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It's All In the Timing

When we expect it least and need it most, God can surprise us and blindside us with provision in the most miraculous ways.

My wife Mary and I experienced a miracle of God's provision (actually one of many) while we were struggling pastors 45 years ago. (I don't feel that old yet, but the calendar insists it's the truth!) It seems almost as though it happened to someone else, except that Mary and I both remember the incident.

Few people knew we lived on such a small salary ($25 a week) …

We lived just across the road from a resort lake in the town where we served. Almost everything was idyllic—sunny days; boats on the water; and fishermen hauling in bass, pickerel and each other's lures. There was only one problem. As much as we skimped and avoided any extra spending, we had no food in the house. Yes, we had salt, pepper and a few of the "makings," but not in a combination that would make something edible and delicious. At that stage in our marriage, Mary had already become a good cook, more or less. But you need more than pots and pans to prepare a hot meal. And we didn't have the "more," we had the "less"!

That particular day, we left the house unlocked for some reason (it was quite safe to do so back in those days). I know we didn't go shopping. If there was some gas in our little Volkswagen, we may have gone to visit one of the church members, or perhaps just driven longingly past the grocer's. Few people knew we lived on such a small salary ($25 a week), from which we had to pay our rent.

When we returned home, to our amazement, surprise, astonishment and a slight amount of immature grinning and spontaneous acts, we saw a lemon meringue pie, a whole chicken and a bunch of vegetables sitting on our kitchen table. After Mary roasted the chicken (which really should have been stewed—it was some tough bird), we ate with thanksgiving and delight.

God's like that, you know! Just when you are out doing whatever—even looking for the answer in the grocery storefront—He blindsides us with His provision and help. That's what He did when He sent His beloved Son into the spiritual kitchen of the world. And from that storehouse has flowed everything any man, woman or child needs. All one must do to receive this provision is go to the table.

Amazingly, it can be found at a lowly stable surrounded by momentous miracles in an unstable world of competing politics, religion and deep spiritual hunger. Although these miracles took place more than 2,000 years ago, the whole world has been blindsided though God's provision, found in a little Babe called Jesus. Come, the Saviour of the world invites. Eat and drink at my table. There is enough for everyone, forever! (My paraphrase of John 6:35.)

God's provisions are always right on time. If you don't know it already, you'll find out!

Originally published in Compass, December 2005.




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