Monday, September 13, 2010

The Realness of God

The other day I was reading from Genesis 5. One of the last verses of that chapter reads like this:

He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed." Genesis 5.29
This is the first time we read about Noah and in one sentence we learn more about him than about most of the characters in this chapter. "He will comfort us."
For those of you who know us, you already know we have a son named Noah. And it is because of this very verse that we chose the name Noah. Before conceiving Noah we had a miscarriage and a couple of months later we were pregnant with him. So he was literally our comfort.
This what I wrote in my journal about this verse: "Noah, great-grandson of Enoch, who walked with God, and my son's namesake. If you ever read this son, remember who you are. Noah sounds like the Hebrew word for comfort. You comforted your Mommy and Daddy after the loss of Alida. I have no idea what God has planned for you, my son, but I know this: You will be a comfort to a great many people. You are the most sensitive of my children and it seems comforting is what you were born to do. Your name was truly God-given."
I am big into names and their meanings. I wrote a post about this very thing a while back. This is why we have such a hard time coming up with names for our children. Names are so significant and it is such an awesome task to have the sole responsibility of giving our kids the names they will be called for the rest of our lives. For that reason, all of our children were painstakingly named and all of our children have names that have some sort of special meaning or significance to us and our family. Noah is obviously no exception and it took us months to settle on his name. I cannot imagine him being named anything else.
Imagine my surprise and delight when Noah walked in after taking the dog out, less than five minutes after I had written that in journal and asked, "Momma, what do you think are God's plans for me?"
Talk about a jaw-dropping question. I mean, what five year old do you know that asks a question like that? It was totally a God moment, a beautiful thing that only He could have orchestrated. And so, I read Noah what I had only moments before finished writing.
Frankly, if I may be truly honest, I don't know how anyone can read or hear a story like that and not believe that God is real. There is NO WAY you could ever convince me that things like that could ever be explained away by merely coincidence. They happen way too often in my own life and in the lives of people I know for me to ever believe that coincidence has anything to do with it. In fact, I wrote a post about what I think of coincidence a while ago too.
Just in the past week, I have had two other circumstances happen that some might want to call coincidence, but are what I call the goodness and faithfulness of a God who loves me and cares about my situations-no matter how seemingly small and insignificant.
The first happened at Aldi's grocery store. I had all my stuff ready to go when I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home which NEVER happens. I was getting ready to walk out of the store because I had no way to pay for what I got. I was by myself with all four kids, mind you, and it was quite the trip to just make it into the store in the first place, let alone get what I needed and get home in one piece. So imagine my dismay when I learned I had no way to pay and it was all going to be for naught.
It was at this moment, the lady in behind me told the cashier that she wanted to buy my groceries. You heard me right. BUY. MY. GROCERIES. Seriously? Who does that? I tried telling her it was okay but she would not be swayed. By the time it was all over I was a bawling, blubbering mess, hugging a complete stranger who had totally been Jesus to me right in the middle of my crazy day. The funny thing is, I had prayed before going in that day that Jesus would use me. Ends up He used a complete and total stranger to minister to ME instead. Try and convince me He's not real. You can't do it.
By the way, the other customers were totally in awe too and the poor cashier was probably crying harder than I was. I was profusely grateful and the lady just said that I would have an opportunity to do it for someone else some day. I cannot wait for that day!!! Add that to the sweet family who when we were walking in gave us their cart and would not take out quarter in return and I am thoroughly overwhelmed by the goodness of God.
The second situation happened just yesterday when we received a flat tire on our way home. Rick's phone was dead, my phone was at home and the jack to change the tire was broken. Here we were, still a few miles from home, four kids who were hungry and tired on a hot day, pretty much stranded on the side of the road. So what could we do? Rick could try to walk home and leave us there. We could try to see if someone would let us borrow their cell phone-but then who could we call since no one memorizes phone numbers anymore-all the numbers were in our phones lol. So we did the only logical thing we could do. We prayed. Rick prayed specifically that God would send someone to help us.
Lo and behold, not 30 seconds after we finished praying, we see a van pull over on the other side of the road. They were travelling the opposite direction so they had to turn around, cross two lanes of traffic and back up to get to us. A man hops out of the van and it turns out he is the pastor of a local church and he said he felt that God had told him that "these people need your help" and that he should stop. He and his wife and their five kids. They had all the necessary tools and were able to get the spare on and send us on our way. Before he left, he leaned in the window, as we were again thanking him profusely, and he told the kids to give their thanks to God because He is the one who made him stop. Coincidence? You decide.
What an awesome lesson that was for my kids to witness the realness of God. As we were driving (slowly lol) home I asked them if they learned anything about that experience and they said "to help others and that Jesus answers our prayers." How awesome is that? I praise God for that flat tire! What seems like a major inconvenience turned out to be an amazing opportunity to witness the hand of God at work in our lives.
Coincidence? I think not.

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