It was the first Monday after Christmas, our office was closed for the week, and I stopped by church to clean up some of my messes left after the holiday services and make a few notes for next year. I also planned to give Chris a ride to STL to refill his water buckets. Why in the world I was thinking God might be taking an extra day of rest with me now sounds ridiculous – because he certainly was not.
Before I could drive over to Chris’ house, Katie was at the door. She had stopped by a week ago to discuss some family issues, use our phone, and see if anyone would give her a ride to Marine City. This time we were able to briefly speak with one of her sons, but I do not think we have reached the core of her issues yet. Please keep Katie and her family in your prayers – God is not yet done here.
I dropped Katie off where she is staying on my way to pick up Chris. Our ‘water-run’ eventually included three additional stops. I checked my email in the car while he ran into some local shops to purchase needed items.
In case you have not met Chris, he started attending STL almost two years ago. He has his own home, but he has no utilities, is years behind in bills, and has no income. A few people from STL have been working with Chris through applications for disability and veterans’ benefits. About our only success thus far has been getting him a bridge card … though I think what is happening spiritually within him is even more significant … like how he regularly walks the +10 blocks from his home to attend worship services and FHL gatherings.
Next came Janine, another resident of our community. She became acquainted with STL through our Wellness Center. She had two questions. First, if their exercise classes would be starting up again (she and others in her family had found them to be very helpful – and her aged mom was asking her about them on a more-than-weekly basis). Second, she wondered if we had any more copies of Portals of Prayer in large print. She already had 2-3 regular print copies in her hands. She told me of how she started picking them up for herself when attending the exercise classes, and then started sharing her copies with others. She went on to describe how these little daily devotions had been carrying her and her friends through the pandemic. Now her friends were asking for additional copies because they were sharing them with others.
If that is not God@Work, I do not know what is. And this is only a part of Monday’s story. Though our office was closed, at least 5 different volunteers stopped by to work on specific projects, Office and Facility Manager Linda was in her office, and various community support groups met in the evening. (Our God obviously does not take the Monday after Christmas off!)
After picking up Chris’ laundry, I started to head home (a little later than planned) … but God was still at work. That evening I received a phone call – an actual member of the STL mission team – requesting information on how to make a year-end online financial gift to STL. While talking with her I also remembered the different people I had hoped to text/call/email on Monday. Those contacts will have to wait because, unlike our gracious and almighty God, I needed to rest.
So just in case you are wondering about your Savior’s activity this week – or during the year that ends this day – here is one of his promise-filled-prayers that keeps me going: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is you keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121) I think this covers this Monday, next Monday, every Monday … and all the days in between.
Happy New Year, my friends … enter into it knowing that our God is at Work – at all times and in all situations … “blessing us in Christ with every spiritual blessing … in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” (Ephesians 1.3, 7)