In March 2012, our eldest child flew off alone to Tulsa, Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA!) to interview for a scholarship for the college she REALLY wanted to go to. It was one of the few colleges that made the cut of still believing and upholding the godly standards on which it was founded. As she was a thousand miles away that weekend, I had one of those God moments where I heard His still small voice in my spirit (in the bathroom, but that is beside the point) whisper, “Be ready!” That was it. Be ready. READY FOR WHAT? I wanted to scream…. in fact, I probably did.
Of course in my own little control-freak mind I made my list of what I thought I needed to be ready for… or with… or against… or because of… (See? It was pointless!) I prayed up more. I Bible studied harder. I threw myself into money making. I lectured. I bit my tongue. (See? It was pointless!) I should have been focusing on Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Oh yeah. Right.
We knew the cost of school for our sweet girl would cause us to walk the tightrope of faith financially. And we have. And God has shown up. Over and over again. Please let me climb up on my testimony box and shout out some praises for a minute or two… or three, of how God has shown up in the last THREE WEEKS!
Three days before our Canadian-thick-blooded relatives were coming to stay with us in sunny Arizona, the air conditioner decided to only work for ten seconds at a time in three minute intervals. For those who don’t live in Arizona, that is not quite adequate for keeping the house at a comfortable temperature for Canadians. (I was fine, but this is not about me.) I called Rob the A/C repairman. He came out and visited me for three hours to the tune of $1,300. Ouch! Thankfully Rob and my husband Rick are members of Tradesource, where private businesses can barter services, so we only had to fork over $370…. of the $380 in our account at that time. I wrote the check and sent God a little reminder that we may need Him to show up in the next few days if our relatives planned on eating while visiting. “Hey, welcome! It’s canned tuna week!”
Corresponding with the northerly visitors, Larisa, our college girl was also coming home for Spring Break with her roommate! WhoooHOooOOooo! Party time! (and you thought the cafeteria food was bad!) I scrubbed the visitor bathroom until it gleamed like Joel Osteen’s teeth. Seriously! The only thing I needed to purchase was a $2 shower liner so I headed off to Bed Bath and Beyond with four hours and $8 to spare! Perfect!
Two miles into my three mile adventure, a girl pulled right out in front of me and I t-boned her. This is what I remember: Air bags. Checking if Nora (9 year old) was ok in the seat behind me. Nice strangers who stopped to help. Policemen. Firemen. OH DANG IT DO MY LEGS HURT! My dad coming. ER visit (without my boys… that was rare!). And then I arrived on the yellow couch in the living room 21 days ago. I’m still there. What I am allowed to share is that I am wounded and receiving care. God protected us BIG TIME! (I can walk. I can cry. I can brush my teeth with my left hand. I can type. And I’m really good at taking pills every 4 to 6 hours that may cause dry mouth, chills, panic attacks, anxiety, inability to sit still, seizures, delusions, fainting, itching, slurred speech, etc. etc. etc.) Is THIS what I needed to be ready for?
That was a Saturday. The following Monday the Canadians showed up at the doorstep along with the homeschoolers and various other peeps who delivered meals for two straight weeks (and now we’re on an every-other day schedule for two MORE weeks.) Not just pasta dinner. Gourmet chicken with French names and seasoned vegetables that were hoarded by my children. And not just dinner. Breakfast pie showed up. Oranges by the bag full. And pizzas and sandwich meat and fruit bowls and chocolate cake and bagels and cream cheese and whole grain bread that I never buy and potato salad and ice cream sandwiches and milk and ALL the food that was necessary to feed our family and the four visiting guests while $8 sat in our bank account. Maybe THIS was what I needed to be ready for.
The van may or may not be totaled. We’ll see. We got a rental car that I am too delusional to drive….. and my children are not over 21, so they can’t drive it either. FUN! My husband figured he may as well take it to work and save money on gas…. and he rear-ended a nice lady who stopped really rapidly on the highway. IN THE RENTAL CAR. Can you spell deductible? So, my hubby took it back and got another rental car that looked exactly the same, except the seats were tan, not black. He came home that night and took his brother to the store. His brother mentioned, “I could have sworn these seats were black!” Um, yeah. Is THIS what we needed to be ready for?
If that hoopla wasn’t enough to make my mother hit her replaced knees in fervent prayer, yesterday my hard-working son (who has a Jedi braid, but that is not crucial to the storyline) volunteered to spend his day helping his cycling team set up for a race last night. As if our family has big targets on our backsides at the moment, a loathsome individual made off with my son’s $8,000 bike. Yes, you read that right. A two-wheeled pedal bike… $8,000. He is sponsored. It is on loan to him. We did not pay $8,000 for a bike with which I can do one-handed curls. I learned about the lifted bicycle from my husband who left me a message on my phone while I was in my 6th doctor’s appointment to end the week. WAS THIS WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE READY FOR???
Today my bikeless son’s facebook status reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 God showed me this yesterday.”
Besides messaging me about the missing bike, my husband prayed. And then he posted a little ditty on facebook about the bike and asked others to pray. Because we know that prayer works. A friend of ours in Canada who was supposed to be paying attention in a business meeting, who happens to hate injustice and loves hardworking youngsters, went on facebook and read Rick’s message……. and bought a new bike for my son. We were close to speechless. A tearful thank you was all I could get out. What I loved about this was all the glory was given to God… in front of the teammates. By son and father, without shame. Maybe THIS is what we were supposed to be ready for?
Be ready…. to live your life for God no matter what. Be ready …. to rely on God for everything. Be ready…. in good times and bad to praise God, for He is worthy of our praise. Be ready.