Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sometimes You Know

Well, we still haven't received that last inch of snow we need to put us into first place for the snowiest winter...but you just never know.  It could still happen. God's been doing some crazy things up here in Erie.

Each week I've been posting on Facebook and asking those who read the post to join us in praying for a weekly goal for stuffed animals.

Last week we prayed for 1,000 and God blessed us with 1,093.  This week on Friday evening I gave the challenge to pray for 1,500 and now, just two days later, God's answered with 1,260 already.

Sometimes you just KNOW God is on the move.  On Saturday when I headed out on safari I left earlier than usual because one sale in my area had a starting time of 7:00 am.  That sale didn't have any animals but that listing is what got me out early and led me to be the first shopper at another sale. At that house the woman who was arranging toys on a table said, "Aren't you the lady who collects stuffed animals?"

"Yep, that's me," I answered.  Then she moved closer to me and dropped her voice to a whisper.  It seems she had four large garbage bags of stuffed toys hidden in her husband's truck.  She wanted to donate them to me but didn't want her children to know it.  So we made clandestine plans for me to drive to a spot two blocks away where I met up with her husband and transferred the bags to my van. It was all comically 'cloak and dagger' but I got 200 more beautiful animals because God put me at that particular place.

Incidentally, one of those four bags also had a baby toy I'd been trying to find for my grandson and had not been able to locate at a good price.  I mean, you can't beat free.  (Just to be clear, it's not something that would fit in a shoebox.)

When I leave one sale I always pray about where to go next.  After all, God knows where those animals are hiding.  So as I prayerfully drove away from one sale heading in the direction of another, I saw a sale that wasn't in the newspaper listing.  They had a blanket on the ground in front of the house (sometimes a place people place their stuffed animals) so I turned around and went back.  Well, they had a lot of animals priced very low.  I ended up with three bags full for only a few dollars.

By the end of the day I'd accumulated over 400 by God's grace.  My other safari hunters were blessed also, and I left church this morning with 15 more bags of animals and sorted this afternoon to get that total of 1,260.  It will be interesting to see how God brings the other 240 we're still praying in this week.

I managed to get all the animals cleared out and the house cleaned before tonight's OCC area team meeting.  Eight of us prayed and talked and prayed some more.

There's a lot up in the air right now. We're still lacking a confirmed Central Drop-Off Site for shoeboxes from our area this year.  I'm not sure where it will be but God knows we need it and I'm praying the promise of Phil. 4:19 over it.

Our team has dwindled, we lack coordinators, and I'm having a hard time keeping up with all I know I should be doing but so often lack the will to do.  And when I do actually try to accomplish something that condemning enemy loudly whispers my failures--"If you didn't procrastinate so much you wouldn't always be hurrying," or "If you'd just do the work of recruiting, selecting, equipping, and developing leaders then everything else would be EASY," because, of course "It's all your fault."

And...just like's winter again in my heart.

But I'm talking truth to myself again.  Because despite my myriad of weaknesses compounded by the sin that "so easily besets me" I really do KNOW God has called me to this. And I know He is hearing my prayers and those of so many others who pray day by day for 11 million shoeboxes to be packed worldwide in 2018.

Sometimes when there's so much you don't know you just have to remember what you do know.

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