He will provide…

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” ~Esther 4:14

When I was living in Austin, TX going to school to become a Director of Christian Education, I worked part time at Our Savior Lutheran Church in their aftercare program.  During the summer I would stay in Austin and continue to work at OSL, sometimes I was in the infant room, working 2 year-olds, 4 year-olds, or the elementary kids, wherever I was needed that is where I served.  I loved working there and forged friendships (one in particular) that have lasted even after leaving Austin in 2005.

I remember in 2004, the summer before my senior year, I decided I wanted to work at one of the many Lutheran camps around the country.  I was thrilled when I heard back from my first pick located in NY state.  My job would revolve around caring for the stables and working with their horses.

I remember when I got the call that I was accepted, I called my dear friend Serena and told her my good news…I even put the phone down and did a cartwheel.  I began making my plans, excited that I would get to see another dear friend who lived close to the camp.  Unfortunately, my joy was short lived…

Soon after the call our amazing Preschool Director, Beverly, got very sick and ended up in the hospital.  While she was there, the doctors discovered that she had stage four ovarian cancer.  I knew what that would mean for her, months of chemo and possible surgery.  I knew this would greatly affect her ability to do her job, she would face many days where she was simply too exhausted to work.  So I made my quick decision, I would stay in Austin and help her in any way I could.

She being stubborn, told me to go, that she would be alright, that God would provide…so I told her this little story. {I don’t remember when or where I first heard this.}

A man was caught in a flood and seeking escape he climbed onto his roof.  As the waters began to rise, another man came by with a canoe. “Jump in!” he said, “I have plenty of room and I will take you too safety, the water is only going to rise.”  In response, the man on the roof refused, “No, my God will provide, you can take your canoe and go.”  The waters indeed continued to rise and eventually it rose above his waist.  A family in a row boat saw the man clinging to his chimney and called out to him, “Hang on! We’ll get you and take you to safety!”  And again the man refused to get into the boat, telling them, “I know my God loves me and He will provide.”  The waters were getting rougher still, rising until the man could no longer hold onto anything, only treading water.  Finally a rescue helicopter drew near and called out to him, “We have room for one more, we’re lowering down a rope, but hurry, the water is rising and we are running out of fuel.”  Once again, the man refused, “My God will not abandon me, he will provide!”  The helicopter was forced to leave as their fuel tanks sounded a warning.  As you can imagine, the man drown and as he stood before the Lord, he asked Him.  “Father, I trusted You, I believed You would save me.  Why did You not help me?”  God said in reply, “What was wrong with the canoe, the boat, and helicopter I sent to your aid?”

I told her that if I left God would still send someone to help her over the summer, but why not let it be me?  There was no job opening for me and I had no place to stay, but I knew that staying was my only option.  I called the camp and gave my regrets.

Beverly made it through the summer, though most days I opened our doors and I was the one to close them at the end of the day too.  The church hired me on as a floater, helping in every place possible, and when Beverly had to leave, she knew everything would be under control.  I stayed with my dear friend Bekky and her precious family rent free; she and I are still best friends.  Serena and her husband gave me an inflatable mattress so I had a place to sleep; they gave me a new one as a graduation gift, too…which I used until my cat sharpened her claws on it…

Throughout that entire summer God provided for us over and over.  In some ways they seemed small at the time, but looking back I can understand the true blessings He poured out for each of us in that place.  Bekky was far more experienced than I and when needed, she would intervene…though for some reason {GOD!!} there were very few problems that arose that summer.

So how about you?  Are you in a position to help someone, but you’re hesitating?  Or are you the one needing help, only you keep passing up God’s provisions…?

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