Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: I Got Confidence... maybe
By Nigel Byng
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It was one of those mornings. The weather was horrible and so was my mood. The country was going through a really long dry season, and it was promising to be another hot day. Several well overdue bills in hand, I had hustled the kids through another left-over’s breakfast and a water saving shower that entailed one pail of water due to water restrictions, for three growing boys and a young pre-teen daughter who got first dibs
I always taught my children that faith must be stretched for you to see how graciously good God is. That morning we worshipped and I prayed for these bills and the bare pantry. I recited the promises of Elijah when he said “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.”1 Kings 17:14 (NIV)
With not even a cloud in the sky, I was sarcastically hopeful that today would be good. After dropping the kids off to school, I uttered another silent prayer in my heart that things would be ok. I had been laid off the job nearly five months and my husband was not doing well either.
As I drove off from the school, a friend of mine flagged me down. I had not seen her for some time and it was really good to catch up. It was not long before we got into our individual problems. She was on her way to the hospital to visit her child who had experienced epileptic seizures at 16 years of age for the first time. She had no money to pay her way there but she had left the house by faith that morning.
“Oh God” I began as I whispered another prayer.
“You have been an angel today.” my friend interrupted my prayer.
“I haven’t done anything.”
“Expressions of kindness are as welcomed as the touch of angels.” she replied
I was silently thankful. I offered to take her to the hospital which I admitted was not on my way. While there, her daughter had been discharged and she needed money to purchase medication. With my last bit of money I declared my faith and paid for the prescription to be filled. My husband would crucify me.
“Pay the bills today honey!” his instructions were so clear this morning. I could anticipate his frustrated sigh, exasperated shrug of the shoulders and the ensuing monologue of an argument when he got home.
I thanked God nonetheless for using me to help someone and made my way home. There I prayed again, this time a little more earnestly, unwilling to get off my knees till I was certain of his blessing. I felt like Jacob wrestling with the angel.
The phone rang, so much for prayer time. Surely this was God answering my prayer. On the line was my friend from earlier that day, she needed another favor.
I took her across town where I was introduced to her great uncle. He had called her over to give her some produce from his farm. As was his custom he always gave away a portion of his crops to friends and family. My friend split hers with me. With my old minivan loaded with produce, I returned home. The pantry was full for at least another week. I even had excess to share with my neighbors.
When I went back inside I got a text message from my friend. It was 1 John 5:14...” This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (NIV)
I was reminded that outlandish ambitious faith is generously rewarded by a God who boasts of outlandish promises. Outlandish is as a Christian does.
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