“And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26 ESV
“I’m sooooo bored… I wish I could just take a long bath”, my daughter Faith whimpered.
She had come down with a nasty cold at college and was feeling terrible.
Faith loves dorm life; however, there’s one little problem…she doesn’t have access to immerse her aching body into a porcelain pool of warm water and soak the blues away. When at home, her nightly routine is to fill the bathtub to the brim with bubbles and Epsom salt and marinate in it until she is prune-ish. She’s a lot like her Momma; we both prefer baths over showers. Trust me, you don’t want to see our water bill.
“Oh sister, I am so sorry you are still sick. Are you taking the vitamins I sent you? Are you staying hydrated? Do you need more cold medicine? Do you have a fever?”, I inquired with Motherly concern.
“I ran out of medicine. I need to get to Walgreens, but I don’t feel like going. And I’m tired of just hanging out in this boring dorm room by myself. I just wish I could lay in a bathtub and relax. It would help take my mind off my sickness.”, she sounded off in frustration.
I completely understood, and my heart hurt for her. But I knew that she needed me to remain positive and help her see the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. After encouraging her, I prayed with her.
“Daddy, You know how sick Faith is right now. She is in need of Your healing hands. I am asking you to do what only You can do, bring peace to her body. I know You are right there with her, even though I can’t be. Help Faith to know she can call on You and trust You in all things. Please show up and show off so that she understands how much you are involved in her life. Thank you for taking care of our girl. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
“Mom, the campus Nurse wants me to get tested for the Corona virus, because of my symptoms. I have to go to a drive-through testing site. Then they are putting me into isolation until we get the test results.” At this point Faith began to cry.
“Well honey, you should get tested, and then we will know for sure. You will be fine. Honestly, I don’t think you have it, but since the college nurse is telling you to do that… Can you muster up enough strength to go?”, I asked.
Sounding full of congestion, she whined out, “Yes ma’am. I just don’t want to be quarantined for another 10 days again.”
Yes, she used the word ‘again’…
When Faith first arrived at Lancaster Bible College, she had only been on campus for 6 days when her pod of 5 girls all had to be quarantined because one of the girl’s had tested positive for Covid-19. They had been in contact with her. So, Faith and 5 other student volleyball players were isolated and quarantined off campus for 14 full days. They missed out on the 1st two weeks of college life activity. And not one of them acquired the virus. It was crazy to say the least!!! And just the thought of having to do it ‘again’ made her really emotional.
‘Again’, I reassured Faith that God was with her, and that something really good was going to come from all this hardship she was experiencing. She had been through so much the past 2 years, BUT GOD provided, protected, and prepared her along the way. And this time wouldn’t be any different, so ‘again’, we were going to trust God.
That particular word ‘again’ is so significant. It means: in addition to what has already been mentioned, another time; once more.
We recount and rehearse God’s faithfulness and goodness in times past, and when we do, it builds our confidence that He will do it ‘again’. We can say with certainty, “And I know You will do it again!”
Fast forward a couple hours…
Faith arrived in the ‘apartment of isolation’ as we sarcastically termed it. This time the call came via video face time. Swiping the green answer button, I saw my daughter’s sweet smile.
“Mom, you’re not going to believe it… this apartment is huge and NICE! Look at this place. You are really not going to believe this… (as the video camera panned the kitchen, dining area, living room, bedroom, and then into the bathroom)
Mom, there’s a BATHTUB!!!!!! I finally get to take a bath and soak as long as I want!”, she said with the enthusiasm of a little girl on Christmas morning.
“Oh my goodness sister! That is awesome! Look how good God is to give you just what you have been craving… a BATHTUB. Isn’t God so amazing! Yay!!! Again, that is the goodness of God, Faith. He loves you so much and wants you to know without a doubt that He is with you and cares for you… even more than your Dad or I ever could. Thank You Jesus!!”, I exclaimed.
“Yes ma’am”, she chimed in… “But Momma, I don’t have any drinks or food or bath stuff. What am I gonna do?”
“Faith, can you go to the pharmacy and at least get the meds you need and pick up some Epsom salts for the bath? If you can do that, I can call your coach, ask her to get you some groceries and bring them to you. We will send her money via cash-app. Faith your coaches love you, and I am sure they would be happy to help. Quickly get your meds and then come back and rest.”, I said.
I had Faith list some specific food and drinks she desired, (and I will just tell you here and now, this girl has champagne taste…lol!) Tru-Moo chocolate milk, Bakers chocolate melting dip with fresh Strawberries, nacho cheese Doritos, Blueberry Gogurts, peanut butter and grape jelly Uncrustables, ice cream, Kraft Mac & Cheese microwaveables, spring waters, and the list goes on. Poor thing, she didn’t want too much!
