Sunday, April 23, 2017

Egg-cellent Adventures

It started at the 90% off Easter clearance sale at Target in 2015.  I spotted bags and bags of plastic Easter eggs on sale for less than a penny each and decided it would be fun to fill them with plastic rings for the children who receive our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  So...I bought all 10,000 or so of them and God provided great deals on fun items to put into them.

When the 2016 Easter clearance came around there wasn't a very good supply at Target, but Walmart had tons at 75% off and I snapped them up.

I expected the 2017 Easter clearance to be the same, so I stocked up on cute rings and was also delighted to receive a big donation of mardi gras necklaces I knew would be a perfect fit for those eggs when they came my way.  Not if, but when.  I never thought of praying for eggs.  I just assumed they would be there when Walmart's clearance went to 75% off--ready for me to pick them up at a penny each.

Last Wednesday--the day before I knew Walmart's clearance would drop to 75% off--I checked our largest Walmart store and was shocked to find NO eggs.  Feeling nervous, I drove to another store.  Again, NO eggs.  I looked at Target--NO eggs.

A little late, but NOW I decided to pray.  I sent out messages to team members who lived near other stores in outlying areas and asked them to check their Walmarts.  The answers came back--NO eggs.

We have a work day planned for next Tuesday, April 25th.  Our plan was to fill all those plastic eggs with rings and necklaces.  One problem.  We had NO eggs.  I checked online and found I could buy some for 5 cents or 6 cents each, but that was way too expensive.

I prayed.  I asked some team members to pray.  I asked Facebook friends to pray.  But I did one other thing, too.  I started to think about what we would do at the work day with no eggs to fill.  I began to craft a back-up plan.

At the same time, I sent a text message to my daughter, Jen, who lives two hours away and asked her to check stores in her area.  She promised to go on an Easter egg hunt.

On Friday morning I opened a text from Jen who reported she had 3,200 eggs and there were many more to be had when she could get back to the store. WooHoo!  I sent out praise reports and asked for continued prayer.

At 4:15 AM on Saturday morning I awakened from a weird and scary dream.  In the dream I was driving a car and Jen was in the passenger seat behind me.  I stopped the car, went to open her door and saw that her arm was closed in the car door and hanging out. I quickly opened the door and she passed out and fell out of the car. Yikes!  This dream upset me so much I got up--unable to shake off the memory.

I checked my Facebook page and saw Jen posted the picture above a few hours earlier with this message--

Are you willing to be the answer to someone else's prayer? Well, my mother had asked me a couple days ago to look for some clearance Easter eggs in the Pittsburgh area since she could find none in the Erie area. Herself and many others have been praying that she could find 7,500-10,000 plastic Easter eggs for super cheap to put in shoeboxes for OCC. Today, with the help of some super patient cashiers, a willing co-worker, and the generous donations of a few complete strangers in Target; and after five different trips to two different stores I was able to pack my car with more than enough eggs to fulfill their request! In case anyone has ever wondered how many plastic Easter eggs one can shove in the back (I needed to be able to see out of my side mirrors in the front) of a Subaru Forester the number is approximately 11,800 eggs! Not bad! So if you ever wonder if God hears our prayers? He does! And does he answer them? Sure thing, though maybe not always as we hope! And does He provide? Absolutely!! Look for chances to help and serve others, you may just be the answer to their prayers!! And here's to hoping the hubby doesn't kill me for putting that many eggs in my new car!Kathy come get them quick! 

Yahoo!  Praise God!  Since I couldn't go back to sleep, I did what I do best--think.  I began to think about prayer and faith.  I wondered if I showed a lack of faith when I prayed for God to provide eggs yet worked on a back-up plan in case He didn't.

After thinking, I realized I ask for God's will to be done when I pray.  God is sovereign and I can't demand for Him to answer my prayers in a certain way.  I wouldn't want to, because I really want His best.  So I don't think it's a lack of faith when I pray but also prepare as well as I can for God to answer "yes" or "no" to my request.  If I pray for clear weather for an event it's still wise to prepare as well as possible in case God in His sovereignty decides that rain is the best answer for my prayers. That's not a lack of faith; it's wisdom.

Thank You, God, that You are sovereign. Thank You for reminding me in this crazy little egg-cellent adventure that You are the One who gets the glory when Your people pray.  Thank You for showing me again that You use ordinary people in extraordinary and exciting ways to show Your love to children around the world through every detail in these precious shoebox gifts.

Nothing could be more egg-cellent.

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