One thing I’ve learned about finances over the past thirty years of foreign missionary service is that God will always pay for what He’s ordered; but seldom will pay for what He hasn’t. I’ve even experienced the
challenge of holding on to God’s money until He lets us know why He’s dumped it into our laps. If God doesn’t say it’s a gift to be spent at our own discretion, He’s got a particular purpose in mind. Here’s one example:
Courtesy of 123RF/Alexandr Blinov
In October of 2006, I received the Student of the Year Award from the Hadley School for the Blind. I had no idea that in attending that elegant ceremony, the Lord had positioned me in just the right place, at just the right time, to receive the miraculous provision Father God had made for a program He’d yet to ask our mission to provide.
Sometimes, when I sense the Lord knocking on the door of my heart to accept a particular challenge, I wonder if He’s got the right address, especially if it involves technology.
I’ve discovered it’s pointless to remind God that I’m heading for the home stretch, having recently rounded third (my sixty-fifth birthday.) If you’ve ever found yourself there, you know how His Oh really? sounds, too. At least, He’s still smiling, right?
I knew I’d be facing a pretty steep learning-curve for at least the first few months of the new year. My experience with the Lord over the past decades has shown me that He will often use His Word to encourage me to hang in there and press on. In fact, I open my Bible—or punch in the right setting in my tiny, little Go Bible—expecting to find a special message from the father read back to me every day.
One morning last week, I began to read a passage in Exodus and my heart leapt within my troubled breast (or at least, that’s how it would read if I wrote King James style, right?) The burden of all I had been trying to cram in my brain had already begun to overwhelm me; there’s just so much I still have to learn.
In the late-sixties, I bought my first second-hand Volkswagen Bug. I’d noticed them on the roads before my purchase, but never gave the funny little colored Beetles much thought—until I had my own. Then, I saw them everywhere, and I could look at the rear window and tell you what year that car had been made.
Why? My reticular activating system (RAS) had switched into gear—focused on Volkswagen bugs.
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/arinahabich
As a blind person shopping on Black Friday, I found my RAS very helpful. While my determined shopping companion squeezed us into the pressing line of sale-happy folks wanting to get their purchase in before the extra-special price time elapsed, my RAS antennae soared through the noisy crowd.
“The pillows are over there,” I shouted to my friend. “Right over there to the left. Can you see a couple of ladies arguing over something in that direction?”
“Are you kidding me? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of women in this small section of this store!”
Fortunately, the expert prognosticators of tragedy on a global level fell far short of their November prediction of 1.5 million victims of Ebola by January 2015. The World Health Organization reported, as of January 15, there have been 21,329 cases of Ebola, with the vast majority being in the three West African countries. Since I live and work in one of those countries, those numbers mean something to me, personally.
Of those 8300+ who died of Ebola, about 1000 were children, mostly those under five years old. Statistically, the adults are four times more likely to contract the disease; but if the kids do, they are more likely to survive it than the adults, with the exception of the vulnerable under-five age group.
The real question is what happens after Ebola?
Unidentified boy carrying his disabled brother (Courtesy of 123RF/jarenwicklund)
Though far from the shores of America, I can keep up with the previous evening’s news through podcasts. Early this morning, the determination of an eight-year-old boy gripped my heart. Hours later, his words still echo through my thoughts.
Braden Gandee has had Cerebral Palsy since birth, but his determination is stronger than his body is weak. Like many boys with older brothers, Braden wanted to do all that Hunter did; and Hunter set out to see that Braden could.