“So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you’ll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you’re about to possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (The Message)
For the past couple weeks I’ve been sharing how God gave our family a choice in the fall of 2018 and while I didn’t feel Him wanting me to choose one more than the other, we chose to step outside our comfort zone, take our hands off, and watch God perform a miracle.
Last time we were together, I shared with you the miracle God blessed us with – not only did He recover what was lost, but He chose to bless us with half as much again as well. And … if that wasn’t enough, He did it three weeks before the loss would hit our family. That could only be explained as a miracle!
All day Thursday and Friday I was sharing with whoever would listen to me how God provided a miracle to our family. And I completely meant every word. Friday night, after working hard, the house was finally quiet and I decided to spend some long-needed extra quiet time with my Father. It was during that time of silence, He reminded me that while He gave back what was lost and then some, there were other blessings He had given as well that weren’t as “showy,” but equally important to acknowledge and give Him thanks.
Below I want to share with you the “extra” blessings God had set up for this miracle months (and even) years prior. I want to use this to encourage you, my friend, even if you think nothing is moving in your situation, God is working behind the scenes. Continue to trust Him, continue to obey what He asks, and continue to praise Him for the answer, before you even see it get answered:
- Wednesday (the day before the Thursday miracle), as I was doing bills, I continued noticing something interesting which had happened for the previous two paychecks. Almost since the beginning of The Blessed Life series, our finances looked to be growing. Wednesday, when I finished putting everything into the checkbook, I noticed that with the remaining paychecks we would receive in December, if no other money came in, our bills would be covered for December and January. That was the beginning of the miracle and while I acknowledged and thanked God, I didn’t realize there was more.
- God reminded me on Friday night that He started this miracle in the fall of 2011. He had allowed me to attend a writer’s conference which got me started blogging twice a week. I have faithfully blogged from November 2011 through the present, never missing a week. Those blogs have been turned into devotional books. If I hadn’t been obedient to God years ago when He changed my dream from fiction to nonfiction writing (He gave me back fiction writing this past year, and I will be publishing a six-book series sometime in 2019), I would’ve never had the content I needed to accept this assignment. As I was working on the assignment yesterday, I realized God used my obedience to help make this a miracle and not more hard work.
- Because of the above detail (having already written much of the assignment), I was able to prepare everything ahead of time and will still get to have a genuine, extended time off of work to spend with my family over the Christmas holiday. Something I have been preparing for since Thanksgiving and we are all looking forward too.
- While I was still watching, trusting and waiting for God’s miracle to show up, I was also trying to be frugal and prepared for the loss of income. As a result, I had shopped ahead of time for some food for our kids, but had told them they couldn’t eat it until January, when school was back in session. (Don’t be alarmed, they were far from starving, these were the extras and having them go without for a couple weeks wasn’t going to affect their health or growth.) Friday morning one of our children commented “there was nothing good to eat” and proceeded to tell me what they had run out of already, one such item being peanut butter crackers. That is when I was reminded: I had already bought another package of them and they were waiting for January to be opened. But … if God was going to be so generous to replace our income plus half, He would want me to be generous with the peanut butter crackers too. I loved telling our child, “Go get the peanut butter crackers. God made it so you don’t have to wait.”
(I know that last example sounds a little silly – it’s just a bulk package of peanut butter crackers. However, when I was trying to be wise with our spending and knew withholding peanut butter crackers from our kids for two weeks’ wouldn’t stunt their growth but would help with the family budget, I don’t mind sharing that. But I also love sharing how God cares about all the details – even the peanut butter crackers (and lunch choices) of our children. It reminds me of Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the man who was released of a huge debt only to throw a friend in jail because he couldn’t pay a tiny debt. Never do I want to praise God out of one side of my mouth for the blessings He gives our family, only to withhold blessings myself (no matter how small) to my family. It was really nice to be able to give those peanut butter crackers now, instead of waiting until January.)
- I truly believe there will be future ripple effects that I’m unaware of currently … but God will surprise our family with in the weeks, months, and even possibly years to come.
Like I stated above my friends … there have been so many times during our family’s journey over the past five years it has felt like nothing was moving forward. However, God showed me through this miracle that He was always moving, always working in the background, and lining things up for the miracle to occur. I believe there is more to come for our family … that this is just the beginning of the answer we have been praying about and waiting for during the journey God invited us on five plus years ago. Not because we deserve it, but because when offered a choice, we choose obedience. And when we miss the mark? We recalibrate and choose obedience again until we get it right.
I also truly believe God wouldn’t have allowed the phone call to occur on Thursday offering me an assignment, a one month assignment, during the month of December when I needed to recover what was lost, if I had chosen Option A.