TobyMac writes some catchy songs – almost too catchy. I never enjoy them for very long because once he drops a good, new song, the local radio stations play it over and over and over and…very soon I’m done it. His song I just need U, however, is one that I need and can enjoy right now.
I’m mostly hanging on to the catchy cry, “Lord, I need you,” because I sure do. I’ve written about Sister Edith from Honduras a number of times, and it has been almost spooky to see how her testimony of faith has played out in ways for me as well. Edith heard a call to do more than teach in the Catholic schools. She went home, against the advice of all of her friends and family. And she waited. And prayed. There were knocks on the door and she said “Yes” to caring for children that families could not otherwise care for. God never overwhelmed her but he sure did stretch her. I think of the verse in Luke 6: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (verse 10a).
I’m learning more and more the truth of how God works, specifically why we have to wait to see the big picture. If God showed us all of what He will do, I firmly believe that most of us would run for the hills (and that may be exactly where He wants us). But God asks for a “yes,” honors our faithfulness with His, and repeats the process. When I met Edith, she was living in an abandoned school building that the city had given her. On any given day, there were 12-15 children living with her. Every. Day. Completely dependent on God. And God was continually faithful. She didn’t work but a few of the older children would go into the city to sell some food from the garden or find other ways to earn a little income.
Around the time that I was preparing for my first trip to Honduras, I said “yes” to a friend of mine who needed a place to stay. By the time I was ready to travel back two months later, I was ready to say “yes” to a child of 17 who had no home. Life has been a whirlwind ever since, leading me to repeating (often), “Lord, I need you.” I’ve lost track of all of those who have stayed under the roof I have. It’s rarely easy, and i have yet to see the big picture. This week, especially, has felt particularly heavy.
I don’t always write things because I want to share them. Mostly I write to clear my mind of the thought and because of the principle of testimony. Declaring what God has done in my life creates the opportunity for Him to do it again, either in my life or the life of someone else. It never fails. When I began sharing messages in the role of chaplain, the words always came back to me in some shape or form. Words have life, and words have power.
Take yesterday for example. I had thumbed out a post about Edith and faith and before the end of the day I had more virtual knocks. I’m feeling overwhelmed. God is faithful, always, but I keep wanting to know the big picture. Over the past year I have said “yes” to people who needed a place to stay. I have no other explanation for the timing and the provision but God. I have never asked anyone to leave, and, at appointed times they have moved on. And someone else knocks. And I say “yes.”
If God wanted to remind me that I don’t have this all figured out, He did. Maybe it’s that I started to think I could handle this. I can’t. Through a flaw in the family court system, I’ve been paying child support for my sons who have not lived anywhere else in over two years. I have fought and failed in court and now have to wait. So, for employment I have worked 50-plus long and exhausting hours each week, only to bring home enough for food and gas. My home just came out of foreclosure status this week (again) because of the generosity of my family. There is a shut off notice for the gas and for the water. There are other bills peeking right around the corner. And all I can do is say, “Lord, I need you.”
I don’t know what my paycheck will look like from week to week because of the variability of hours and gross sales. I had this wild hope that somehow this week there would accidentally be some extra zeroes attached. Nope. It was much less than the week before. I nearly crumbled. God is faithful, even when I’m not. God is good, even when I’m not. And God provides when I cannot.
I have been sharing more openly on Facebook so that people have an opportunity to watch God work. It’s hard though. If I don’t share, I feel like I should. When I do share, I feel like I shouldn’t. And I take arrows from people who say I’m doing it all wrong. Frankly, I am more of Job’s friends to myself than anyone else is. “You must have done…” or “You need to stop and repent…” and the questions keep on coming. But if this is from God, He will provide. He is faithful. He must supply what is needed for the advancement of His Kingdom. There is no other option.
So my whole point in all of this boils down to a very simple, “Lord, I need you. Please remove what is not from you or of you so that all which remains is your will. And Lord, I trust that you will provide perfectly and fully for every need that arises. Amen.”