Give thanks, for God is at work
“Another one of his disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.’” (John 6:8-9 TEV)
We’ve been talking about how our ability to give thanks to God is based on our ability to see his involvement in our lives and to understand things do not come to us through coincidence.
Was it a coincidence that Andrew met this specific boy among the crowd listening to Jesus? Was it a coincidence that the boy had “five loaves of barley bread and two fish”? And are we any different from Andrew in that he looked at the bigness of the problem instead of looking at the bigness of Jesus?
Here’s one more God-story to help you focus today on the many ways God provides for you. When I sold my home for a huge loss, I knew what was left was “certainly not enough” to even rent a one-bedroom apartment. Surely this was even too big for God.
And then God connected me with friends of friends. David and Susan Moffitt had moved to a new home and not sold their old one. They were letting someone live in the house, but that person would be leaving soon, and Susan suggested I drive by to see if I’d be interested in living there. She said, “It’s a little rough, but if any house has character, this one has it.”
So I drove through a neighborhood of older, upscale homes, down a street lined with trees, creating the kind of entrance effect you might find as you enter the grounds to an old Southern college. At the end of the road, I could see a white house with a white picket fence. It looked as if it was sitting in the middle of the road, but, as I got closer, I could see it was a visual effect because the road took a sharp turn to the right just in front of the house.
The Moffitt house was the last holdout from the parceled progress that turned a plantation and some farms into just another neighborhood. It was an old 1940s farmhouse sitting like a two-acre oasis in the middle of suburbia. I pulled into the dirt driveway and drove up to the front, next to the white picket fence.
Just as I stopped the car, three deer walked out from behind a large hedge and stood a few feet away from me. And — I kid you not — right on cue, Amy Grant’s version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing on the radio.
Later, I called Susan and told her I’d like to talk about moving into the house. I hesitated and then asked, “How much are you planning to charge?” She said, “Oh, we weren’t planning to charge anything. We’re glad if we can bless you.”
How has God provided for you this year?
Ask God to show you the things in the last year that you’ve written off as coincidence but were actually God at work in your life.
This devotional was adapted from my new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.” “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story,” this book shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall.
Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer
“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.