Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Bringing hope’

Stop and Shop – release Hope … God is Good!

My last two posts have been about obedience to God in a place of rest rather than striving.

This story occurred last week as I went about my day.  Toilet paper, meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice had flown off the shelves, and our supermarket shelves were bare.

I had just dropped my daughter to her ballet training when a ballet teacher Miss A ran up to the car to apologise for opening the studio late. I smiled and said not to worry. I was keen to get to the plant nursery (a job I had planned for over a week).  However, rather than being able to wave a cheery ‘goodbye’ and speed off I saw that she looked distressed.

I had to stop and slow down for the one.

Miss A started to pour her heart out about her fears.  She feared her loss of income, how she had not been able to buy anything at the supermarket (where she had been and run late that morning), how she was running low in toilet paper, and food, and she had so many to feed at home, including two growing teenagers training at an elite level in ballet.  She then said how worried she was for her 14-year-old daughter who had cried with fright, how her son’s training was being interrupted, and how all the overseas scholarship training and performing opportunities had dried up due to the virus.

I looked at her distressed face, stopped, remembering we were to bring ‘Hope” to the world. I recalled that I was born for such a time as this (even though I felt just as useless) and I spoke out the good, how blessed she was that she could continue to train her beautiful children, how I had been praying for the studio, for the staff, that it would be ok, that we would all be ok, that maybe we could do some distance training online … (gently, gently I dropped that last idea in since it was as yet unformed in my heart – it would not be until the following day that God confirmed this to be a suggestion).

I really didn’t have any answers for her and felt a bit useless; however, as I drove off, I prayed, and as I did I felt my morning gently being rearranged by an invisible but very present Fatherly hand.

I was to go back to my home suburb. This made no sense to me, but I listened and as I drove I felt to go to my local greengrocer/mini market.

“Ok God I will, what have I got to lose if I’m wrong, and then I’ll head to the nursery.”

Gardening is my thing and with enforced home time looming, and a birthday gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket, I wanted to get to my purchase before shops shut. I never did get to the nursery that day …

I walked into the local shop, and to my surprise there was loads of everything – there was an abundance of food … fresh chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice everything she said she needed but could find …

As I wandered and bought a few things for our home (chicken and sweet potatoes and potatoes) I felt a nudge to text the teacher.  I was a little reluctant – I just don’t like looking too keen if you know what I mean, but on the nudge I texted, and then rang, leaving a message.

She rang back quickly and I explained there was plenty of food – what did she want?

She said she would go later, to which I replied, “no, I will do the shopping for you to be sure you have what you need.”

In a nutshell, I got a shopping list from her and I loaded my trolley with her shopping needs chicken, wraps, corn, sweet potatoes, brown rice, potatoes, leek, vegetable stock … the list went on.

At the end of the call she breathlessly said: “I told LS (her daughter) that people’s kindness would shine through and we would be ok.”

I agreed, we would be ok … and I agreed that her daughter would see people’s kindness shine through this time, even though she had been so frightened by the bare shelves she had seen that morning.

Now, while I would like to take credit for this all, I must say, it was not me … I just did the shopping!

Had God not told me to go to this particular shop, I would not have done so.  Had I not gone, I would not have then felt the nudge to text/call her when I was surrounded by all the abundance. Had I not stopped to listen to her heart felt fears and needs, I would not have known she had those needs. To be honest, as I walked around the shop I felt absolutely moral bound to call her, now I knew her need, to let her know there was so much food.  I had to be sure she would be ok.

It was SO like My Father, to lead me to abundance in a seemingly barren place.

I was blessed, because I was able to purchase for my home, but as I did I could also do His shopping for the one that was on His heart. Both Miss A and I were blessed.

In a nut shell, I bundled the items up, and dropped them to the studio when I collected my daughter. Miss A’s teenagers would have enough protein to keep dancing and the family would have some fresh food for at least the next few days.

After this I knew to step back again. To have kept shopping for her like that would have made her feel embarrassed. I obey, and wait for the next nudge. It is in this way God releases (albeit through a pretty broken vessel by now) His goodness.

