Sunday, May 17, 2015

But Now I See...My Good, Good Father

This week I've been pondering how my faith is based on God's character and His inherent goodness and perfection.  If God is not good all the time then my faith has no firm foundation.  So...when my prayers aren't answered according to my immediate desires I need to remind myself of the truth of God's goodness.  Because He is good I can KNOW that He will do what is ultimately best.

Two weeks ago today, as we started our last full day in Colombia, we sang a new-to-me song in worship, led by Erin Deuel, called "Good, Good Father".  (You can find it on YouTube by a group named Housefires II)  The song repeats, "You're a good, good Father.  That's who You are...And I'm loved by You.  That's who I am."  Then it goes on to say, "You are perfect in all of Your ways to us."

In the past two weeks that song just keeps replaying itself in my mind.  As I go through my day I keep repeating that phrase in praise to God..."You're a good, good Father."

I've already talked in previous blogs about the Operation Christmas Child discipleship graduation we were blessed to participate in on Sunday morning and about how God protected us on our trip back from the last afternoon distribution.

And I told you about sweet Andres (pictured above) who won my heart.  But there's something about Andres and his shoebox that I haven't told you, so here's the rest of the story...

First, a bit of history--

In a past blog I mentioned my friend Lisa from Virginia.  After reading my blog, Lisa was kind enough to bring me some stuffed animals when she was visiting family here in Erie last summer.  A few months later she returned in September with more animals and to invite some of her Erie family members to Franklin Graham's Rock the Lakes festival.  God answered our prayers that weekend when one of Lisa's aunt's made a decision to say "yes" to Jesus!  Lisa and I have kept in touch, and I've been praying especially hard over the past few weeks for challenges she and her family have been facing.

Now--back to Colombia--

After our harrowing bus ride back to the hotel two weeks ago I quickly cleaned up and headed to our last delicious hotel dinner.  I was just finishing up when two guys came over and knelt beside me--one on each side.  I was perplexed, and one said with a chuckle, "I know, this looks ominous."

The other guy pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of a family, but I honestly didn't recognize them.  He then explained it was a picture of Lisa's family and that each of these guys--at separate shoebox distributions in totally different locations--had found two of the over 500 boxes packed by Lisa's family and each of them had e-mailed Lisa and sent her a picture of the child who received their box.  In each case Lisa promptly replied to the e-mail and told them she knew someone (that would be me--lol) who was on the trip.  So the guys (who are actually named Nate and Mark and  are staff members with OCC) found me at dinner to let me know.

It moved me to tears to think how our good, good Father sent this very special encouragement to Lisa and her family at a time when they really needed it.  God was loving on them for sure.  But, that's not all...

I didn't have e-mail access in Colombia, but when I got back into the US I had an e-mail from Lisa that she'd written while I was still in Colombia asking me to look hard to try to find one of the boxes her family had packed so she could get a picture of me with the child.

I wrote back and told her I was sorry I hadn't found any of her family's boxes.

A few days later while I was on vacation with my family Lisa sent me a text.  She'd enlarged the picture of my special friend Andres with his box and recognized all the items.  She could identify positively that it was a box packed by her family!

They'd packed over 500 boxes and ran out of letters and pictures after the first 400 of them so Andres' box didn't have those.

So, Lisa got that picture she wanted of me with a child who received her box.  And we both got another example of God's amazing goodness to us.

You're a good, good Father.  That's who You are.

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