Friday, August 29, 2014

Yea, Though I Walk...Abundance

I have been thinking a lot lately about seasons of life.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 expresses perfectly the balance of those ups and downs.  There is a time for every experience and emotion as we walk this journey.

My mother is 101 years old and though her mobility has declined markedly in the last few years her mind stayed sharp.  Until a few weeks ago.

In the past couple of weeks we have watched her mind slip away at a rapid pace.     God has made it clear to my siblings and me that she needs more care than we can provide, so we are on a quest to find a suitable care facility.  So far no doors have been open there.

I've been spending time in recent days thinking about this process of aging.  We begin aging from the time we are born.  At first that brings growth, but all too soon it turns to decline.  If God grants us enough years of life, we all experience this for ourselves and for our loved ones.  I'm convinced this is part of God's mercy as He uses it to loosen our hold on earth and help us reach for our real home in heaven.

Likewise, the seasons of struggle and hardship in our lives are God's "severe mercy" to draw us to Him and to make the seasons of bounty and abundance all the sweeter.

The winter/ early spring of 2014 were months of real struggle for my walk in Operation Christmas Child.  I couldn't discern if God wanted us to have a large packing party this year.  As I wrestled with that decision and decisions about retirement from my job as a school nurse it felt like walking through a valley...or a desert...or whatever simile you want to use for those times when you wish you could just take a break from life.

Fast forward to this summer.  My team and I finally made a decision around Easter time to trust God to provide for another large packing party this year.  Our storage container was nearly empty at that time.

Now--especially in the past two weeks--His abundance is flowing over us.  Part of the reason I've been a slacking blogger lately is because I spend so much time managing the blessings.

The 165 new shirts in the picture above were donated by local YMCAs and God opened doors for other organizations to donate also.  Our city paper published a letter to the editor I wrote about our need for stuffed animals and the phone keeps ringing with so many being contributed.  Abundance.

In the past two days our team members have brought in over 600 stuffed animals and nearly 300 major anchor items.  Abundance.

Our crayons have all been purchased, a shipment of 20,000 pens are on their way, and we're trusting God for just 3,789 more clothing/anchor items and 9,251 stuffed animals.  That may seem like a lot, but the way God is moving assures me He has already accomplished it.  Abundance.

We finally got approval from our church for dates secured to host the packing party (phew--glad that's taken care of) and now we trust Him for volunteers and details and deliveries.  No need to worry, though.

Our God of abundance will deliver.

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