over into our laps. We are given more of what we need so that we can give more thanks! Give thanks and there will be more opportunities to be thankful.
Now lest you think I am a super saint, I will admit that there are times when I haven’t been as trusting. When I’ve been more inclined to complain. Times when failure and demise seemed eminent and I had lost almost all hope of survival. Times that I wasn’t looking to the Lord but in those times He still provided, using other people, He provided.
In my faithlessness God was still the faithful Father. How can I not give thanks to the One who gives me unconditional love and the Father who keeps His word to provide!