She knew I had been praying for them all.

Her needs were met for the day, and I continue to pray for her and all the studio staff in the days to come, purely and simply because …

God is so very Good!

Please – if you have a story of stopping and serving in this time of challenge, big or small, share it below, or message me so I can share it because it glorifies God to have His goodness shared, and in the testimony is the power to call upon His name to “do it again Lord.” If we all just stop for the one as we go, global wide, people will taste and see that God is Good!

 

Salt preserves – being community in the world … God is Good!

Yesterday I posted about the time I had to stop and breathe. During this time God came and nurtured me, and gave me a list of dot points to “do” (note: it is a high priority to “be” every day, before I “do”).

One of my dot points was literally: “JMAB – skype lessons.”

JMAB is an elite ballet school.  It provides excellent dance tuition to literally hundreds of children, who represent 100’s of families in our wider community.  The school has existed for YEARS!

With the prospect of community distancing, schools shutting, and our suburbs getting ready to go into shut down I became acutely aware of the needs of our ballet school, and how very vulnerable the staff would be feeling. Now, this was last week people, so Australia was still not really seeing the writing on the wall.  I have always prayed for every school community that we are a part of, and this school is no exception, and so, as this season of challenge accelerated over the last few weeks I have found myself praying more and more for JMAB staff.

Now, I have learnt to hold my tongue with God ideas, and to go gently gently, especially with pre Christians, although on this I stuff up all the time.  So, I sat on this idea and waited for God’s timing, for a natural opportunity to make the suggestion.

It came Sunday afternoon!

I received a text that the school would be shut down due to State Government guidelines.

I texted the staff member back saying:

Hi S

We have set up a studio in our lounge room. We would love privates by video by video – what are your thoughts? This way we can support the studio financially through this time and the kids can keep training xxx

Note: I wanted to keep the idea small to start with, but I saw it HUGE – much bigger than just the odd private lesson

I then texted more:

We are setting up our cameras etc too 🙂 Maybe J could put the level 2 music and other music online for the kids too.  There is so much we can do as a community to keep JMAB going xxx

As I texted, I read what I wrote to my husband and as I did waves of the Presence, or surges of God’s anointing came and covered me powerfully. It took me by surprise, but though laughter, and it’s intensity I thought “ok God must be on this”.

Then suddenly the phone rang.

It was S.

We then proceeded to have a discussion. I told S I had been praying for them all and that last week I had felt I had received this idea as I prayed for them.  I told her I wanted her to know they were not alone, and that they were important to us.  That JMAB and staff were important to the community.

S had a number of challenges with the idea.  She was already defeated and deflated. I gently came back with decent suggestions to counter the issues (the ideas just came people) and as I did she slowly warmed to the idea and even started saying how it could perhaps work, and she started problem solving for herself, and she started to sound more hopeful. I knew not to be too intense, to let the idea slowly simmer. After quite a lengthy call, I hung up hopeful, trusting and praying that she would communicate the ideas to J, the principal of the school.

I had to trust God!

Yesterday I drove my daughter to the school to empty her locker, and while there my daughter saw J, the principal teacher.

J said to my daughter that she hoped to see her soon … AND she said that she was hoping to do some classes online … !!!

When my daughter jumped back into the car and told me MY HEART SANG!!

We are called to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16).

Salt preserves.

Salt brings cohesion to a recipe, it binds the flavours together.

Salt also highlights and intensifies flavours.

I’m hoping God’s salt will preserve JMAB and staff in this time of uncertainty for so many.  Just a sprinkle, and I trust He will do the rest – because He cares more for them than I do.

How do we be salt?

We release Him as we go, we release His ideas as we go, and we pray for people (in our prayer closets, and in the open). We seek His ideas for them, and if we have the opportunity we gently communicate those ideas (whether saying He gave them or not)

How do we not lose our saltiness?

We spend time with the One who created everything,  We read His word, we worship, we pray, we journal … we dream with God.

And as we do, in these uncertain times, more than ever people will see that …

God is Good!

 

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