My husband’s CLL plus his recent heart attack require extra care. We have changed a few things in our lifestyle, lost some weight, and are doing quite well. However, stress is a big threat to Bob’s immune system. It cannot be totally avoided, but the doctor says we are supposed to do our best.
A few months ago, I told our granddaughter that if her behavior was stressful for her grandfather, she would either have to change it, or not live with us. This week, after seeking the Lord’s will in the matter, I had to tell her again. He gave me peace in that decision, and peace with her decision. Rather than change, she decided she will move out.
It is the desire of our hearts that she, and others that we love, know the Lord and walk with Him. While we know He can reach them with or without us, and that He can bring the gospel to them in unexpected ways, I must have needed some assurance.
Yesterday on my daily walk, I walked by the bus stop where our granddaughter sits every morning on her way to work. She had already left. As I passed the glass enclosure, I noticed two pieces of paper on the bench. One was a postcard, the other had a lot of writing on it, including the words “John 3:16.”
Later in the day, I found copies of the same papers stuffed under our front doormat. One side of the larger sheet had the familiar one-verse gospel message, the other side printed it out plainly and in more detail.
I’ve no idea if our granddaughter read it or not. That would be wonderful, but seeing this bread from heaven in a place where she could have read it made my heart sing. God is not limited. He can provide the gospel with or without me, and no matter where she goes.
This morning’s devotional reading affirmed that. Jesus and His disciples were on a mountain with a multitude of hungry people. “Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
I relate. God affirmed that it is time for this girl to be on her own, but like the multitude, she will become hungry, physically and spiritually. (She already is, but doesn’t realize it.) Jesus tests me, not by asking me to supply her needs (she has rejected all offers, even some of them being actual food), but to let her go, like the prodigal son, to find out some realities she cannot learn under our protection. Will I trust her in His care?
The disciples were at a loss with the huge challenge that faced them. One of them finally found a little bit of food and Jesus took that little bit and made it sufficient. “And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.”
Jesus is not limited by my lack of faith, nor any inabilities or futile efforts. He does not falter when it looks impossible to feed anyone. He took a few loaves and fishes from a child to feed 5000 men (and likely twice that in women and children) and He can take a small tract and put it in a bus stop to feed anyone who comes there hungry and picks it up.
He also knows our limits. He didn’t chasten the disciples for not having eight months wages worth of food in their backpacks. He does not chasten Bob and me for not being able to tolerate (without stress) nearly a year of no effort to follow some very simple household rules. Some people have to learn some things the hard way, and some people have to become very hungry before they are ready to come to the Bread of Life and eat.
However, even with His assurance and His peace in my heart, this is a steep mountain for this disciple.