Saturday, January 10, 2009

God - Our Provider

God works in wonderful ways. It’s hard or even impossible for me to understand. But I’ve seen things in my own life – after the fact that I look back and say, wow! It gives me chills down my back to realize that at that time, when I didn’t even realize it, God was directing me. And I shutter to think of the outcome had it not been for Him being beside me. I’d rather not get off on trying to explain tragic events in peoples life – because I know they do happen. But I also see in mine and in others life – a chain of events that can only be explained as the providence of God. Praise Him!

Over the past couple of years, I was introduced to an older man at church, Mr. Rufus Organ. He went out of his way to make it a point to introduce himself to me, and I’ve been great full ever since. Mr. Rufus will be 73 this month. He’s lived an ordinary life, and he and his wife are now retired and live in Earle. He used to carry the mail out in Earle. Mr. Rufus hasn’t slowed down yet though – he’s one of the hardest working men I know. He’s sort of a do-all man, and can practically do any kind of handy work on your house. He can build anything you need. But mostly he spends his time during the day in painting people’s house.

I don’t know all the details, so I’m just recounting all of this from my perspective. Last Spring, Earle had a tornado come through and destroy some homes and businesses. A few months before the tornado, there was a lady who lived in Earle who had just lost her husband. Then, she lost her home by the tornado. Mr. Rufus felt so bad for this lady and his loving heart went out to this person. He decided to make it his project to help this lady put her home back together again. What I find amazing is that I felt like I had known Mr. Rufus very well during this time, but for six to eight months during this home’s reconstruction, I never knew the first thing about what he had been spending his time doing. You see Mr. Rufus apparently is a quiet kind of guy. There’s no bragging or showing off with him. Matthew 6:1. Every time I would talk to him about his day, it was just the standard line of, “Oh, I’ve been painting here, or painting there.” In fact, Mr. Rufus did spend a lot of his time during the day alone, painting houses here and there.

Last month, a large group of men finally discovered what he had been doing – although it had been known by a few for a while. One of the men from our church organized a work day to help and paint as much of the house and clean up the yard out there in a day. The lady, the owner of the house had always been overwhelmed at Mr. Rufus’ generosity, but I heard that day, she was so overwhelmed her and her mother could not hold back their tears. Through tragedy comes an opportunity to serve. Thankfully this lady was not hurt during the storm. But God saved her and showed her love through hundreds of people. Many companies have donated their time, money, expertise, equipment, supplies, and material to get her house back in order. It is so overwhelming to be used by God. At the end of every day, to drive away with a huge grin on your face knowing that you helped someone in need is so rewarding – and hundreds of people experienced that feeling when they went out there to help. Again I say, “Praise God!”

New Years weekend, my friend Mr. Rufus and his wife headed down to Dallas for a niece’s wedding. They drove the whole trip in one day, with few stops in between. In fact, I’m not sure that they even stopped for lunch. Upon arriving at the hotel, Mr. Rufus was wheeling his luggage into the hotel room when he suddenly had to stop. He couldn’t breathe. He made it into his room, but realized that he was in some trouble. He started getting scared and nervous and so he was taken to the hospital and they started working on him right away. All they could tell at the moment was that he was having irregular heart beats. After the doctors got him settled down and up into a room, his wife was checking on him. Suddenly she wasn’t feeling good either. She needed to go out in the hall for some fresh air. She fainted right in front of the nurse’s station. They rushed her down to emergency to check her out. She was worn out tired and stressed over her husband. She told me that she hadn’t eaten yet that day because they had planned to eat once they got into town. They got her fixed up and wheeled her into the room across from the hall from her husband. What a way to spend the weekend – cooped up in the hospital away from home.

As Mr. Rufus was telling all of this to me, I just felt so bad for both of them. But then I heard, “the rest of the story.”

