Food on my table
They weren't coming until 6pm, for dinner. At least that was the plan. And there they were at our door with smiles on their faces at 10am. This was going to be a long day, I thought to myself.
I had woken up that morning with a heavy heart. It was like a dark gloom had settled over me and I couldn't figure out why. John helped me with the morning breakfast routine, we had kids sleeping over and many mouths to feed. I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to my room. God and I needed to have a chat.
I emerged not 20 minutes later with the answer. I knew why I was feeling heavy-hearted. 2011 was going to be a confusing year! Lots of transition, people coming and going, our own comings and goings, kids growing up, and much much more to trust Him for.
The cloud lifted after my very quick and simple revelation. God whispered to me almost audibly, "No worries, Jenn. For I will be with you."
The doorbell buzzed. E was here. E had been in our student group years ago and had returned home, to see us. He's not from our city, the only reason why he comes off the beaten path is to check in with us. Not minutes later another sweet girl A, arrived. Both of them had been very much a part of our lives early on in our years here, and when they left our city, we weren't so sure that they would continue walking with the Lord.
They shared story after story of how God had been so faithful. They shared of their fellowships, their relationships with others in the group, how the "others" (those who had also been part of our early group)were doing, and how they were growing. Both are pressing onto maturity. I was in awe.
Lunch came and I had nothing to present. I even said to John, "who keeps food for 12 people all the time in their kitchen!" (we had many for dinner the previous night, and many for breakfast just that morning!) But I went to my kitchen and prayed. I laughed aloud when I opened my pantry and found 2 cans of spaghetti sauce and 2 pounds of chicken in my fridge. Yes, He provided. Twenty minutes later, a large pan of chicken parmesan was on our table. Courtesy of HIS provision. As I madly cooked, I kept saying, "Lord, you're so funny.You knew what I needed." Tangible expressions of His presence and His tender care.
We talked the afternoon away and I saw that there were no plans for leaving. Dinner? A hurried trip to the market (with only 60 kuai - less than $10) and I returned with a colorful array of vegetables, a pound of meat, and a pathetic roast chicken. We squished in our small galley kitchen and an hour later, enjoyed a fresh ratatouille, pumpkin soup, pork chops, and pieces of roast chicken. Just enough. No leftovers. Again. His provision.
The timing was His. I awoke needing a tender touch from the Lord to remind me that yes, He cares for the birds and the flowers, how much more will He care for us, His children.
Food on my table. Each time, it's from Him. Amazing. What's also amazing is that the work we did some seven years ago was all for Him, but there was little visible fruit. We don't always get to see the fruit of what we do, so it was a gift. Twelve hours with those sweet friends was like a taste of heaven. Food for my soul. Amazing.