Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fruitcake Wasn't An Option~

As I prayed to God about what I should give my co-workers for Christmas this past December,
I heard God over and over again speak this question to my heart:

"Stacy, what would YOU like to get for Christmas from your co-workers?"

And, the answer my heart came back to time and time again was always this:

"Some paid time off."

Followed, immediately by this:

"But, Lord - you know how precious paid time off is. Can't I just get everyone some fruitcake?"

Yet, no matter how hard and how long I wrestled with God about fruitcake, I knew it wasn't an option.  Not, if I was going to be obedient to His prompting in my spirit.

So, a week or so before Christmas (I told you - the Lord and I wrestled long and hard with this),
I approached the pastor at the church where I am employed and asked if it would be possible to give some of my paid time off to my fellow co-workers.  He graciously agreed and per my request, each person was given two hours of paid time off.

When my co-workers approached me to thank me for their Christmas gift several commented paid time off was a gift they never would have thought to give.  I admitted I wouldn't have thought of it either if it hadn't been for the Lord speaking it so loudly and boldly to my heart.

But, the story doesn't end here.  With God, there is always, always, always a "rest of the story".

Fast forward from Christmas to February 8, the day I received an email from the pastor at the church where I am employed.  The subject of his email: bereavement leave. (You can read the story behind this here.)

Having spent two weeks visiting my sister and her family in November, plus giving away some of my paid time off as Christmas gifts, I knew my paid time off bank was running low. Imagine my surprise and the amount of tears that flowed from my eyes as I read these words:

The church has given you three days of bereavement leave (Feb. 7,8,9).  Beginning on February 10 your PTO will kick in.  As of today, you have 146 hours of PTO available (the staff have donated a portion of their hours to your bank).

Our God knows the beginning from the end.
Nothing catches Him unaware or off guard.
Before we even know we have a need,
our faithful God is already there,
moving ahead of us,
preparing, planning and providing.

God knew, come February, one of my greatest needs would not be fruitcake, but paid time off.
God also knew, that without Him first planting the seed of giving paid time off in my heart,
it might not have occurred to my co-workers that this was even an option, even a gift they could give me in one of my greatest times of need.

But, the story still doesn't end here.

I had only given each co-worker two hours.
They selflessly took my meager gift
and
out of the extravagance of their love for God
and their compassion for my sorrow,
they each gave me 5 times more than I had given them!

5 times more!

And to think,
I wanted to give them fruitcake!

And to think,
when my precious Father God was prompting me to bless others,
I wrestled with Him!

And to think,
if I wouldn't have listened to God's voice,
if I wouldn't have surrendered to His leading,
if I wouldn't have said "yes" when my heart wanted to say "no",
I would have quite possibly missed out on one of the sweetest blessings of my life -
spending time away with my sister,
loving on my sweet nephews,
quieting my heart in God's presence
as I stumble my way through tears
and the heartbreak of losing my husband,
not alone,
but surrounded by family.

We can only see today,
this moment,
right here,
right now.

But our Abba Daddy, our Father God, the Lover of our soul, the Alpha and Omega -
He sees and knows all things,
and He is ever orchestrating the details of our life for this moment
and every. single. moment. to come.

No, fruitcake wasn't an option,
not, if God was going to be able to bless me with
that which I needed most.

May we always have a heart attuned to His,
ever listening for His prompting,
ever obedient to His calling,
ever answering "yes" when we want to answer "no".

For only God knows what is down the road,
only God knows what tomorrow will bring,
only God knows what will bless us most.

May we trust Him in all things,
that He in turn,
may bless us in all things.












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3 comments:

  1. Praying for you! Thank you for your beautiful story in TRUSTING IN GOD!

    ReplyDelete
  2. He is more than enough. What a testimony?! Wow. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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