We were packing to leave our country of service. We sold many things and gave many more away, including groceries. Usually I do not have any problem giving food away, as we are often on the receiving end of others doing the same thing. This time, however, I felt that the jar of peanut butter we had just opened should come with us. We had several layovers on our way back to our passport country, and we were traveling with five children. Surely some peanut butter could come in handy?
The 500-gram jar fit in our airline-allotted space and weight, and it went easily through our first customs stop in Fiji. Unfortunately, the customs agents in LAX thought differently about the safety of importing an opened jar of protein, and they confiscated my precious peanut butter. Still two flights and one more overnight to go…
When we arrived at our final airport we were met by friends and family who welcomed us with hugs and flowers, balloons and food. They had gone grocery shopping for us, and yes, they had bought us peanut butter. Two whole kilograms of smooth, creamy goodness! Tired but happy, we drove to our town an hour and a half away and to the cabin where we knew we could stay for a month and get our feet on the ground. Friends there had also gone grocery shopping for us. Another 2 kg. of smooth peanut butter, plus 1 kg. of crunchy peanut butter, were in the cupboards! Wow, how are we ever going to eat that much peanut butter?
The first days of the month passed quickly. Soon we had been “home” for a week…two weeks…three weeks. The day when we had to move out of the cabin was fast approaching. We needed another place to live! We had looked without success for something to rent or buy, and the reality of packing up again without knowing where we were going was a bit surreal. This was serious. We needed God to show us a new door, because we could not see any way forward. Surprisingly, though, I was not worried. I found it hard to actually feel anxious, because God reminded me about the peanut butter. Who but God gives so abundantly? Why had I been so concerned to hold onto my piddly 500 grams, when He wanted to bless me with five kilograms?
Of course, God did provide us with somewhere else to live (with 48 hours to spare!). He has taken care of every detail. We are daily thankful that the suitcases are now empty and the cupboards are full. As I remember what He did, this hymn comes to mind.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labours increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary know unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.1
1. Annie Johnson Flint, He Giveth More Grace hymnal.net (https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/nt/723).
Question to consider: How have you seen God give abundantly?