God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace.
Psalm 145:9 (The Message)
I feel like I’ve been in a crash course lately. Perhaps it should be called Goodness 201–it’s a bit of remediation, some review, and some new lessons in God’s goodness to me. It’s not an entry level class; I have the basics down even if I occasionally lose sight of them. It’s new threads of the same theme.
I’d like to think I’ve got these lessons done. I’ve seen God provide my needs (and some of my wants) over and over and over again. I’ve seen him pull me out of the middle of a civil war. I’ve seen him send eight missionaries from Guinea (West Africa) to Alaska to save me from being stranded. I’ve seen him open my eyes to the right verse at the right time as I read the Bible. I’m no stranger to God’s goodness, yet he never ceases to amaze me.
I don’t have an overabundance of money. God provides what I need to pay my bills and to enjoy a few little treats now and then. There’s not a lot of wiggle room, but it’s OK. Last year when I did my taxes, I got back more money than I’d seen at one time in a very long time. Before the check could even be deposited, my car (that needs to last until Jesus returns) racked up bills in almost the same amount as the tax return. While I was disappointed not to have that discretionary money, I was thrilled that God provided exactly what I needed to pay those bills.
My tax return is almost the same amount this year. I have no idea if I’ll need if for an emergency, for paying off some other debt, or something important that I haven’t learned about yet. As I did my taxes again this year I was amazed at the way God provides—and at the way he made me a citizen of a nation that will return my money! (I lived in Africa; I can’t imagine such a scenario there.)
Another part of this course? A week or so ago I’d started to think about panicking over not having the interns I needed this summer. My summer starts in five weeks, and I need to have these college students lined up yesterday. I lacked one guy. I put out an email plea. Within 24 hours I had two strong possibilities to fill the one slot. There were great reasons to hire either one of them and distinct reasons to choose one over the other. I asked my boss what to do because I had no idea. She replied, “Why not have your cake and eat it, too? You can shuffle your budget to make it happen.” It’s all still in the works, but it looks like my dearth turned into an abundance.
But wait! There’s more! I found out a few weeks ago that my insurance company (with the revolving agents) hadn’t given me the discount for having both my car and home insurance. The current agent worked it out so I could get a credit for what I’d overpaid while he had my account. He said he asked the national office if they could see how far back they might be able to credit me. Yesterday I learned it has been years (if ever) since I’d received the proper bill. They credited the entire difference. I think my insurance is paid for the rest of the year.
It’s not just money. It’s not just personnel. It’s a discipleship for the kids I work with. It’s visits with people who are dear but geographically distant. It’s a phone call I didn’t know I needed. It’s even the perfect bite of NY pizza in Colorado.
Goodness 201 is a class I know will go on forever. I know it doesn’t mean that I’ll never have a bill bigger than I can pay. I know it doesn’t mean there won’t be a summer when I need more help than I can find. I know it doesn’t mean I won’t face periods of loneliness. I know there will be times when my favorite foods are inaccessible.
I know it means God doesn’t fit in a box. It means God’s goodness goes beyond what I can ask or imagine. (Did I mention 5 interns?!) It means with every breath I can rest in the knowledge that God is trustworthy, gracious and good.
What have you been learning lately?
photo courtesy of Spookygonk
Today I’ve joined the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam. Every week Bonnie’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith and life related topic. This is my riff on “What I’m learning in my relationship with Jesus.” I’d love to read your thoughts on the topic. Please leave a comment or a link to your blog if you’ve jammed on this. And if you haven’t blogged on it, please leave some of your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’re interested in seeing what others had to say, please follow the link over to the Faith Barista site.