God Makes Applesauce

“Hey Doug, what did you do yesterday?”
I’m glad you asked. I watched God make applesauce.
If you read my last post, you heard me say that I let the apple drop. That doesn’t mean God is finished. Just ask my mother. Even with a broken bone or two and a little help, an apple that drops can still be turned into applesauce.
The short version of my last post is that I have been giving of my fruit, and I feel like I have given all that I have for this season. I had seen it coming, and God validated me. Before the night was over on Monday, someone very dear to me sent me money. It was sent without strings, and I believe it is right on time. It will, in part, be used to purchase my prescription for antidepressants tomorrow. I have been diagnosed with dysthymia, which, in brief, means that my emotional floor operates at a slightly lower level than most people. Taking the antidepressant (an SSRI) helps to elevate and strengthen my emotional floor. I don’t operate with a depressive episode – I operate with a mildly depressed emotional state. Taking the medication allows me to function at the place where I should. Because of her, I will be able to do that for the next month. Applesauce.
Now let’s look at yesterday and what I mean by applesauce.
It was back to school for the boys, so a little before 6:00am I was awake and making blueberry pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs. They have trained me well. We made it school a few minutes late; everyone feels the effect of a holiday weekend. On my way back home I turned up the radio and heard the song, “Broken Things.” I really like that song. It’s by Matthew West and you should definitely check it out. I was scheduled to work, but there was no work scheduled for me. What that means is that I had not asked for the day off, but essentially I was on-call for services if the need came up. I do not like those days – at all – and today is another one of those. If I had the freedom to just block off my day for work and had nothing else to do, it would be better. That’s not my life. I’m lucky if I know who is going to be sleeping on a couch any given day, and that’s a really hard thing to explain to a supervisor who wants 100% of your 100%. By the way, if you’re hiring for ministry, let’s talk.
I was tired, so I decided to take a nap while I could. My job operates in two-hour time frames, so I set an alarm for 10am and trusted God to grant me peace. It was a great nap. I woke up and checked my work phone. Nothing. I asked a good friend if he could send me $20 by Square Cash so that I could cover the needs of the day. He did, and that’s how I found out that my debit card doesn’t support immediate deposits. Applesauce takes time. Being alone in the house is such a rare luxury that I thought I would try nap number two. I tried, but something – the Holy Spirit – told me to check my phone. A young lady asked if I could give her and her son a ride to someone who could babysit. The boy’s father had not come to pick him up, and she was going to miss work if someone couldn’t watch it. Sure, I’m game. For about a month this summer I gave her a ride to a different job that she had. Her car’s transmission had gone out, and it helped me wake up and get going when I really would rather sleep. Her son has autism and goes to school, but he didn’t have school yesterday. I share those details because of how I was blessed on the trip. While she was trying to call and make arrangements, she noticed that he was starting to say his numbers in the back. Without missing a beat, she said the next number for him to repeat. When he got to 10, he said, “Tennnnnnnn!” and I started laughing. It sounded just like how his mother would say it to him. She explained that she found that she had to make it fun for him, and clearly she has.
She was kind enough to pay for gas because, frankly, I couldn’t have made the trip if she didn’t. My gas light indicator went on right as I pulled up to pick her up. She dropped off her son, I added gas, and she was back before her shift at 11:30am. Applesauce. As I turned the corner to head back home, the alarm on my phone went off. I cracked up. I had set my alarm for 11:30. If the Spirit had not prompted me, or if I had not been obedient, there would have been no applesauce.
I came home and took my big dog for a jog. Then I took my girl dog for a jog up to the bank so I could add my little two dollars to the $4.06 already in there. I was really hoping to make sure that I could get the trash picked up today. Then I took the little guest dog for a walk. I was just down the block when my friend, the dog’s owner, pulled up, and we started to talk. After a few minutes, a young man interrupted us and said, “Excuse me, I’m really sorry, but could I bum a cigarette from you, Miss? It has been a really stressful morning.” Smoky applesauce.
When I walked in the house, I checked my mail and found a citation from the city for a code violation. It was very frustrating because it was very deceptive. But that’s not important right now. I tried to stay busy so that I did not dwell on my bare branches. I started singing a song that I really like. “You did not create me to worry, you did not create me to fear.” I was washing dishes and decided that I would add some music to the mix. I went to play Pandora on my work phone. If you don’t know how Pandora works, you can create a station based on a song or an artist. Based on your feedback, it will give you similar songs to the ones that you like. It’s a bit random, except for yesterday. The very first song that began to play was the song that I had been singing only seconds before. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I dropped my phone.
I have made the comment before that, “God is my DJ.” I have noticed, especially in these bare branch times, that the songs playing are precisely what I need to hear, but I have never had that before. God had my attention. Songs kept playing. I must have signed up for some commercial-free trial because there were no interruptions. That wasn’t the only thing that I noticed. God was doing something. I started to look at the titles of the songs. It was almost as if, God was writing a prayer for me. Now, if that sounds a little strange to you, allow me to help.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirt right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8:22-27, NIV, emphases mine.
As each song began to play, I kept looking at the titles. As I looked at the titles, I added the songs in order on a YouTube playlist. This went on for about three hours. Let me walk you through what happened. The titles of the songs will be in bold, supplemented with lyrics from the songs. And as you read this, imagine the Holy Spirit going before me to speak to God, while also speaking to me about my Savior who stood with me. Prayer is, after all, a conversation. Remember the first song that I heard? That matters.

