A friend loves at all times. – Proverbs 17:17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. There is no greater love, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:12-13
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – Proverbs 27:17
In my last post, I told you the somewhat short story of how God has shown His glory in our lives this past year. God has been and always will be the Coast Guard of our lives. He’s always around, watching the weather forecast and taking care of us during the storm, and more than happy to show us the rising of the sun when all is dark.
Someone once told me a short story about a man that lived in a city that was hit with horrible storms and flash floods. His house was slowly filling up with water. He was scared to death and started praying and asking God to save him from the flood. “Please Lord, save me from these waters!” he exclaimed. So he climbed to the roof of his home and prayed. After a short time, one man passed by on a small boat and yelled to him on the roof, “Come down here! Hop on my boat and I will take you somewhere dry!”
The man on the roof said, “No worries, God is going to help me, you can go on your way.” So the man on the boat left.
A few hours later, a man that was swimming by saw him on the roof and yelled, “Hey! Come down here, I’m a professional diver, I will throw you a rope and you can swim beside me so we can be safe.”
The man on the roof said, “Oh, no thank you. God will save me. You can go on your way.” So the diver left.
An hour later, a helicopter was flying around over the roof, full of paramedics and a rescue team. They hovered over the house and yelled, “Hey! We’re coming down to get you. Don’t panic!”
The man on the roof said, “Thank you very much but God promised he would save me.” So the helicopter left.
The storm was getting worse and worse, and the water was almost up to the roof. The man began to grow desperate, and then he started complaining to God and exclaiming, “God! You promised you would save me and here I am, about to die and you didn’t help me!”
God, in His infinite compassion, opened up the skies and said, “Son, I sent you a boat, a professional diver and then a helicopter, but you never let them help you.”
I don’t know who the author of this story, or if it’s a story that gets around by word of mouth. But, it’s such a good story because it has stuck with me for years. And I believe it has a powerful message, and it has come alive for me and my husband this past year.
When my husband didn’t have a job, God always sent provision. He didn’t send dollars flying down from the sky…he sent small freelance work so Juan could get money in. He sent coffee bags so we could sell them to our friends and family.
When we didn’t have a car, God allowed my parents to lend us one (yes, the old beat-up Taurus that we lost..may it rest in peace). The Taurus had A/C when we first arrived in the summer. If you live in Texas, you know how important A/C is in the summer. Then, when the winter hit, my Dad and Juan tried to get it fixed to work as a heater and as A/C. Apparently the car didn’t work both ways, it either heated or cooled. So the A/C died, but the heater worked. Perfect timing and good luck? Doubt it. This was God’s doing.
When we moved to our apartment 1.5 hours away from my parents, Juan had a super job, but they gave him one week in the hole. (If you don’t know what this means, its basically that your employer keeps one week’s worth of pay from you and saves it, so when you leave the job, they give it back to you.) This meant that we would be very short on cash for one week, and we had to get the deposit down, the pet fee (for Jackie), groceries, set up insurance, electric bill..etc. If you’ve moved, you know. We had less than $100 in cash. That week, I went back to my parents to work at the store for a week. After a long time of not checking the mail, we had received an envelope from Juan’s temporary job at a car dealership. When I opened it, I found a check…the check was the exact amount we needed to make ends meet for 2 weeks. Again, was this good luck? Heavens no. This was again, God.
As I told you last time, our old, beat-up Taurus eventually broke down. It cost more to fix it than it would to sell it, so it wasn’t worth it. We received so many blessings as this storm was upon us. My parents helped us out with money so we could look for another car, but we needed a car to look for a car..you know. Irony. The Boza family, Juan’s cousins who had already helped him out as a college student back in the day (looong time ago..hehe) happily lent us their car, no charge, no strings attached. We used their car for about 2 or 3 weeks, no charge whatsoever. FREE. They also let us stay in their house while we looked for an apartment earlier in the year. They shared their food, their bathroom, their super-soft bedding, their family-time, their wisdom. They were family, but most of all, friends. Who does this without expecting anything in return? God does. God sent us a boat, a professional diver, and a helicopter.
