“Hindsight is 20/20” the old saying goes. But, for most of us without the luxury of hindsight yet, we must rely on the Lord and the wisdom He has given to those women who have walked this road before.
Dotty Hash is one of those women. She and her husband, Tom, have served for over 30 years with Cadence International (formerly Overseas Christian Serviceman’s Centers) – a ministry to men and women in the armed forces, stationed overseas. For many years the Lord has been shaping Dotty, often through trials and tears, but also through love and laughter. The following story, set in the Panama Canal Zone, is from her upcoming book entitled, By Faith to the Armed Forces:
“I entered the kitchen one morning, opened the deep freeze and stared at the ice cube trays and the one solitary soup bone. It clunked as I placed it on the counter. I knew there was nothing else to make into soup. “Honey,” I called, “we’ll have to go to the store.” Pooling the coins in Tom’s pocket and the one in my purse, we had a grand total of 37 cents. At the vegetable counter, we carefully selected an onion, a carrot, some cabbage, a stalk of celery and a potato.
Back home, I chose my biggest soup kettle. Clunk – in went the soup bone. Chop, chop, chop – the veggies spilled in and, with a few seasonings and water to the brim, I put it on the stove to simmer.
Several hours later, I called the family for lunch. We bowed to pray. “Dear Heavenly Father,” Tom began, “thank you for this food…” His voice broke. I looked up to see his lashes glistening with tears. A lump was growing in my throat. “Father, You know we’re not thankful for this at all,” he blurted. “We came here as missionaries, trusting You to meet our needs.” The sobs of self-pity I had been smothering broke loose.
Tom continued, “Before we left the States, You gave us the promise in Psalms (81:16) that You would ‘feed us with the finest of the wheat and with honey out of the rock…’ What’s wrong, Father? Why have You failed us?”
We cried and prayed, and the Lord seemed to be speaking to both of us. I haven’t failed you. I have given you just what you trusted Me for – no more, no less. You didn’t believe I would provide your next meal, did you? I want you to learn to trust Me for more than a meager provision. Right there we confessed our lack of faith to Him and promised from that day forward, we would trust Him for the abundance He wanted to give us.
After lunch, we put the children down for their naps. In our hearts we knew the filling of our cupboards was now the responsibility of God – we were depending, in a new way, on Him.
Soon we heard cars coming up the driveway…a lot of cars! “Anybody home?” voices called from below. I ran to the window and watched as several women form our church unloaded their car trunks and brought in bag after bag of stuff, plopping them down on our kitchen counter.
“We thought you might need some groceries!” they chirped and were gone.
We looked in the bags – all kinds of foods – items I had never been able to purchase – a cake mix, nuts, chocolate chips, meat… “…the finest of the wheat…honey out of the rock.” Our cupboards were full!
This incident was one of transition in our five-year journey of learning to trust God for our needs. No longer would we be content with little prayers, pretending to be grateful for meager provision. On this day, our faith took on a new dimension, and was to develop from bud to fragrant flower as we availed ourselves of the abundant provision God holds out to every one of His children.
Taken from By Faith to the Armed Forces, by Dotty Hash. Publication scheduled for Spring, 1998. For more information, contact Women of the Harvest.