Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seeing the Hand of God in Two Wilted Lettuces

Spiritual values soon defy,
The pull of the material world,
Money and possessions, they could die,
Yet our hope would remain unfurled.
When spiritualism takes us under her wing,
Material things, they could burn,
We learn to see God’s hand – and sing,
And we’re blessed in that alone to yearn.
A man, a pastor, a spiritual man, a man at his dearth, rejected by his fellowship over a misunderstanding (yes, it happens), well, he felt alone. He felt betrayed. He wondered what hope he had. He and his wife arrived home from a break, praying for wisdom for what they should do, and as they drove up their driveway they saw a cheap shopping bag containing two wilted lettuces hanging by the front-door handle.
These lettuces were clearly well past their best condition, and most people might see them as worse than useless, but the man, the pastor, the spiritual man saw something many do not.
He saw the two wilted lettuces in the bag that day as a reminder of God’s hand of provision.
The image of inedible food was a symbol of God’s faithful provision.
He was overjoyed. There was no material blessing, and indeed, now he had to dispose of those stinking lettuces, but God reminded him in that moment, “I am with you, always!”
It’s all any of us want or need to see when we are facing or enduring great trial.
When we have nothing we learn that there is something very rich and eternal in the nothingness – God’s unfailing Presence.
As we venture into hunger or hopelessness or humiliation, the Lord goes before us; he is our rearguard (Isaiah 52:12).
In those two puny and putrid lettuces was the sign of hope only a spiritual person could see.
When our hopes are torn from our breast, and we have nothing to lose in hoping for a miracle, we begin to look ever more intently for that which only God can provide.
The Lord is in the emptiness, the stench, the vacuum, the sorrow, and in the languidness of faith gone awry.
When hope is gone, a miracle is more keenly observed. We cannot fail in noticing it. When nothing is left we are ever more likely to see the hand of the Lord.
So don’t fret when all is lost, for when all is lost, God’s gain is just around the corner. Don’t be angry, hurt or fearful. God is simply removing every worldly distraction that would take our attention away from him.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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