Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Way He Works

I read a story today that I just had to share. Some of you reading this will say, "Oh, that's a sweet story, but things like that are coincidences or only happen rarely." The reason I share this story is because it is a perfect example of the way God has been working in us and in people we know. He works this way all the time! He has been greatly teaching us over the past year that He does use His people to provide for His children, but they are not the ones we are to share our needs with. HE is the only One we need to share the needs with. Then He will go about providing in His incredibly beautiful and perfect way. Enjoy!

GOODNESS HAPPENS
By Dr. Michael A. Halleen

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." (Psalm 23:6)

Larry and Renee appeared at the door of my office in the church on Christmas Eve. They had come early because he was to set up sound equipment for the candlelight service. This was a unique couple - mostly on the fringe of congregational life, but loud, energetic and funny. Larry was a free-lance advertising man who never had enough work, and persistent health problems kept Renee from holding a steady job. Life, it seemed, was an ongoing struggle for them, continually on the edge of poverty, touch and go.

Our casual banter soon turned to Christmas plans, and Larry became strangely silent. Renee, however, let the words - and tears - flow. She told me that they had been unable to afford even new tinsel for their artificial tree this year and had used what was left of last year's wrinkled stuff. Worse, they had no money to buy a ham for their holiday meal. It had always been a tradition in her family, but this year they were just broke. It was going to be beans and bread and coffee for Christmas dinner.

As Renee was talking and crying, another couple walked into the church, friends of mine who ran a successful small business. They were carrying several large fresh hams, left over from earlier in the day when they had distributed them to their employees. They asked if I would let people know that a ham was available to anyone who wanted one. The look on Larry's and Renee's faces - and, I am sure, on mine - were those of children who had just met a Christmas elf. Renee turned and playfully slugged her husband on the shoulder. "See?" she said. "I told you God knew about our problems! I knew God wouldn't forget us!" Later that evening they walked out with a ham - and some extra dollars in their pocket from that same generous couple. Their irrepressible smiles lit up the night.

A small moment - no cancer cured or war averted, but a reminder that there is goodness out there waiting to meet us all the days of our lives. It may not come with that just-perfect timing, but the wonder is still there. The sickness passes . . . you find the key . . . a check arrives . . . she calls to say everything is okay . . . he finally understands . . . the sun comes out - God uses small and subtle means to strengthen our hearts.

Goodness happens. Mercy is shown. Watch, receive and be glad.

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You can contact Mike at mhalleen@att.net to be added to his weekly devotional email list, "Monday Moments."

Also check out Mike's book "You Are Rich: Discovering Faith in Everyday Moments":
http://snipurl.com/mHalleen (Amazon info)

Copyright 2007 Dr. Michael A. Halleen. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

today'sTHOT============================

Never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God.

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