Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gracious and Marvelous Father

August means back to school.  Around this time in 2009 I was a frazzled mess. 

Every year I try to have a schedule for each child to follow just to alleviate some of the problems that can occur during our home school day.  Of course, I allow for flexibility.  As I see problems with it, I try to remedy them somehow.  Two weeks into home schooling I was working the schedule.  It was hot and humid.  We started our day on time (8:00 a.m.), but by 1:00 p.m. I was still at the kitchen table with a headache, no glimmer of hope for being finished the school day anytime soon, and no idea what to do about lunch.  I had to go food shopping.  My plan for a smooth school year was quickly falling apart.  Just as the overwhelming feeling of frustration was hitting me, my husband called to see how my day was going.  After I explained my hopeless state, he said encouragingly, "Why don't you go out for lunch?  It's pay day."  Happily I accepted this option.  I wanted to go somewhere fast, but when we got to the place, it had closed down.  Disappointed, I opted to go somewhere healthy.  We ended up at Saladworks.

Each child placed their order with the salad dressing all mixed into the salad and a fountain drink.  After all it was pay day.  :)  When it came time to pay for the order, I couldn't find my debit card.  "That's okay," I thought, "I'll put up my credit card."  So I did put up my credit card.  The man took the credit card and swiped it through his contraption.  Uh-Oh!  The card was denied.  My husband put a stop to it because of some activity that was on it that we did not apply to it.  "No problem," I thought to myself, "I'll just use the other one we have."  Uh-Oh, again!  That credit card had expired.  You can tell I hate shopping.  Now I have a problem.

Whispering to my children, who were very well behaved and dressed this time, "You have to pray.  I don't know how I am going to pay for this meal."  In a  polite and calm manner, I told the person behind me to go in front of us as I tried to scrounge up enough money in my purse to pay for the order.  This continued to happen for at least five customers, I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life.  The whole time I was asking the Lord for help.  I figured if we handed back the fountain drinks, we may be able to find enough money.  I kept searching and searching.  Whew!  I found $5.  "Thank You, Lord."  I kept searching.  I found a bunch of change.  "Oh, thank You, Lord!  I found another dollar.  Wow!"  I had no idea I had so much money in my purse.  Encouraged by how much money I found in my purse believing God was answering my prayer, I counted the money hoping I had enough --almost but not quite. 

What was the solution going to be?  At that time, I couldn't see a way out.  I couldn't even run to a bank and get money out of an ATM machine. "Where was my debit card?"  That question was still haunting me as well.  "I guess I'll have to cut lettuce or do dishes to pay for the meal," kept going through my mind.  Just as I was getting ready to humbly tell the man I didn't have enough money to pay for the meal, a lady dress in a beautiful bright purple shirt interjected holding out her hand, "I want you to enjoy your meal."  I could see in her hand she held a scrolled up dollar bill.  I graciously told her everything would be fine, and I couldn't take the money.  I thought it was a dollar or two.  I needed more than a dollar or two.  She kindly but insistently said again, "I want you to enjoy your meal."  I could see she meant to help, so I accepted the money and gave her a big hug.  As I unraveled the money, I saw it was a twenty dollar bill.  Immediately tears filled up in my eyes.  The man behind the counter could see how moved I was by her kindness and tried to help me out by saying, "These things happen all the time, Ma'am."

"Not to me," I replied.  I knew God had answered my pray so plainly.   I told the children to find the woman dressed in purple.  She was going to eat lunch with us, but she had disappeared.  The man behind the counter was so kind to me, he even took our trays to a table, and without me even saying a word, he turned off the stupid soap opera on the t.v.  I was glaringly still touched by this incident even though I tried to stop crying.  God had clearly heard my prayer.

Unable to eat, I kept rumaging through my purse to find the debit card.  My son finally said, "Mom, the lady said she wants you to enjoy your meal."

"I know," I said.  "It is such a beautiful story.  I want to tell your father all about it, but when he hears I lost the debit card, that's where the story will end."   I determined to put the debit card problem behind me and enjoy the meal.  Then it hit me.  How could I be so crazy?!  I had given my debit card to my parents to buy food at the food store in the morning.  That's why I didn't have it on me.  Oh, it truly is a beautiful story!

My son then said, "Mom, if she knew what you did with the debit card, she would not have given you the money."

I said, "It's just like God's grace to us.  Even though we are helpless and don't deserve any good thing, He still grants it to us."  What a marvelous heavenly Father I have.

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