Yesterday’s blog was about a surprise gift from God that came when least expected, but that was only the beginning.
During those days I’d been crying out for some sense of God’s presence. Did he know how severe our situation was? Was he watching? Did he care? Would his promises apply to us?
I believed the verse that says, “receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16) but God didn’t seem to be following through on that. Talking to him without hearing back reminded me of talking on the phone with a child at my elbow who was also talking to me. Although she saw me standing quietly with the phone against my ear, seemingly available to her, I was really listening to someone else, irritated by her questions.
Was that God? Listening to others? Irritated by my talking to him?
Desperate to hear from him, I’d taken a long walk in the early morning darkness, begging out loud for his response. “You’ve just got to help us! Tell me something, show me something, do something to prove you’re still there!”
And then the box came.
As I dug through the layers of colorful little-girl clothes, I came to the bottom and found a white envelope with my name on it. Opening it, I was shocked when a pile of paper money fell to the floor, along with a hand-written note:
“Here is a gift for you made possible through the grace of God, who has given me an abundance over the past couple of months. God hopes that those He helps will share with those around them. I would like to share with you.”
I gasped at such unexpected generosity from my new friend Becky and was humbled by her gift. Stooping to gather up the bills, I counted out $341, an absolute fortune! She and I were just in the getting-acquainted stage of our friendship, though, and I felt I couldn’t keep the money.
Calling to express my amazement and explain why I shouldn’t accept her lavish gift, I was stunned by her simple response: “How many times a day do we both tell our children to be nice and share? That’s all I’m doing.”
Becky convinced me to keep the money, and I was exceedingly grateful. A second gift that day was that God convinced me he was very close, hearing every prayer, aware of our needs (the clothes, the money) and even our wants (the flowered dress). These gifts, funneled through Becky’s willingness to be his instrument of ministry, persuaded me that his promises were true after all.
And they even applied to the Nymans.
“You … answer prayer; to you all people will come. You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 65:2,5)