In the United States, there are not many hot spots that compare to the heat of a Texas summer day. On one of the “milder” days, only in the high 90’s, we’d taken our family on a train ride from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth. We’d wanted to ride the train, the Heartland Flyer, for years, and finally did it! It was so relaxing, and much less stressful than flying! As we walked downtown, we discovered an oasis in the desert, in the Fort Worth Water Gardens (photo below). Just the sound of the water rushing had a cooling effect, and of course there were opportunities to get your feet and hands wet. There’s just something refreshing and hope-instilling to find cool water — and lots of it — in the middle of 100 degree temperatures.
There have been so many times that God has comforted us during heartbreaking times, sent unexpected provisions of finances just in the nick of time, or picked us up with His mighty but gentle hand and carried us during dark times. It’s much like how He carved a river in the middle of the desert and sent quail falling from Heaven or made manna every morning to feed the children of Israel. They (like we) were helpless and hopeless, crying out to their Heavenly Father, and He came through — usually in the most unexpected and miraculous ways.
Here are just a few of those times that come to mind, reminding me of God’s love, mercy, and faithfulness in our lives.
After our son died in 2014, the Red Cross flew our younger son and his wife and our brand new grandchild from Hawaii (where he was stationed with the US Air Force) to come home and be with family. Finally meeting and holding our newest grandchild was such a comfort. A new life always reminds us that life will go on, and was like a touch from Heaven during a very grievous time.
Only two weeks after our son’s death, I received a call from Monroe, Louisiana on my cell phone. I almost didn’t answer it, thinking it was spam. When I finally did, a man said, “This is [the director of] the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Homes.” He proceeded to ask me if I would be their keynote speaker for their annual conference five months away. They had someone else selected who had to back out due to health issues. He asked me my fee (my husband and I would be driving approximately 900 miles and be gone three days), then he offered me twice what I asked for! He even had my husband teach a break-out session.
In the middle of tremendous grief, God reconfirmed His purpose in our lives.
The most incredible part of that phone call is how he acquired my personal cell phone number, since only my booking agent’s number is listed on my websites. He said he did a search concerning adoption, inspirational speaker, etc., and found me — and my (unlisted) number. My husband and I both conducted internet searches using every search engine we could think of — and never saw my number. If he had reached my agent, I would have received 20% less, which would have been fine. But I believe God did it in this manner not only to provide income, purpose, comfort and healing, but to remind me of His POWER to produce something out of nothing. Praise be to His awesome name!!
Often God does things a certain way to remind us that He can make something out of nothing. He can do the impossible. #inspiringhopeblog Click To Tweet
Recently, I’ve lost several piano students (therefore, income to pay our mortgage) in a short time. Within a month, however, God blessed me with new piano students and piano tuning jobs to make up for it, and with no advertising! They just contacted me – although we’d never met. [You’ll be encouraged by “Worthless Worry“, my post from a few weeks ago – another miraculous provision!]
A woman walked up to me at church last week and handed me a $250 check for the ministry. She had no idea that I was down to less than $25 in my ministry fund, bills coming up, and no money to pay them. I had tears in my eyes when I saw the check — and the amount. His timing is perfect! (If you’re reading this, thank you, again!)
In 2004, twenty days after my sister Elizabeth died, I received a phone call from a record producer in Nashville.
He informed me that one of his artists had just recorded two of my songs. He loved my writing, and wanted me to send him more songs! I was actually driving to Kansas to see my youngest sister, and had two of Liz’s children in my van with me and my two youngest children. When I hung up the phone, I was laughing and jumping up and down in my seat, thanking Jesus!
“What, Aunt Becky, what was the phone call about??” my niece Amanda and her brother Joseph queried. I told them what had happened, and deducted, “Your momma must have put in a good word for me!!” We all laughed and rejoiced — for the first time since their momma had drowned, saving their little brother from drowning. It was a stream in the desert, a much needed but unexpected comfort from God. We needed to laugh. We needed to see His continued purpose in our lives — besides just grieving.
Isaiah 41:13-20 (excerpt) English Standard Version (ESV)
13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you. I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 20 that they may see and know that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
God displayed His mercy over and over again with the children of Israel, just like He does with His children today. We KNEW it was God’s hand when these things happened. There was no other explanation! He sends those “streams in the desert” when we are most needy, receptive, and often when our hearts are crushed. Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
We can’t avoid the deserts, the valleys, or even the shadow of death in our lives. But I thank GOD for those streams in the deserts.