His wife beside him; she serves. Her nimble hands making sandwiches, her servant’s heart offering, giving. Her life is an offering, a gift. Dressed plainly, a simple covering on her head, she serves those at the table, and she blesses them.
Little ones all around, respectful, kind little ones who watch their mama and their father and imitate what they see. They see Jesus. They see His love being poured out, being lived out before them. They are happy and content, even though they don’t have a lot of “stuff.” They have one another and the fellowship of the brethren. They have their God and He is enough. He satisfies them and gives them to drink from the river of His pleasure. Their little girl gathers sticks from the ground and she arranges them on the picnic bench. She is content with little; her soul is satisfied. She is content to play with her sticks and to watch my little Debbie play on the ground with her blocks and we have fellowship and we eat and we are satisfied. The joy of the Lord is in the cooling night air and the men take up their guitars and their Celtic drum and their fife and the melody wafts into the gentle sky while they sing hymns to Jesus.
And we talk with this man who has given his life to Jesus, given his whole being, an offering poured out by the grace of God.
What strange providence bid me pick up his book, The Bible or the Axe? I read it, savored it, drew breath and strength from it and then realized that he and his family lived a state over, lived within reach to visit our church.
So I asked him if he would come and he came and he spoke and we listened and were touched and the blessing fell and the grace of God startled and humbled us.
They talk to us now, give us advice, while the cool, sweet night air mists the ocean breeze around us. And we eat our meal that his wife prepares on the worn picnic table, simple sandwiches on grainy bread and we listen as they speak and as they give.
He speaks, this one who suffered for his faith, suffered because he believed the promises. He clings to them still, ready to suffer again, if that is what serving His Savior means. And he serves and he gives, and he goes back to his native land to heal and to restore what was broken. Not with cautious humanitarian efforts, not with the scraps of an offering, like the loose change that’s thrown haphazardly into the locked boxes under the McDonalds’s drive-thru window, but with his whole self and being, he and his wife and their family-an offering to Jesus, an offering of faith.
They live by faith, day to day. Continually dependent upon Jehovah-Jireh for their needs, their supplies, they depend upon Him, and He fills them. Their mouths open wide, their hearts heavy with praise, He fills them and they glory in Him. Their family is an offering unto the Father, and the smoke and the glory rises upward, a sweet, fragrant aroma, borne into the placid sky, the sky heavy with glory.
And we pray and they bow their heads, heads that have long-bowed in reverence to the Father. He offers up his prayer and the beauty rises. And the Spirit is present and sings in my heart as we sit there together.
He says, and the words ring in my ears, “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.”
And I think of Vance Havner’s sermon, "The Budget and the Boy", that Jesus didn’t need Phillip’s careful budget, but the willingness of a simple boy and the faith that he had in the One who multiples when we have given our all, given our best, by faith.
No striving, no careful calculations as an end in themselves, but a heart of faith aching to be filled with the love of the Father, being faithful in little, and abounding in child-like prayer and grateful thanksgiving.
How much I still must learn . . .
So I take my little, my meager offering and place it in His hands. And He takes it and blesses it and there are baskets left over and the sun sets and we are filled and there is glory
The missionaries that I was referencing in this blog post are William and Hannah Levi. William is the founder of Operation Nehemiah Missions International. If you would like to learn more about William and Hannah Levi and their ministry, please visit their website: http:/www.operationnehemiah.wordpress.com Their life and walk of faith are deeply commendable and glorifying to the Lord.