Monday, April 16, 2012

Good Gifts

Have you ever wanted to give your child a gift, but were waiting for them to ask for it first?  I remember once, I wanted to treat the boys to lunch.  I asked them what they wanted, hoping they would say that they wanted to go out.  Jack humbly said, "a sandwich".  When I questioned him further, he changed it to "soup".  I guided and prompted some more, wanting him to ask to eat out, so I could bless him.  When he finally felt safe enough, he asked for McDonald's.  And I was so happy to give it to him.  

But it made me think: "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11.  My heavenly Father is ultimately better than I am.  His gifts are ultimately better than my gifts to my children.  But the key (I think) to that verse is "to those who ask Him".  I was waiting for Jack to ask. God is waiting for us to ask.

I'll be honest, that wasn't the first time God had to teach me this lesson.  God blessed us immensely two years ago when the hospital bills came due.   He also showed me His goodness last summer, when we got the boat tags, only after praying for them.  Once again, our heavenly Father has given us good gifts.  

As you may know already, we are in a season of waiting.  I really am okay with the waiting.  The bank is not.  

We were blessed with Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace" books.  We were able to pay off our debt last October.  Funny thing, that's the same month we found out that Joe was in Stage 5, End Stage Renal Failure.  He fought valiantly, but finally had to start dialysis in January.  Dialysis is so hard on him that he cannot work and we have started to fall behind in our bills.  Again, I am okay with this.  I know that our negative bank balance is not due to frivolous spending behavior.  We just need things like, oh I don't know, electricity, water, food.  I know that this too shall end.  Joe is due to start getting disability checks in July.  Three more months of running on a deficit of $500/month.  

But like I said, the bank is not so "okay" with all this.  I started to get ugly emails and phone calls.  Yet, I knew that I just could not work another job.  My family needs me at home right now.  We don't have anything left to sell.  We need both vehicles to get me to work and Joe to dialysis (opposite ends of the mountain).  Finally, I prayed.  I told you that God has had to teach me this lesson once or twice before.  I prayed that God would bless us somehow.  And He did.

Last night, I prayed.  Today, Joe got a phone call.  A phone call to come down to the dialysis unit and pick up a check from the Kidney Foundation.  A check for $1600.  Remember our deficit of $500/month for 3 months?  Answered prayer.  But, I had to ask for it first.  It makes me wonder, how long was that check waiting there?  It was too early in the morning to have arrived in the mail today.  Saturday?  Friday?  Longer than that?  God, infinitely better than me, was waiting for His child to ask for the blessing.  

where Glory meets my suffering