Thursday, January 22, 2015

#tbt -- Each Box Filled with Faith

(For this "throw back Thursday"--another blog post from the past.  This was published on the Samaritan's Purse blog on October 21, 2008)

Each Box Filled with Faith

Tonight God allowed me to reach the goal I've prayed for--packing this year's 6,000th shoe box.  And as I stretched to place it on top of the towering stacks of colorful boxes, I reflected on the journey of trust it represents.

In the mid-1990s I participated in several studies designed to help Christians learn to trust God to do something big.  I found the courses frustrating because I couldn't imagine God using me.  At the same time, I got involved in packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  After packing three boxes in 1995 and five in 1996, I decided to purchase items throughout the year with the goal of 40 in 1997;  I ended up with 80 instead.

The project grew slowly, but as I learned to trust God more each year, it continually proved the truth of Ephesians 3:20, that God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."

At first, watching God meet specific needs left me awestruck.  Once I was at church packing boxes for little boys and ran out of socks to put in them.  When I got home and opened my mailbox, I found a large envelope full of boys' socks and underwear.  It was sent by a woman halfway across the country who found a bin of kids' underwear (priced at 10 cents each) in the middle of the automotive department while looking for a can of Fix-a-Flat.  We'd exchanged only two casual e-mails after an eBay purchase, but she remembered that I needed items for shoe boxes.  I know our Father delights in orchestrating such amazing things.

Those God-sightings soon became so frequent that my faith stretched as I stopped worrying and expected Him to provide.  Last year, for example, I noticed our supply of wrapping paper was low, but a week later we received the donation of a roll so large it had to be moved by a forklift.  Depending on God for each year's shoe box goal also helps me trust Him more in other areas of my life.  Best of all, I'm learning how good He is.

Now I'm hoping for even more of these shoe boxes, which bring the gospel message to children all over the world.  I'm asking God to use the boxes to bring children and adults to faith in Him.  And I'm asking Him for another 8 million boxes or more worldwide.   How about packing a few boxes yourself?  Every box will stretch your faith in new ways.

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