Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thanksgiving Postcard from God Devotional
It was 10:00 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving. In just a few hours the doors to our inner-city church would open, and we would host our urban neighbors, many of whom were Native Americans, to a free Thanksgiving dinner.
We were making last-minute preparations when we heard a loud knock at the front door. Another interruption, we thought as we trudged toward the door. When we opened the door, we were greeted by two delivery men from Sears.
"Will you sign for this?" one of the men asked as he shoved a clipboard our way.
"Sure, what is it?"
"A freezer," he answered.
"We didn't order a freezer."
"Someone did," he said. With that, he and his burly partner pushed past us and wheeled a full-length deep freeze up the steep steps and into our church.
As we studied the invoice, we discovered a sister church, New Hope Church in Crystal, MN, had purchased the appliance for us. That's strange, we thought. They never told us it was coming.
Our minds returned to the Thanksgiving dinner. Within a few hours, the first flakes of snow started coming down. In Minnesota in late November, that can mean anything from a dusting to three-foot snow drifts. On this particular day, it meant the worst. By 4:00 p.m., the flakes had turned into a major-league blizzard. The timing couldn't have been worse. By that late hour, all the food for our dinner had been prepared—a dozen turkeys, nearly a hundred pounds of mashed potatoes, and scores of piping-hot pies.
But we had no one to eat any of it. All our food and effort was about to go to waste.
That's when we remembered the gift we had received only hours earlier. We wrapped the food and carried it upstairs to our new storage freezer. One week later we held the postponed dinner and served a hot Thanksgiving meal to a church packed with grateful neighbors and needy friends.
Looking back, we realize we received more than an appliance from a department store that day. We received a postcard from God.
What's a postcard from God? It's one of those providential, serendipitous events that appear in our lives, marriage and family—a reminder that God has not forgotten us. For us, it's like receiving a short note that reads, "Dear Cheryl and Bob, I was thinking of you today. Just thought I'd let you know. Love, Your heavenly Father."
The ways in which he sends these timely postcards are as unpredictable as they are amazing. The net effect seems always the same: to encourage and strengthen us, often when we need it the most.
Piles of unwanted junk mail are delivered daily. As catalogs, sales brochures, newspapers, and a host of other materials accumulate on our desks, our goal is to dispose of the piles as quickly as possible. In the same way, our lives, our marriages, our families, and schedules can become cluttered with carpools, shopping, taking care of kids, exercising, committee meetings, weekly deadlines, and urgent calls to make. Our goal can become simply to get through the day.
In the midst of sorting through such clutter, it's easy to overlook the simple notes our heavenly Father sends to remind us of his love. When we take the time to sort through "coincidences" of my life, we discover simple but much-needed messages reminding us, "I love you. I haven't forgotten you."
Signed, Your God.
By Cheryl and Bob Moeller
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