Broken Things, Trust in You – What a Beautiful Name it is, the name of Jesus Christ my King. It is Well with my soul. This is Amazing Grace – You Waited for me. I’m a Free Worshipper. Indescribable, uncontainable…you are amazing God. You’re Everything to me. I Am Not Alone, you will go before me, you will never leave me. You are My Revival, Jesus on you I will wait, and I’ll lean on your promise, you will renew my strength. I Can Feel You, Jesus all around. Though the storm it rages, I won’t be moved, I won’t be shaken. I am anchored in You, I can feel You, Jesus all around. In Oceans deep my faith will stand. Let it Rain. Here I am to Worship. I am Grateful for the things that you have done. He Wants it All today. Lord, just one thought of you and I know it’s gonna be a Lovely Day. I could play the Background…and you could take the lead. My God is Awesome, heals me when I’m broken, strength where I’ve been weakened, forever he will reign. You Are My Strength. On The Hill there’s a cross, on the cross there is blood for me, for me. {Those words JUST played right now} You’re Bigger than the things that can tear me apart. My Heart Sings. I’ve been through too much not to worship Him. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. My Worship is for Real. Your love is Loyal. But you have Called Me Higher, you have called me deeper, and I’ll go where you lead me, Lord. Made a Way – don’t know how but you did it. My hallelujah belongs to You, You Deserve It. Gonna Love You Forever. Alleluia (Agnus Dei), Amen. I Am Yours. I run to the Throne Room and I fall on my face. Your praise will Ever Be on my lips. Thank You Jesus. I Believe, My Life is in Your Hands. He Has His Hands on You. You Are the Living Word.

Just a few things before I fast forward through the rest of yesterday. All of my other playlists are 25 songs. No particular reason, that’s just how I do it. Caleb and Jonathan came home at around song 22 and I told Jonathan that if three songs from that moment was titled, “Amen,” I wouldn’t even know what to do. God does more than we expect. When Agnus Dei was coming to a close, and they started with the “Amen,” I recorded it and ran upstairs to tell Jonathan. Yep, that was the Spirit. And then it kept going! Why? Because the Spirit is always interceding for us. I have made the songs into a playlist, and I will share the link on facebook. I normally listen to my playlists on shuffle, but I won’t with this one. It’s titled, “God was my DJ and this happened.” It is 40 songs. That’s when I had to stop and take Caleb to his art lesson (which was covered in applesauce). God likes the number 40. I do too. I’m 40 years old. God made it rain for 40 days and nights and entrusted Noah and his family (including three sons) to be obedient. It started raining on the 17th day of the second month. That’s my birthday. I talk about being out on the water often. I feel like I’m rowing in a lifeboat and God wants an ark. Okay, God, just show me how to build it. I don’t have gopher wood, but I have you. Yesterday the young lady staying here paid for the trash pickup for today. Applesauce. Someone said that they would begin to include me in their tithe. APPLESAUCE!

Okay, so what it is applesauce, really? When you have let all of your fruit drop, someone can pick it up. And they can add to it, turn it into something completely different and even more delicious. I can’t ask you to start putting people on your couch, giving out your car, living with pennies in your bank account sometimes. All you have to do is pray, “God, help me to love more deeply,” and God will begin the process, whatever that is. The people I have been helping are people that I have known for years. Applesauce takes time. But it’s worth it, I promise. And if you have extra apples, I know people who can put them to use.

Two more details worth noting. After I dropped Caleb off to his lesson, I debated which way to go in order to pick up Joshua from football practice. There was construction and rush-hour traffic, but I had more than enough time. I picked a way. I was stopped in traffic, window down, singing along with the radio, “Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me. I glanced over to the left and for the third time yesterday, I absolutely cracked up laughing. Heading in the opposite direction was a man riding his bike home. That man is the current CEO of the agency that fired me for helping the young lady who is again staying with me. Four years and 23 days before (but who is counting), was the last time I spoke to him. He talked to me on the phone. I was in the very room where I am right now as I write this. He asked me to come back to the agency. He wanted me to turn myself in. I might never know for sure, but I am willing to bet that he would have had police officers waiting for me. I told him I would not be coming back. I have no hard feelings toward him. He is overseeing an oasis. I am too. They just look different.

Since I included the detail, I’ll add the other piece. Because I added the two dollars in to my account, I was able to purchase laundry soap. It seems small, and it is. But even a little bit of applesauce is good. And now I can go pick up breakfast for tomorrow because of my friend helping me through Square Cash. Not for me, but for the boys. I still have applesauce.

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