Last Christmas, I received a gift that was almost against my entire Quaker testimony of simplicity: a $75 chronological study Bible in the New King James Version – complete with full color pages and golden edges. That Bible has helped me in my preaching more than any other book. I never realized how blessed I was to have something like that until today.
Our housekeeper and cook is a Sunday school teacher who has not had the easiest life, but her testimony and faith is extremely evident. We were at lunch today and I brought out a Bible that had dual languages: Swahili and English. She looked at that Bible and said that she was going to save up for something like that.
The Bible itself was $16 American dollars, which is a lot for someone in her position. I suddenly felt compassion that I’m convinced was from God and I went up to my team member, Faith, and we both decided to split the cost of buying her a new Bible. Here’s the crazier part: I had exactly eight American dollars left in my wallet. I don’t travel with much cash because I am paranoid it will be stolen. As it turns out, that money in that wallet was specifically for our housekeeper who needed a Bible for her ministry. What was later revealed after she got her gift was that she felt God was calling her into some type of ministry and she was waiting for some type of sign that she was being pushed in this direction. We had no clue that she was going through this with God. It ultimately added to the crazy synchronicity that God loves to work with.
I disagree with the theology that says that God doesn’t care about our happiness. He does care. It doesn’t mean that our feelings have the final say in what He does with our lives. He knows more than we could ever know and I imagine it breaks His heart when He has to do something that will hurt us in any way. Ultimately though, it is to help us get closer to Him. Occasionally though, God will shower us with a big physical blessing that we didn’t expect. That Bible was our housekeeper’s blessing and I feel incredibly joyful to have been a part of that. The look of happiness on her face gave me a great glimpse into what it will be like when I cross over to the other side after I’ve passed on.
To echo Jesus’s own words: “Be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven.”