No one cares more for us than our Heavenly Father. I saw it clearly one more time today. This day –March 6, 2016– is a very special day for me. Never again will I be exactly 70 years old. Seventy is the age the Bible considers a normal life span. Maybe that’s why this has become so important to me.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty. Psalm 90:10
I was excited about meeting some friends yesterday for breakfast at Panera. It didn’t turn out as I had hoped, so I have to admit I was a little disappointed. But I saw three of my former co-workers, one of them Malena. Malena is my very special friend. We used to have the same office; she has also helped me with some things for my ministry.
Malena’s mother, Mrs. Yolanda, is very good at crafts. Here is a beautiful little present she gave me.
I later found out that one friend was sick; another one had misunderstood the date. Others that I missed I’m sure had good reasons. One thing my daughter has experienced many times is that people promise to come and then don’t show up. On one of my grandchildren’s birthday no one came. It wasn’t that bad for me.
Now I’ll get to the good part! All week I had been enjoying the thought of inviting one of the ladies at church to go with me to Olive Garden. She came to greet me before the service started and I asked if she wanted to have dinner with me. She had a lot of excuses and it even seemed to me it made her uncomfortable. “Think about it during the service,” I said to her. “You can tell me later if you want to go or not.” Bad advice! That wasn’t something to be thinking about during the service!
God had a greeting for me this day. He knows how special dates and occasions bring out the lonely feelings more than on regular days. The aftermath of the cancer is long-drawn. The energy it takes every time I leave the house doesn’t make it an easy task to go out and meet people. For every “outing” I have to pay a price the next day (recuperation). That I’m not a socially skilled person doesn’t make it easier. Enough said! You see, God know all this! He also knows all the thoughts that were swirling in my mind. So, in a prophetic message He encouraged me. HE IS MY FRIEND! In the midst of our loneliness, God embraces us. But that message wasn’t all our Father had for me!
I decided to leave before the service closed so I wouldn’t make it more uncomfortable for this lady (and for me!). If I left, it would be my own fault that I had to eat alone! And tomorrow I will send this lady a check so she can eat out at her own convenience.
The air was very low in my tires so I had to stop and pump some air in them. I’m talking about the car’s tires, not mine! I just learned a new expression that has to do with tires. I say I’m retired, but you know how much I still work. Well, I was only re-tired! I got a new set of tires! I’m still going strong!
So, after I got the tires up to par, I drove down south, making a short stop at an “out of order” ATM machine, before arriving at the Olive Garden Restaurant. If you want quick service, don’t go there on Sundays. But you can get service in the bar area without waiting, so I just sat down on a bar stool and made myself comfortable. And there God showed me how much he cares!
A couple sat on my left and they heard when I told the waiter that it was my birthday, and I “bragged” that it was my 70th birthday. I told him I had gotten an email offering me a free dessert and that I wanted tiramisu. This led to a conversation with the couple. It so happens they work where I used to work, at the Assemblies of God Leadership and Resource Center. Their work involves discipleship and children’s ministry. How perfect! Come to find out, they paid for my meal! For me it was a confirmation from the Lord of his loving care.
Timing! There was timing going on today. The time I left the service; the time I spent pumping air in the tires; the time I spent stopping at an ATM-machine that didn’t work; the time it took me to drive to the restaurant… Then came the decision to eat at the bar, so I didn’t have to spend time waiting!
My disappointment turned into an appointment! I’d never before had strangers pay for my meal. But in the family of God we’re not strangers.
Thank you “strangers-but-not strangers” for making me feel so loved. I saw the care of my Father in Heaven. May His blessings overflow in your life!
One of my “Life Verses” came true once more. May it also prove true in your life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6