[Guest post by Dawn Wilson: This is exactly what I had in mind when I created the idea of this Christmas series. God’s faithfulness truly is a gift, and ultimately everything we receive is from Him!]
God’s gift of faithfulness is an ongoing blessing.
When I was a young woman, I traveled all over the United States with a brand new revival team, Life Action Ministries. I arrived at the team proud and self-sufficient, and it didn’t take long for me to realize I was a “Phony Baloney” Christian. I trusted Christ—for real—and set out on a life-long adventure with Jesus.
During those first days with the revival team, I saw God’s Spirit working in people’s lives—calling believers to repentance and obedience, restoring families, changing churches. I was thrilled to be part of such a powerful ministry.
But I struggled with the meager $10 the ministry gave to each team member. It was all the leaders could afford to give at the time.
Other team members received help from parents or friends, but I didn’t; and I soon lacked practical things needed on the road: toothpaste, deodorant, hair spray, nylons, makeup, feminine supplies, breath mints, and thank you notes.
I scrimped and made wise choices, but I was getting desperate. I considered leaving the team. “But Lord,” I prayed, “didn’t you call me here?”
Now I believed God provides where He calls—the leaders told me that—and in my heart I believed God cares for His children. But I didn’t know how far I could trust my Heavenly Father. I was still praying wimpy prayers, not the confident prayers a child of God should pray.
I felt like a homeless person, lacking so many things. So my prayer one day was a bit panicky, a bit bold: “Lord, you know I don’t have these things. I’ve watched you provide spiritually for people in the churches where we’ve shared. Won’t you please provide some practical things for me too?”
Then I listed all my needs to God.
The next week our ministry traveled to Florida, and another team member and I stayed at an elderly woman’s home. I met our home hostess at the church. She was sweet, but I groaned inwardly, thinking the lady was probably poor and we’d have a tough week.
But her home was comfortable, tidy and so cheerful with lacy curtains and flowers on the table. She offered us a refreshing glass of water and led us to our room.
I stood in the doorway of our room, totally surprised. My lip quivered and I burst into tears.
I saw lovely, big gift baskets on each of our beds. To my surprise, it contained everything I’d prayed for—even the thank you notes. And there was also some not-prayed-for chocolates! In the bottom of the basket was a $20 bill in an envelope, just in case she’d forgotten something.
I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I felt as I prayed with tears, “Oh, Father God, you are so good to me. I’ve never had to trust You this way before. Thank you for Your goodness. Thank you for your faithfulness.”
I ran to tell our hostess about my prayer and how God used her to answer it.
But this was much more than a gift from a sweet old lady. The basket proved to me, a girl so new in faith, how much God loved me and cared about my needs. Like all good gifts (James 1:17), the basket was ultimately from my Father God.
In the 40 years to follow, serving with Life Action and several other ministries, God has continued to meet my needs. But that “Faithfulness Basket” was my turning point in understanding God’s faithfulness.
With maturity, I grew to trust the Lord like Paul in Philippians 4:11-12, receiving from Him in times of abundance, but also in times of want. It’s a different kind of faithfulness as God shows Himself strong and sufficient in my times of struggle or suffering.
In time, I understood that Jesus is the Father’s greatest Gift—His greatest provision.
“Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.”
Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Ministries, is the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices Today, LOL with God, and Upgrade with Dawn. She co-authored LOL with God with Pam Farrel and wrote “The Blessing Basket” in It’s a God Thing. Dawn and her husband Bob have two married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.
This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!