I told her it would be handled, and not to worry. She thanked me and twinkled those beautiful brown eyes that were puffy with sinus inflammation.
After we hung up the video call, my initial thought was to contact her basketball coach Joy and ask for her help. But almost immediately, I felt in my spirit that I needed to reach out to a friend of mine who lived a few minutes from LBC campus. Her name is Melissa. She was a classmate of my younger brother in grade school, and our families were great friends. Her parents were some of the most generous, loving Christians we knew growing up.
When Faith arrived at Lancaster, my friend Melissa reached out to me on Facebook and told me that she had seen a post about Faith being at LBC. Melissa wanted me to know that if Faith ever needed anything, she was right down the road and would be more than happy to help.
So, I decided to take her up on that offer. Through FB messenger I shared our dilemma with Faith and simply asked Melissa to grocery shop the listed items, if at all possible. I would send payment to her via cash app.
Almost immediately I heard back from Melissa, telling me that she had seen my recent post about requesting prayer for Faith’s sickness. She was about to reach out to me asking if she could help in anyway.
—Isn’t that just like GOD?!? He goes before us, knowing what we need and prepares the hearts of His children to be used by Him as a blessing.
Another dimension to this incredible story is that Faith’s volleyball coach is best friends with Melissa, but we had no idea until Faith showed up at Melissa’s house for a team getaway gathering and swim party. Melissa recognized Faith from my Facebook pictures and introduced herself as one of her momma’s childhood friends. Faith called me later that day and told me about meeting her. Then, Melissa recently welcomed Faith and her roommate over for dinner, and invited her to come over, do laundry or hang out whenever she needed a break from dorm life.
‘Again’, Rob and I were just astounded at the providence of God in our girl’s life…orchestrating people who can be Jesus in the flesh to her while she’s hundreds of miles away from us.
Now back to the story at hand…
I have to share a part of Melissa’s response to my plea…
“So sorry to hear that she’s so sick! I’ll be glad to help! I have time and can pick up these items and get them to her. Please don’t pay us—we are always thankful for opportunities to help others and to be the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ in this way!”
By the next morning, Faith had all the groceries she requested, plus some, filling the apartment.
Melissa became a benefactor of a bathtub of blessings!
Talk about “blown-away”! Talk about blessings!! I am still shaking my head in utter amazement and how the Lord comforts and provides for His children.
Before we move on, it’s imperative that we understand the principle behind it, or we miss out on the greatness of the impact. He chooses to use us. WE are called to be a blessing. WE get the opportunity as Melissa so aptly conveyed… to be a vessel of that blessing.
God blesses us, to be a blessing. This is a truth we have all declared in our Christian communities, but do we really live it out? It’s a truth we have taught our children, but do we always model it? It’s a question we must consistently ask ourselves, Do I seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus? If not… why? If not now… when?
“You” could be the means that God uses to bestow a “Bathtub” of blessings.
Sure, the scripture uses the term “showers” of blessing but you get the gist of what I am asserting. My friend Melissa brought a bathtub of blessings into my daughter’s world when she allowed her, probably, very busy schedule to be interrupted, her finances to be involved, and her heart to be engaged. Not only did Melissa’s benevolence make Faith’s month in a huge way… it deepened and strengthened her soul’s ‘faith’.
Being a recipient of such generosity, Faith wanted to share her blessing. She actually packed a goodie bag full of extra groceries for her friend Mandy who also had to be isolated. (proud Momma moment right there!)
God showed up and showed off in a most profound of ways…He gave Faith a Bathtub of Blessings amid the chaos and crisis of sickness. Faith knows she is His beloved daughter, and He is intricately involved in her everyday.
Time and time again God proves Himself faithful. Why do we ever doubt His goodness?!
Let me add one more bounty to that Bathtub of Blessings…
Guess what? Faith’s Covid-19 test came back ‘negative’. How about that!
On Friday when she got the results, she was allowed to re-enter and resume dorm life. We spoke on the phone later that day.
“You know Faith, I think God allowed your nasty cold and virus symptoms so that He could get you in the ‘apartment of isolation’. Because, only in that separation could you enjoy what you had been craving since August… a few nights soak in the ‘bathtub’!
I hope and pray that in sharing… it encourages you to know that our God is close and near to the poor in spirit, He is a faithful Father to His children, He is intricately involved in your life, and He is gives us opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to His children.
According to Ezekiel 34:26, God is the One who sends the showers of blessing; and at times, we get to be the shower that pours out the blessing.
Why not go fill somebody’s bathtub with blessings today!