Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ringing Out and Ringing In

Can you believe there are only about 28 hours left in 2012?  This Operation Christmas Child year has passed unbelievably quickly.  Yesterday I put new pages in my OCC notebook for 2013.

Now, you'd think that collecting items all year long to pack 21,521 gift-filled boxes would necessitate having well-organized computer spreadsheets to keep track of all the items.  Well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't.  Low-tech works just fine for me.

I keep a column or page for every item and add them up as I go.  I like having a book I can page through and see all God's blessings from past years.

That's what I was doing yesterday--paging through this notebook and reminiscing about God's provision from year to year.

I was so excited in 2000 when He provided miraculously for us to pack a "perfect 300" boxes.  I'll have to tell that story here sometime.

Another year we prayed for pumps to go with the soccer balls we'd purchased and, again, God provided them for free through a miraculous connection on eBay.

Sometimes He provides through great sales, through steady and even unexpected income, through coupons, through the generous donations of other believers, and sometimes through strangers--but however He does it--it is ALWAYS God who provides.

These carefully kept written pages are a journal of God's goodness in this Operation Christmas Child journey that has taken me from packing 3 boxes in 1995 to packing 21,521 this year.

Every year I marvel at what God does and I never want to lose that sense of awe that the God of the universe inclines His ear to my prayers and pours out His blessing.  This year, for example, I spent only $405.28 more than I did in 2011 (yeah, I try to keep track of every penny).  BUT we packed 3,744 more boxes.

Before you try to send me a message asking me for hints, I have to confess--I don't know how this happened.  I don't have a magic formula for this.  But this I DO know--God answers prayer.

I look at my blank pages for 2013 and my nearly empty storage container and I know that God will fill them up in the next 9 months.  Not because our team is so great and efficient and high-impact, nor because we are well-resourced financially (though I have been blessed with a good job)--

But because our God is faithful and He keeps His promises, because our God hears the prayers of His people around the world, and because--

As each year rings out and a new one rings in--our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal God NEVER CHANGES.

That I know.

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