The week after Juan had been changed to an on-contract basis at his job, we had just enough to pay for everything until the end of that month. Worry was creeping in. It was the time when we were actively looking for another job and working small freelance jobs in the meantime and our car had broken down and we had to look for a new one. An angel called us on the phone one day and asked us to lunch. We had a delicious lunch with that angel and before it ended, the angel handed us an envelope. Inside was money…the money we needed for 1 more week of living expenses. Is God AMAZING or what??!!
The timing was so perfect, because that money was enough for one week, which was the week Juan would get the job at the new place. So we were right on track. Well, God was right on track, He knows the track with “eyes-closed”.
God is so perfect, he not only takes care of our physical and monetary needs. He also takes care of our emotional needs, our fellowship needs.
Our uncle Frank, recommended we visit Kingsland Baptist Church and introduced us to his very good friends there. Without hesitation, we visited the Sunday morning Bible School and then the worship service. I fell in love with the church, I knew this was home. The Sunday class, or ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship) we attend is in Spanish, filled with Colombians, Mexicans, Dominicans, Bolivians…it is basically the United Nations in one small room (plus us Hondurans). We love them. The band, the choir…wonderful people, Josh, the Worship Pastor and Mary, the Worship Ministry Assistant. They showed us love, they showed us friendship. They showed us God’s love without even knowing us. Complete strangers that decided to join Kingsland. A complete stranger that wanted to sing (me) and God gave her the chance, He even arranged for special practice sessions (because my voice is rusty).
I love Zumba. I attend a Zumba class that is right across the street from our apartment. Shara, our instructor, is a lively, perky, sweet and wonderful mother of 3 (and doesn’t look like it!) who loves dogs. She welcomed me in her class and not only that, we now walk our dogs almost every week and talk and exercise in the middle of it. We are not the same age, do not come from similar backgrounds, we speak different languages (although she does speak very good Spanish), she has kids and I don’t…but we clicked. God put Shara in my path, because I needed a friend. God bless Shara.
All of this, is just a small sample of the wonders that God works for us every day, every week, every year. We have SO much to be thankful for and so many people we need to be thankful to.
– To my parents: for the love, the support, my job and all the extra-miles you go to help us unconditionally.
– To my brother: for all the Christmas gifts when no one was able to give you one; for all the movies you invited us to with your hard-earned money; for watching TV with me when Juan was not home.
– To my parents-in-law: for the love, the support, the encouraging text messages and prayers.
– To my husband’s brothers and sisters: for the text messages, the prayers, the shared laughs and moral support we receive every day.
– To our cousins from both sides: for the love, the hospitality, the food, and the fun times we have together in Honduras and in the US.
– To our nieces from both sides: for showing us God’s love through children and making our days shine brighter and putting a smile on our faces.
– To our aunts and uncles: for leading us to good friends, a good church, for your prayers, your moral support and for loving us as if we were your children.
– To Juan’s ex-boss: for putting him on an on-contract basis that allowed us to see God’s glory in its highest form.
– To Juan’s new boss: for interviewing him on the spot and giving him a chance.
– To Juan’s co-workers: for inviting us to their home and sharing fun and games with us.
– To Kingsland fellowship: for taking us in and showing God’s love.
– To Shara: for being my friend, my dog-walking buddy and my amazing Zumba instructor.
– To my Bambinas: for letting me vent via Whatsapp, for loving me no matter what, for driving me around when I visit Honduras, for listening to me cry, laugh, live and learn.
– To all our friends in the US and Honduras: for your prayers, for your help whenever we need something and aren’t physically there to make it happen, and for your moral support.
– To all my readers: thank you for reading my posts and allowing me to share our story. Your time is precious to me, and if God allows me to leave a positive message in your life, that is more than what I need.
We are continuously being shaped as iron, by all of our friends. We are continuously being saved by a boat, a diver and a helicopter, all driven by God.