On their way down there – while they were still in Arkansas, their daughter called them on their cell. She was checking where they were by then, and was toying around with the idea that she might like to head down there with them and go to the wedding. Mr. Rufus and his wife had already passed their daughters house by some distance, so their daughter told them not to worry about turning back around for her. After they hung up, Mr. Rufus felt compelled to turn around anyway and go and pick up their daughter to take her with them. If she was willing to go, then they were more than willing to take her with them.

So it was there on the sidewalk, as he pushed the cart of luggage up to their room, when he stopped in his tracks and could go no further that his wife and daughter were there to help him up to his room, and wheel the cart up in afterwards. They were also there at the hotel with other family that had driven in for the wedding that weekend. Mr. Rufus was surrounded by family that was able to take care of him, and help him head to the hospital. Did I mention that the hospital was right across the street from their hotel? It was also fortunate that their daughter and other family were there when Mrs. Organ collapsed in the hospital hallway – not to mention the fact that maybe the best place to collapse is in a hospital. So, their daughter pulled up a chair, and sat in the middle of the hallway between her Dad and Mom’s room – going from one room to the next for that night and next day. Do you have chills running down your back yet? I still do.

Let’s talk a little about God now, or Yahweh Yireh which is translated as God our Provider. Since God sees the future as well as the past and the present, he is able to anticipate and provide for what is needed. Interestingly the English word “provision” is made up of two Latin words that mean “to see beforehand.” Listen friends, when Mr. Rufus asked me to remember them in prayer that weekend, and also when they prayed that morning asking God for a safe trip, God who sees the situation beforehand and who is able to provide – worked in wonderful ways that day.

Genesis 22:1-14 tells us the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. Genesis 22:2 says that God told Abraham to go and offer his only son, whom he loved. Abraham was faithful and went – knowing that God would provide. When asked by his son Isaac, “Father, where is the sacrifice”, his father said this in Genesis 22:8. After Abraham showed to God that he was faithful, God showed to Abraham that He was also faithful by providing an alternative to his son. Genesis 22:14.

Again, I cannot understand or even explain God’s help for us today – physically. I’ve seen it happen. But I’ve also seen tragedy too. I do know that God is more interested in our spiritual welfare and desires that we all be saved. But I do also believe that He works through us and in us to bless us and others. Just like examples found in the bible of God’s work through man in the many miracles that we read about today as found in the NT, God works in ways to build us up and increases our faith. When Mr. Rufus told me this story, all I could do was shake my head and grin, and then we offered up a prayer together praising Him for being our provider.

Ephesians 5:1, 2


  1. Paul,
    I want you to know I enjoy your blog.
    I personally have found in my personal life that when I completely surrendered everything over to God and Christ. I mean everything. I have found that he takes care of us. I have been so blessed as God has provided all that I need. I think he wants us to be thankful for those people in our life who have showed us through their relationships with eachother, God, other believers that God is the provider of all good things. All good things come from above and we always need remember. I want to thank you for sharing this post with us. I know I was encouraged personally. I want you to know brother that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope and pray that you and your family have a wonderful 2009. God blessings on your life! :-)

  2. I totally love the Organs!! What a blessing that they choose to be with us even though they have quite a little drive to do so. They are my pew mates, so I get to sit with them often. Also, when we have the "work days" down in the hood every August, guess who has been to every one? Rufus and Margaret. Such wonderful role models for all of us. You are never too old to serve. Donna Nanney (I dont have any accounts or whatever, so I am choosing anonymous to post.)

  3. Paul, I am just so moved by this story that I cant even breathe. Praise God! Mr Rufus is an inspiration to me and i know he is to you! God was definitely at work within his life. Thanks for the story! Courtney and I loved the Organs.

  4. Just to be sure, Mr. & Mrs. Organ are fine and dandy. Thanks for your prayers.

  5. Rufus is one of the people who always treats us warmly at MoSt when we come back and visit. You can just tell, he gets it. Praise God for the wonderful servants and ambassadors that the Organs' have been for Christ! Thanks Paul for sharing and recognizing their hearts for God.