Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Of Grace, Mercy, and Mini Fridges

He hurt me. Not physically, but there were still scars.

My friends know most of the story. Many blog followers have read the resulting journey over the past few years.

But recently, there was a twist to my story that I never saw coming. Something changed and I know it's nothing but God.

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I received a call from my ex-husband. Once cocky, antagonistic, and proud, he has been beaten down by life.

I am not happy about this. I am not gloating over his misfortune. I don't believe karma has come calling. 

What I think God may be doing is priming his heart to hear His truth. 

During the call, I learned he's pretty much lost everything. A four year dating relationship ended. Unable to find a management position for several years, he's delivering pizzas for a "living"...if you can call making under $250 for 40 hours worth of work, a living. He now resides in someone's basement and often when he stores his food in their kitchen, they help themselves to it.

He kept saying "what am I missing?  I feel like this is the end for me. It will never get better. My life is over. There's no way out. What am I not doing right?"

I let him go on in this manner for half an hour before speaking.

"You're missing what you've always been missing. God. You need Him in your life. You need to get on your knees, confess your sins, and ask Jesus into your heart."

That may sound like a harsh response, but the Truth is the truth and it needed to be said. My tone was not critical, but concerned. For all our difficulties, I have no desire to see him spend eternity in hell.

We talked for a few more minutes and said goodbye. I was shocked to discover compassion welling up inside me. The desperation in his voice moved me to action.

I went on Facebook to a local online yard sale page and said I was in search of a mini fridge. Within minutes someone sent me pictures and I agreed to purchase it.

I texted my ex and told him where to meet me the following day in order to pick up the fridge. He said he didn't have enough gas to get there but he'd figure something out.

We met at the woman's address and loaded the refrigerator into his friend's jeep. I also handed him two bags of groceries from the food pantry I run as well as some gift cards for gas. I could tell he was overwhelmed and uncomfortable receiving the help. He teared up as he thanked me over and over. It was strange seeing him like this.

I asked if he'd eaten that day. "Half a peanut butter sandwich" was the reply. I treated him to pizza and handed him the change from the $20. He told me it was the first time he'd felt like a human being in months.

A few days later he contacted me again saying someone had found the resume he'd posted on line eons ago and he had an interview.

"Can you believe that?"

Once again, I had an opportunity to point him toward God.

"Yes, I can. That's how God works. A few days ago you said you couldn't see a way out. That things would never get better. But God shows Himself in impossible situations. He comes out of left field, and provides in a way that our limited imagination could never conceive. He does it so that He gets the glory. There's no explanation other than God."

I don't know what the results of that interview will be, but I know that a man who was desperate...who confessed to being depressed to the point of being suicidal...has renewed hope. I don't know what the results of my words will be either, but I pray they will ultimately lead to a renewed life.

I could have kicked my ex-husband when he was down, pointing to any number of hardships his actions have caused me. I could have done nothing, considering his circumstances payback for what he's put me through. Many would say either response was justifiable. But God responds to hurts with grace and mercy.

Grace came in the form of the miracle God did in my heart.

He gave me the gift of supernatural forgiveness. A desire to help when it would have been easy to turn a blind eye. Compassion to see the need. A heart to share His eternal truth.

And God's mercy?

It takes on many forms, but this time it looked remarkably like a mini-fridge in the back of a borrowed jeep.













12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! This encouraged me this morning. I'm really glad to hear that despite any bitterness you were able to extend supernatural forgiveness to this man.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad it was an encouragement to you! I debated publishing this, but my hope is that someone who's walked a similar walk will know that God is able to work in and through hurt. I also hope people will join me in praying for him.

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  3. Just like God's grace - thanks Susie :)

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  4. You are blessed and a blessing. An encouraging read as to the faithfulness of God on both your parts.
    Joy!
    Kathy

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    1. Thanks Kathy - and amen to His faithfulness!

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  5. Wow, God sure works in mysterious ways! God has blessed you with an amazing heart my friend, and it sure is lucky for your ex that He has! I think your story shows me that I need to pray more to be more Christ like because I am not sure I could be as gracious as you, knowing your history together. I don't know how I started receiving this email a few weeks ago, but it is from a company called hiredboard.com which has local jobs, and lots of them. Maybe you could pass this on, and maybe this is my start in becoming a better Christian! Thank you for sharing your story and giving me a new opportunity to be drawn closer to God!

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    1. Thanks so much Claire! I couldn't be that gracious either except for God. It wasn't until I was in the middle of the situation that He gave me what I needed to deal with it. I passed along the information - thank you for sharing my friend!

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    2. Coming from a background of abuse and being confronted with a simular situation years later...I can relate. God gives us grace for today.

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    3. Yes He does Joy! I'm sorry to hear of your abuse, but I pray that God has restored those years the locus have eaten for you as He did for me :)

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  6. Toni, Coming to you from the Consilium. I was taken in by this post. I don't know your past and the pain, but I know the shaping and forming He's done in your heart. Without Him your response would have been different. You are a people of the yielded heart. Who are they? They are the one who've entered the Secret Place (by the waters) and yielded their hearts to Him until their hearts beat with the rhythm of the Master. They live, move and have their being in Him. It is not by what they say that you will find them, it is not by what they do that you will see them, but it is by their heart you will discover them. Blessings - writing to you from a yielded heart too ....Chris at http://www.christinemalkemes.com

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    1. Thank you for visiting Christine. I'm looking forward to interacting on Consilium when I reenter the FB world in a few weeks. Truly God has done a powerful work in my heart because my human reaction would have been far different than the God-led response that came out of my mouth and heart.

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