Ps 89:33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
I am speechless watching my kids rush from the fridge to the couch where a mound of food is piled high and overflowing. Very rarely can I not find something to say. This is such a moment. And to explain this scene I must back up a bit.
This week has been a busy one. VBS began tonight and Joel has been running to and fro, with me at home helping in any way I can, cut out things, come up with craft ideas and make lists of things for him to run and get.....all the while knowing that I love VBS and that it is best for me to not go. I wish I could say I had a good attitude when my husband came home for lunch, but my excitement was waning for VBS and turning into resentment and pity. I listened to him, helped him and asked him for something I have been asking him for for literally days........ an apple.
I have had such a taste for a crisp cold apple. And Joel has had a zillion places to go and things to do and none of them involved apples, so it has fallen by the wayside. This afternoon, however I was feeling like my apple craving took precedence over VBS preparations, and possibly even the White House staff meeting at this point. So in a not so sweet wifey voice I demanded....er I mean asked once more for an apple. As I type this I am wondering if it was indeed an apple, a crisp, cool gala apple that caused all of this sin in the first place......I digress.
Joel whipped out the cell phone and before I could stop him he called my sweet friend and asked her if she would not mind picking me up some fruit and dropping it by. I was partly embarrassed that we could not get the silly fruit ourselves and even a little angry that he called someone and did not see the "importance" of getting it for me himself. So I waited for my friend to come, and come she did, with bags of fruit. There were bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, a mango, peaches, nectarines, pears and even some kiwi!!! She was so sweet and washed me up some, cheerily talking to me as she did so and served me some up on a plate, hugged me and left. I was humbled that she would so willingly do that for me, and not just get what we had asked, but went so far above and beyond what we even thought of.
Joel leaves for VBS and I try to be happy. Try is the key word there. Anna and I were company for each other and we read books sang songs and even did a Bible word search "together." The hours seemed to drag, they kinda do that on bed rest. Joel came in the door with a "we had a blessed night" smile and I greeted him with a "glad you got to actually do something besides sit on the couch" half smirk. (Ok if you are so not human that you cannot relate to some honesty.....please catch some other blog! :)
Joel tried to encourage me but I honestly did not want encouraged. He tells me of two ladies from our church who asked at VBS if they could do something to be an encouragement to me. Joel mentions that we did need just a few items from the store that he just had not had the time to get, brown sugar to make oatmeal, and he mentioned that I liked.......yeah you guessed it apples. While we waited for her arrival, Joel read the Bible to us and a verse stood out to me. As he read the Psalms I just laid my head back and soaked it all in letting it wash all the self-absorbent out. The Psalms have such a cleansing affect for me. Then we got to the above mentioned verse , Ps 89:33 "Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." And the last few words kept ringing in my ears, "nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "I am still faithful. I AM still FAITHFUL." Yes you are faithful Lord, I replied, and I am ashamed of myself. Please forgive me for the way I behaved today. Then they pulled in. Right here I need to interject that I am an avid fan of Darlene Rose. I wish I had time to elaborate on her life and testimony, but to make a long story short, in a desperate time in her life, in a Japanese prison camp.....on death row, she asked God for one banana. (Has fruit always been our downfall??? Hmmm....) And then she began to tell Him all the reasons why He, the Creator of the universe could not even get her one solitary banana. You can guess what happened can't you? She received not one but close to one hundred bananas from a very unlikely source. This came to mind when they brought in bag after bag after bag filled to the brim with groceries. Eight bags to be exact. I began to cry, partly out of the realization of the money they had spent on us, but mainly.....mainly because I was ashamed. I was ashamed before the Lord, just as Darlene Rose was when the bananas kept coming.
To me, God's well of faithfulness had run dry and I was looking at trying my hand at digging another hole and looking to prosper myself. So many people have been SO kind, so compassionate, so self-sacrificing and I loose sight of all of that for a few measly apples. Yes friends, I was ashamed. I could only squeak out a sincere thanks, hug them as tight as I have ever hugged someone and bid them a good evening through mounds of tears.
Even now as Joel came over and relayed again how blessed we are and how overwhelmed he feels by their kindness, I can only nod, and cannot speak for the tears that readily fall. What these ladies, ladies who needed the money they so lavishly spent on us, did not know was that we had just ran out of milk, and bread and just about everything. Joel brought the bags close to the blue chair and unloaded them onto the couch just so that I could see each item. One child OO'ed and Ahh'ed over yogurt and held it as if it was a prized possession, another held up Popsicles, and yet another cereal. We stopped and thanked the Lord and though I wanted the kids to hear me audibly thank Him, I had to thank Him in my heart for the emotion that had overtaken me. Each child thanked God for their cherished item that meant a lot to them, ending with Anna thanking God for potatoes. You cannot manufacture moments like this. And seeing God open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing is something a family does not soon forget.
I am humbled that the very God of heaven would think on me. Would put it on someone's heart to bless us in such a way in spite of myself. I am reminded of Ro 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" God's faithfulness to us during this time, and through others cannot be fully expressed.
With an apple in hand, and a full heart I wish you a good evening.