So, I've been having a rough time of it, right? I've told you about the car being stolen. Other things happened, the day after, and then the day after that, and lovies, all of them were bad. I have to admit I've been discouraged.
But glimpses of grace came into view despite how hard it's been. Today I was the scheduled Lector at Mass. I haven't been in weeks. A trip out of town, a bad fibro flare, and recovering from said trip out of town kept me away from services, but I got two calls about being scheduled to proclaim the word. That never happens.
"I'm going, already!" I thought to myself.
Usually I prepare to read with practice and prayer. This time, all I did was pray. I get there not knowing what the reading will be, opened the book, and... WOW! It's all about God's provision.
The Jews were in exile. Lordy, don't I know what that's like! I feel cut of from my own promised land, Lexington, KY. The passage reminds them that God provided for their ancestors in a magnificent way (Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15). They grumbled and complained, "We're starving." Famished, in fact. God heard them, but He didn't get angry about their gripes. He simply and lovingly told them, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not."
True to His word, this is what God did: "In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground."
Hoarfrost??? I had no idea what it was because I was a) unprepared. I even asked my priest how to pronounce it. And b) ignorant. I mean, hoarfrost is a weird word. It doesn't come up in my conversations, like, ever. God raining bread from heaven was enough to get me excited. So much so that I posted that last bit of scripture on my Facebook page, only noting how strange the 'h' word is.
Thank God for really smart friends. My lovely friend Shanna posted a picture in the comments. This is a hoarfrost lovies: “This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”
I don't know about you, but that looks like a lot of bread. For my daily portion, I'm thinking it's more than enough. Manna is everywhere!
There's more. At Mass we also, unbeknownst to me beforehand, were scheduled to have a healing, anointing service. I'm Catholic, y'all. We don't have anointings for the sick too often. But God made sure in so many ways that I'd be there. He wanted to speak His word to me; He wanted to have me speak it! And He knew He'd use today as part and parcel of my healing.
As soon as I realized there'd be an anointing for the sick, I began to cry. By the time I got in line tears were pouring down my face and--mercy!--I'm crying again, just thinking about it. Our tender Jesus truly knows what we're going through. He knew how sick, body soul and spirit, I've been. Sneaky Jesus, He drew me to His house using all those things, to also heal me. As Father Gary anointed my head and hands, the Holy Spirit brooded over me. I know He's working in this broken body. I feel it! I cried for a long time.
I was so stressed about those personal matters that are happening that I was blazing through finishing a book this weekend, while battling ill health, and knowing I'd have company today and lose more hours. I almost stayed home from Church in favor of writing, and I wanted to blow off the visit, but God gently nudged me to slow down. I'm tired. I haven't felt well, nor have I seen my friend in a long time. Besides, I don't care if I miraculously finished that book in a single day, it won't be me saving myself. He said He'd provide.
I will trust Him. Let it rain. God, help me be obedient.
And I had a lovely visit, too.
The Lord rawks! Way hard!