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“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they” (Matthew 6:26)?
I had never before embraced a perfect stranger.
As I left McDonald’s at Vanderbilt hospital that Sunday morning she stood just inside the door, small bag with breakfast in one hand, a few pieces of change in the other. Her face showed defeat and helplessness; unfettered tears slid down her face. I walked toward her, feeling her pain and wrapped my arms around her. I hugged her while she cried. I wanted to cry with her but I was temporarily out of tears.
Her daughters, she told me, had been in an auto accident on the way to school. The oldest was driving and relatively unharmed but the youngest had a broken back. She’d been airlifted from Kentucky and was now stable but in constant pain. This mom hadn’t considered her own needs until this moment of realization. Her husband had headed home to Kentucky that morning and she had only a few dollars. This breakfast would be her last meal for the week.
Except that it wouldn’t, because the God who provided manna and loaves and fishes had provided for us as well. She just didn’t know it yet.
My 7 year old daughter at that moment was upstairs in ICU. She and my son had been on the way home when their school bus crashed into a truck. My son escaped with minimal physical damage but my daughter suffered an open traumatic brain injury and was still in a coma. And like the other mom, every single moment and every effort was focused on my precious children. God’s workers, however, had a more encompassing view. Friends and strangers did what I couldn’t do for myself. They slipped money in my pockets for vending machines. They brought meals and baskets of food, gift bags full of snacks, sack lunches, fruits and candies in addition to gifts overflowing for my sleeping child.
I had an unexpected moment of joy seeing my new friend’s face when I told her how God had provided. There was more than enough for all of us. God had not forgotten us, even if we’d forgotten ourselves. He’d brought us together to share his blessing, his care and bounty delivered from the hands of his servants. We experienced his sweet and tender love in a strong and personal way.
We’re not alone or abandoned, no matter how desperate the situation. Our God still provides.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16).
Question: How has God unexpectedly provided for you in the past? What provisions do you need to pray about for the future?