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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Miracle of Obedience

Posted by admin in August 31st, 2009
Published in faith, obedience

Ya know, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my sis and brother-in-law’s financial miracle. (See The Bean Fields and Mighty Men of Valor 8/25). It was such joy to see my sister’s relief, to hear of God’s mercy and grace being poured into their lives. It was a “whew” moment—saved-by-the-Father kind of thing. But Big D and I’ve been talking a lot about it lately and we have to say that there’s even a BIGGER miracle taking place here. The miracle of obedience.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure I could write a check for $90,000! Even if I had the cash. Ninety thousand dollars is a nice little nest egg. It’s smart retirement planning. It’s investment cash that could help us plan for our future and the future of our children. Something every reader of this blog should know, the couple that gave the money is not wealthy. They are nearing retirement, they have a quadriplegic son, and the gentleman is working for a company that has been laying people off due to the economy. It was more than just giving—it was sacrificial giving. If they were millionaires, I’d probably say, “Well, how wonderful!” But being averages Joes just like you and me it all really kinda blows me away. It’s the kind of thing that makes me cry. It’s the widow’s mite. Sacrificial giving, no matter the size of the gift, is miraculous. My sister and her husband experienced their miracle because of this couple’s obedience. Obedience.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on (Mark 12).

The whole thing about this gift has me and Daryl asking, “What more can we do?” We don’t give sacrificially. We give our tithe and once in a while we give a love offering. But we never give ‘til it hurts. We don’t skip meals; we don’t do without so that others might have their real needs met. So, I think the real beauty of my sister’s financial miracle is the beauty of this couple’s financial sacrifice. Unselfish giving. Reckless abandonment. Irrational faith. I want all of these things. I want to be this kind of Christian. The kind that hears from God and seeks His will and obeys no matter what the cost. I pray this couple will be blessed beyond measure today. My prayer is that they’ll have every need met and a real sense of God’s presence in their lives.

I hesitate to share this story with you, but I desperately feel the need to tell how this one couple’s obedience is already impacting my and Daryl’s life.

We took a road trip this past week to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Fun times. Before we left town we took out $100 of mad money. This was to be our “in case we see an antique place” money. Didn’t happen. The kind of money “in case we see an outlet mall.” Didn’t happen. So we went the entire four days without seeing anything we needed or wanted. Last night, traveling home on Highway 69 we saw a small, very old, pickup truck pulled over by the local sheriff. Speeding? I don’t know. But we’d seen expensive brand new vehicles breaking the law for the past 300 miles and none of them got stopped. I felt badly for the poor guy that was driving. I told Daryl, “It makes me so mad when these kids that can least afford it get pulled over.”

We travel on up the highway several miles and we see a McDonald’s. Of course, not having supper, I felt the need for a McDonald’s ice cream cone. Daryl complied. We pull off and went through the drive thru and got two vanilla cones. Yummy. We pulled through and found a place in the parking lot to eat our ice cream in peace. But there were birds swarming around and I hate birds. So, Daryl kindly backed up the old Buick and drove around the building to park on the other side. We sat there eating our ice cream and watching the people going in and out of the local gas station next door.

Then the kid in the small old pickup pulled up. He had a child in the truck with him. Daryl and I deduced by the small suitcase in the front seat and the guy just sitting there kinda waiting that it was a father who has joint custody visits and was now returning the child to her mother. We watched as the young man played with the small girl. She hugged and kissed him. He talked sweetly to her. Daryl and I sat there silently eating our ice cream cones. Watching. Then the Mom pulled up. Rough. Really harsh looking.

The young Dad got out of his truck. He had tears in his eyes. The little girl hugged his neck clinging to him. She doesn’t want to go; it’s obvious she doesn’t want to leave her Dad. She held tightly to his neck. He squeezed her in his arms. He’s crying. The Mom doesn’t even greet the child. She pries her out of the Dad’s arms and placed her carelessly into the child seat in the back of her car. The parents exchange a few words. The Dad gets the suitcase out of the car along with a grocery bag full of things. He’s a hardworking fellow. And though the truck is old and dented and rusting it’s not dirty. He’s wearing a tape measure on his belt and has a metal tool box locked onto the back of his truck. A carpenter. A construction worker. A guy that works with his hands. He gets back into the small truck and sits there for a moment. I’m crying. I’m thinking about that little girl and how brokenness is all around us in this world. This broken, hurting, fallen world.

Then I remember the couple who helped my sister and her husband. I think about sacrificial giving. I reach for my purse and without any discussion Daryl says, “We’ll do whatever you feel the Lord leading.” I pull out the $100 of mad money and sobbing I hand it over to Daryl. He gets out of the car and runs over to the small beat up pickup truck. He taps on the window and kind of surprised the guy. The kid rolls down his window and Daryl says “Hey, we saw you got pulled over back there by the sheriff. We can never understand why the big expensive vehicles never get pulled over.”

The kid smiles, “Yeah, I know. I got a ticket for having window tinting on my window.” It was an old blue tinting that covered about three inches of the top windshield. “He gave me a $60 ticket for that.” Daryl handed him the wadded up cash. “Here. Take this. My wife and I want to bless you. We’ll be praying for you. We know what it’s like to work hard and try to make ends meet.” The young man said no at first, then took the money. He told Daryl his name and thanked him earnestly. They shook hands. Daryl said, “We’ll be praying for you son. And follow Jesus, He’s our only hope.” Daryl patted him on the shoulder. And we left.

I’m praying today for this young man and for his daughter. Often as human beings we pray more and better for things we give to. We’re funny like that.

On the way home we prayed that the filthy lucre we handed over to that boy would experience something of transubstantiation: that an ordinary unholy thing might become holy and sanctified by God’s miracle working power and that the money would become a supernatural blessing in that young man’s life. That the cash couldn’t be used for evil, but only for good and that through it his life would be changed by the power and the working of the Holy Spirit.

Reckless giving. Crazy faith. Sacrificial living. Holy Spirit prompted acts of kindness. I want to live like that. Once a news reporter asked Mother Teresa when she first felt called to the poor and dying of Calcutta. She pulled herself up to her full 4 feet, 11 inches height and said, “Called? My young man I was never called to Calcutta. I was simply following Jesus and this is where He led me.” My prayer today is that we, all of us who profess Christ as Savior and Lord, simply follow Jesus wherever He leads and do whatever He prompts us to do. This is the real miracle of obedience. Peace.

3 users Responded In This Post

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211. big sister said,
August 31st, 2009 at 12:33 pm

WOW – THANKS FOR SHARING AND REMINDING US OF WHAT CAN SOMETIMES SEEM LIKE ORDINARY SIGHTS IN OUR LIVES THAT GOD WANTS US TO BE IN TUNE TO SO HE CAN DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS THROUGH US! LOVE, YOUR SIS

mygif
212. Texas cuzzin Linda said,
September 1st, 2009 at 6:51 am

God keeps on blessing and blessing!

mygif
228. texas sister said,
September 30th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Goodness, as a woman who has had to let my precious little ones go and be with a “rough” parent, and who had to leave my beloved Daddy every other week I really felt my heart pinch in this tale.
I am glorying with you and agreeing in prayer for the good seed of that $100.00 to reproduce in the young man’s life and in yours.
One Hundred fold…

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