Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dollars In General

The amazing thing about Operation Christmas Child is that as simple as the program seems (get a shoebox and fill it with gifts) it's a journey of life change that can only be completed through God's power. Gifts are packed and transported and inspected and shipped, receiving countries arrange for transportation and make plans for distributions, and discipleship training programs are instituted and completed. But in the midst of all of that activity, if God doesn't bring life change the project won't have any eternal impact. That fact is overwhelming and freeing all at the same time.

And over the years I've found that even the simple things about this act of packing shoeboxes can be complex. As the goals increase year by year--local, regional, national goals--and as we look at the billions of children who are still waiting to know they are loved by God, it's clear that we're all in over our heads here. If God doesn't come through for us, this project won't happen.

Today my church received a grant from a local community foundation that they will use to buy a trailer to haul equipment for local community service projects in our city. That amount of money would be enough to pay for packing 15,000 shoeboxes and I had a moment when I thought, "Why can't I get a grant like that?" Then I realized that I DO get a grant every year from God Himself. Since I have access to unlimited resources from the God of the universe who owns all things, I can certainly get along without a local grant.

And today was another example of God's provision. I went to 6 Dollar General stores today and found 287 clothing items--hats, gloves, and scarves--for 25 cents each that will be great for shoeboxes. I already have over 14,000 pieces of clothing and that amazes me. I know God has a plan for all the stuffed animals and crayons and pens and paper and soap and pencils we need, too. Oh, yeah, those pencils I ordered last week arrived today. And a few other people got their box of 1008 pencils also. God's provision is never too good to be true.

Yesterday I watched the movie "Facing The Giants" again and cried again as I reminded myself that NOTHING is impossible with God. It's okay that our Operation Christmas Child project is utterly dependent on God because He is utterly dependable.

Whether it's dollars or stuffed animals or team members--in general God will keep His promise to provide. As Leigh Fisher told me today, "We just have to keep praying as we crawl across the field...nothing is impossible with God. NOTHING!! "

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