It’s funny the things you remember that you didn’t even know you had in your memory bank. That’s what happened to me during my special session with those two women mentors at that Al Anon meeting. What jogged my memory more than the things they told me was the one-word question they asked…
Sixth Provision: The Gift of Remembrance
I thought they’d tell me where I could find a job, transportation, safe babysitting services. They did nothing of the kind. All they told me that evening was 1) keep coming to meetings, and 2) don’t make any major decisions for six months.
“I can’t do that!” I protested. “I’ve got to get a job, and a way to get there! I’ve got to get a good babysitter…I have a new baby. And we might not have heat, or electricity, or food, or…” (I didn’t mention telephone. Not having that would be a blessing!) “…even tomorrow!”
“Do you have heat in your house right now—today?” they asked.
“Do you have food at home right now—today?”
Thus they went on, with their little mantra, always ending with “ right now, today.”
And to every question, I had to answer, “Yes.”
They paused, both of them, and looked at me, and simultaneously said, “Well?”
And a message I had heard over thirteen years before (one of about three times I’d attended church in my teen years) came rushing back to me. So vividly.
How “odd” that one sermon should have stuck with me so tenaciously all that time–on Matthew 6:25-34! Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about material provision. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” And just deal with one day at a time.
“Odd” also how, though my belief system back then, in my late teens, had been a nearly void pit of little but skepticism, nevertheless at the time I had somehow believed this promise. I clearly remembered discussing it after church with my girlfriend’s steady boyfriend, who couldn’t buy it. I remember saying, “No, I believe it’s true.”
Why did I believe that, back then, when I didn’t even know if I believed in God? And how did it stay rooted somewhere in my soul for over thirteen years, when by the end of my freshman college year I had labeled myself an agnostic?
God plants seeds. Even seeds of faith in blind and stupid hearts. Like mine. And now, after that Al Anon meeting, was the time for the seed to grow. These women didn’t know it, but they were watering that seed.
Thus began a new way of life. Something in me reached out and eagerly, believingly, grabbed that principle of seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and trusting Him for the rest.
And yes, all those things were most assuredly “added unto” me.
The Worry Jar
Over those next six months I kept a “worry jar.” Anytime a fret about the future began to form in my soul, I’d write it on a slip of paper and plunk it into that worry jar, thus giving it over to God. After six months I took out the slips and looked at every uncertainty I would have stewed over (but didn’t)—and not one of them had materialized! I never even had to go stay with my friend because of no heat or power in my house. I would have worried myself sick for nothing!
God’s provision of physical needs surely blessed me, but what blessed me even more was this new way of life: not only of repeatedly seeing His intervening hand, but also growing in knowing Him more deeply each year. I came to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “I come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly” (John 14:26)!
[In future posts: More specifics about just how God provided, and how He worked His timing (sometimes disconcertingly).]