Russ has had an exceptionally busy start to his spring semester. His classes currently include OT exegesis (poets and prophets), NT exegesis (epistles), Issues in Counseling, Puritan Theology, NT Biblical Theology, and a homiletical workshop that is part of his new internship at the Free Reformed Church. Both exegetical classes require a paper and a presentation and both of his were on the front side of the semester. Russ' most recent paper/presentation was due this past Tuesday When I left the house last Saturday morning for BSF leader's meeting followed by work, I hated to go knowing he could use a helpmeet about this time to take care of the house/kids so he could focus on getting his paper done; not the other way around. Since I also could think of oodles of projects that could use my attention at home, I had a pretty bad attitude about working. The fact that I knew it was going to be a long day just made my mood that much darker.
It was no mistake that God seated me next to Sharon in the leader's circle that morning. She also works for Spectrum Health, but in a lab downtown. During the discussion question time she leaned over to whisper, "This is for you," as she handed me a pen that had, "Spectrum Health" printed on it. She knew I was going to work later that morning after the leader's meeting and evidently thought it would be cool if I could just whip out my Spectrum Health pen when writing notes. She did this not realizing, nor intending to time it exactly when we were to answer the question, "How has God provided for you personally this week? How will you use what God gave you for His glory?" Gulp. Because of my bad attitude and selfish heart I had failed again to see my job as God's hand of provision. That realization was bad enough. But what about the follow-up question about using that job for His glory? Double-gulp. Needless to say, I arrived at work with a completely different attitude. And every time I pulled that pen out to make a few notes on my clipboard, even when it was 6:30 and I was still at work, I was reminded to praise God for his provision.
Reflecting on the entire encounter this past weekend, I was again humbled at God's provision for our family through this entire seminary adventure. I can give countless examples of how God has provided for us through anonymous gift cards in our church mailbox, various church support, timely preaching engagements for Russ, the generosity of family and friends, and...my PT job. Just last Monday night at BSF, I was handed an envelope full of cash with this note attached:
"Please don't try to figure out which of God's children He used to give you this gift. The Lord alone deserves all the glory, praise and thanks. May He bless your family as you serve Him and watch expectantly as He continues to meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ our Savior."
The envelope was addressed to "The Herman Family" and was from "Jehovah Jireh."
This note was the inspiration for this blog post. My prayer is that if you read this you also are led to praise God for his faithfulness to His people and that He alone receives the glory for what He has done. If He has been so faithful in the small things like food and clothing will He not also be faithful in those things that have eternal value?
"I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your loving kindness and Your truth from the great assembly." Psalm 40:10