Trash and Other Insignificant Things
Each Monday we haul our trash cans up our 1/3 mile long hilly driveway for pickup. Because of my physical limitations, we have a young man from the neighborhood take the trash up for us. But one recent Monday he texted that he was not available that day. My response was to pray that God would send someone to do the job. It needed to be done that day.
No more than 5 minutes later I received a text message from Tyler Bird. Tyler had worked for me in the past but not for a number of months. The message said that he was free and wanted to come over to work that day! After Tyler did the work, I asked him what prompted him to get in touch with me. He said he was not busy and the thought came to him that he should offer to help me.
Taking care of the trash may seem like an insignificant thing. But I see a couple of larger points in the answered prayer. First, so far God has not chosen to heal the illness that keeps me from doing the work. But by sending Tyler He sent the message that that He has not abandoned me. Even though he may not have granted my requests for healing he met my immediate need, help with the trash that day.
Second, no prayer request is too small for God to answer (what is less significant than trash?). Each time He answers a prayer for “little things” (and Pat and I have had many) He reaffirms His promise to be faithful in meeting our needs, large or small.
A third point, offered by elder Scott Anderson, is this: This is God showing the younger people the power behind God orchestrating the bonding between His people. There isn’t a program out there that can even duplicate that! God is very much at work!
In His mighty Name, the Name of the One who meets all our needs,
P.S. The trash might not have been hauled had Tyler ignored God’s calling to get in touch with me!
Flowers in Petal
For years after marrying Pat, I brought her flowers on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. Things changed suddenly when we took in Sir Humphrey, a rescue cat who enjoyed eating flowers, a smart cat who got to the flowers no matter where we put them. So… no more flowers in the house.
Then an opportunity to give Pat flowers cat free came when she started to deploy with Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT). I began to send flowers to her at deployment sites, where typically there were no flower-eating cats in her room. It didn’t matter whether a special event happened during her time away. Instead, it provided an opportunity to remind Pat that somebody back home loved her and was praying for her.
Her deployment to Petal (Hattiesburg) MS after a tornado was one such occasion, and provided a chance for us to see God at work. Pat left for Petal the day before Valentine’s Day. Soon as she left, I ordered flowers for delivery next day to the hotel where the RRT team would be staying. We talked that evening after Pat arrived in Petal; as we were about to hang up, she said, “Oh, by the way we’re staying at a church, not the hotel.”
Uh-oh. Try to redirect a Valentine’s delivery after the order– along with millions of other orders-- is on its way. Not gonna happen.
The flowers arrived at the hotel the next day, Valentine’s Day. I called the hotel and asked them to hold the flowers; Pat would pick them up the next morning. Right. I forget how hectic the deployments are, especially the first few days.
So Pat didn’t get the flowers the next day. Or the next. On the third day, I spoke to the hotel manager, and told him that the hotel staff and guests should enjoy the flowers because Pat probably wasn’t going to be able to get them before they faded. I told him why she and the others from RRT were in Petal.
I didn’t feel comfortable asking the manager to have someone deliver the flowers to Pat. But I could pray that he would – which I did as soon as we ended the conversation.
No more than 5 minutes later my phone rang. It was the hotel manager. Could he deliver the flowers when he got off of work? YES LORD! And he did.
I might have asked the manager to have the flowers delivered by someone on his staff. But the Spirit led me otherwise. God tells us, over and over again, to ask Him when we have needs. It is comforting to turn the needs, large or small, over to the Lord, and then sit back and watch Him do His marvelous work.