Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: In His Hands
By Barbie Jones
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She watched as people got out of their cars, laughing as they headed towards the building. “It’s not supposed to be this way!” Rena muttered angrily. Her hands released the steering wheel, but then gripped it again.
“You’ve got to do this. There is no avoiding it.” Rena took another deep breath and looked out the windshield at the Leamington Food sign. It was that time again, time to buy groceries.
Rena thought about her last experience at the grocery store. All around her people were pushing carts that overflowed with food and there she was, struggling to decide whether to buy a pack of chicken legs for $1.39 or a pack of cubed steak for $1.69. Welfare recipients were experiencing abundance that belonged to her. She didn’t begrudge them it’s just that she worked hard every day. She believed what she was taught in church, that her provider was Jehovah Jireh and He would supply all of her needs.
Rena believed that wholeheartedly, but something was wrong. Her shopping experiences always left her frustrated because she never got everything she needed. She would do well to leave the store with just enough food to feed her children until her next paycheck. She couldn’t go in there again and watch people who lived on welfare fill their carts to over flowing and proudly pay with food stamps and not get angry. “God is not a God of lack. Something’s gotta give.” She muttered.
Tears filled her eyes as she watched a mother reach down to a toddler and lift her into the shopping cart. Rena thought of her three year old who was visiting with her dad and would be expecting a treat when her mother returned for her.
The young single mother of two remembered a bible story that she’d heard since she was a small girl but always had a hard time believing. With that story in mind Rena decided to extend her faith and try something different. She took out her wallet, cradled it in both hands, and bowed her head. This had to work. “Heavenly Father, I need to feed my girls. All I have in this wallet is twenty-five dollars. I am a tither and a giver and I believe that you are able to make this money stretch so that I can buy what I need. Lord, I need to feed my babies, and I want to be able to hold my head up as I go through that check out line. Help me Lord, in Jesus Name, Amen.”
As she prayed, the dread and anxiety left and a big smile spread across her face. She put her wallet back inside her purse and got out of the car. Still smiling as if she had the biggest secret in the world, she entered the store and grabbed the nearest shopping cart. A voice told her to forget the cart and get a small basket instead but she dismissed that voice and exuberantly began her shopping. She fought fear and every aisle she went to had sales tags that seemed to beckon her.
Rena went to the meat department and couldn’t believer her eyes. Meat had never been so cheap! She shopped quickly, as if the store would realize their error and change all the prices back.
Knowing that she’d surpassed her list, Rena bit her lower lip as she put each item on the belt. As the food rolled towards the cashier she prayed that she would not have to put anything back. That happened to her before and she prayed that it wouldn’t happen again, it was so embarrassing. “Father, don’t let me be put to shame.” She held her breath and counted the bags. When the cashier said $24.91 she almost wept.
Rena walked out of the store with eight bags of groceries and praises on her lips. The story about the fish and loves of bread was true after all. Getting into her car, she thought ‘The ministry of Jesus Christ was and still is about abundance. We just have to trust Him and put what we have in his hands, just as the disciples did in St. John 6:11.’
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