Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Miracle time

Back in April Paul and I were in a place where we wondered about God. Not His existence but in His abundance. In the bible it says,  Matthew 7:11 "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

And while we have seen God do wonderful and abundant things, we've also had a lot of just making it or barely making it or moments of giving things up because it didn't work out. And for some of March and all of April and May two of our rooms have sat empty. No student income. That’s on the low end a $2600 loss, and on the high end a $3700 loss. That’s significant. My husband is a student. Now of course we have saved to make sure that we can afford our house without it being full, and that is why it was ok that in January we only had one student and why we were still doing ok. But it’s not ideal. And it is hard to know what trust looks like in this time. Because I am human and I am sinful, and my memory of the good things gets clouded by the hard.

So, how do I trust that our God is the giver of good gifts when things aren’t panning out as I expect?  What does it look like to step out in faith and obedience – engaging with God in the midst, knowing that provision isn’t necessarily around the corner as I would hope, but in fact around 2 corners at the 13th hour, and not even the 11th?

So I sat with Paul that week and we prayed. He held me; dejected, discouraged wife. He held me and prayed. He asked God for faith for us, for relationship with God, for trust. He prayed for our home and those currently in it. He prayed for our marriage. He thanked God for all of those things and for the hard moments so we would know we need God. And he prayed for provision and abundance. His faith moved me and God strengthened me. We went about our week knowing we had no idea what was happening or would happen, but knowing that God had given us our home and has called us to the things we fill our life with and that He would guard these things.

Now at the time this story takes place, I wish I could tell you that we got an email telling us that we would now had students for May. I can’t tell you that – we didn’t. But hindsight is 20/20 and I can tell you that we ended up getting a student for June, and another student for 5 weeks this summer. This fell short of our original goals and yet was the biggest blessing we could imagine. Looking back over the summer I can see that God had hand chosen our students. We couldn’t be more grateful for the people he placed in our home. But I didn’t know that when this story begins, in April. So I can’t tell you about a student miracle, because I didn’t know about it yet. I can tell you about a different miracle God did in response to our moment and Paul’s prayer.

May 1st was our 3 year wedding anniversary. My husband is a student. We aren’t rolling in the dough, as one might assume. We knew we could feel ok about putting aside some money to do something – a nice dinner or a cheap dinner and a show or dinner at home and a night at a reasonable hotel. If I could have chosen what to do for the night it would be, of course, a nice dinner out and a night at a hotel. This was obviously a pipe dream.

We originally decided to go for the dinner and I dreamed of eating at Chambar. Chambar is one of the top 10 ranked restaurants in Vancouver and comes highly recommended by our foodie friends. Paul thought it was on the high end of our budget, and realistically he was probably right. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to go there though – and the death of that dream was sad for me. We planned to eat elsewhere and catch some theatre sports – our standard date night plan.

Then we got an email saying that an event we had planned to go to was being held at Chambar on Tuesday, and that the meal would be complimentary. What?? When I saw that email, I felt a nudge in my spirit from God saying that He wanted to bless us. Plus its with great friends and that’s even better, honestly. Paul feels out of place in fancy places, but loves our friends and I love people all the time, so friends make everything better, especially good food. This event is Answered Prayer #1. Because you can be sure I’d been praying about Chambar.

We decided that since we would be having an amazing dinner out Tuesday that we wanted to instead chose to spend the night in a hotel for our anniversary. When we looked at rates for downtown it was pretty steep, but I knew that since I work downtown, I’d rather have something not quite as nice but near to work for the morning. My dream was for the Sutton Place Hotel. I’d been there for a work function and it was lovely and I knew that would be a treat. Their prices were over $200 and I knew that was further than we could stretch. We both looked around online but in the meantime I told someone (confidentiality prevents me from saying who) what we were wishing to do in the hopes she could help us find a good rate, and by that afternoon I’d gotten a message from her saying she’d booked us in at the Sutton, and that we didn’t have to pay, she’d used points to cover us as a gift.

To recap: Dinner at Chambar Tuesday with friends and Wednesday night at the Sutton Place Hotel downtown Vancouver all for free, including breakfast the next morning. Are you kidding me? At the end of our time there I only had a 5 minute walk to work in the morning, we’d enjoyed an AMAZING night at the hotel and even better, we’d found a gift card from the church and had a pretty great dinner at Earls for $12 after the gift card.

And as all of that sunk in, God nudged my heart and reminded me that He is abundant and that He loves us and wants to bless us.

My word. That God. I am humbled by His love. 

1 comment:

The Porters' Lodge said...

Thanks for the encouragements -- last year, when it was hard, it seemed I could at least see God blessing other people. But this year there is so much suffering everywhere. It is good to read these stories :)


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