Monday, February 05, 2007

an embarrassment of riches

Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."

There was a time when God held up each piece of our lives, one by one, and said, "Do you want this? Or do you want more of Me?" We followed Him out of desperation, because we couldn't help ourselves. It was not because we were wise or righteous and CERTAINLY not because we saw a return for our money. We went spitting and cussing, unable to answer any of the "But how will you ..."'s, unable to alleviate the concerns of people who loved us. I questioned what we were doing at every turn, but God is more patient with us than we are with Him, and He has enjoyed proving me wrong over and over. One thing I can say for certain is that God cannot be mocked - what He says, He does. Without exception.

One of the best lessons learned in Kansas City is that the Lord is our provider - not Brian, not me, not a job or a church or a skill set. We are told to seek first his kingdom, and let everything else be added to our lives. We are also told that whatever we leave behind will be restored, in time. God gives us what we need, more than what we need, more than we would even think to ask of Him. Not because we've earned it, not because we've twisted his arm or been good. Because we are his children, and this was his promise.

One by one, everything we thought we wanted was taken away from us. And one by one, it has all been restored. In the past few weeks, as our little adventure seems to be evolving into a new season of life, we have been astounded by the overwhelming faithfulness of God. Asher, jobs, housing, our church, groceries, suits, guitars, gas, baby supplies - God has given us more than I could have hoped for, much more than I could have possibly imagined or earned or bought for myself. It's not because of anything I've done, not because we've been good enough. It's because He will not be swayed; his promise to care for His children is irrevocable.

There's a quote from a Barbara Kingsolver novel that says, "You'll have to forgive me if it all takes a while to sink in. I'm just blessed off my rocker these days. I've come into an embarrassment of riches." An embarrassment of riches ... that sounds about right.


Linda said...

What a beautiful blog Stephanie. And I say Amen, Amen, and Amen, to each and every word.
You and Brian are reaping the rewards for your faithfullness,for your devotion, for your love.
God is so good, so awesome!

Heather said...

As soon as I read this verse on your blog, i choked with tears from I don't know where. That verse has been tossed in my lap twice before this blog. Once while reading Irresistible Revolution and again while reading Creative Correction. Now here. The second time, I scribbled it down in my journal. It scares me, b/c it says leaving children, even. Children? For the last 5 years, every Christian woman I know has reminded me over and over that a woman's first ministry is to her family - husband and children. And here I see someone blessed for leaving them behind? What does that mean? Why would He call someone to leave behind their babies?

Liz said...

Stephanie, I have loved watching your journey: the way you selflessly let God pry your fingers open so that He could hand you more - watching your journey, your faithfulness and your joy have continously pointed me to God. And I know others in your life feel the same way. Thank you for being a vessel to help others, even when you didn't realize you were!