We’ve been considering how God meets our needs in an uncertain world and I mentioned last time that one of Gods avenues of provision is amazing, generous and kind people.
Some years ago when money was indeed tight, I don’t want to dishonour God by calling us poor, because bills were paid and we definitely had the essentials, but still raising our two sons, spare cash was in short supply and we were regularly waiting for payday. At this time God brought an extraordinary woman into my life. Her name was Faye. I can’t remember how we met, but the Christian scene in Gibraltar was quite small. She was from a more traditional church background and I think at times struggled with my Pentecostal ways but nevertheless we became close friends. We had coffee together, our families ate together, we went to the beach together. And it was on one of our coffee mornings she suddenly asked why my skirt was so loose, asked for pins to get the right size, took it home and brought back a skirt that fitted!
Now in order to understand how precious this kindness was, you have to know that I really love clothes, enjoy trying to make the best of myself and it certainly helps my self confidence. But it can be difficult with such limited resources. So Faye, without me ever asking or seeking her help, began to watch what I needed. She lined a pair of beautiful grey woollen trousers I had bought in the sales but were really scratchy and uncomfortable to wear, she knitted two jackets for me, one in grey and one in maroon (my staple colours at that time) and she made me a lovely simple, cool dress.
It’s gestures like this that make me realise God doesn’t just meet our needs but our wants, He gives us the desires of our heart. This happened at a difficult time in our ministry and these gifts of love and thoughtfulness in an area that meant so much to me personally, touched my heart deeply. I was reading Philemon yesterday and Paul commends him by saying ‘he had refreshed the hearts of the saints.’ And this is exactly what Faye did for me, she refreshed me and encouraged me, I don’t think it’s fanciful to say, she helped me to endure in ministry.
Her generosity and sheer thoughtfulness didn’t end there. Visiting the UK she bought me a new silver grey outfit in the sales that I wore till it dropped to pieces, I loved it so much, and I could give so many other examples. No one before or since has ever understood my love of clothes as she did, refreshing me and encouraging me so much in this area of my life. At a time when I couldn’t provide for myself, God provided through Faye.
She and her family were only in Gibraltar 2-3 years attached to the Ministry of Defense, but in that time I believe God brought her into my life.
I know I thanked her many times and our friendship definitely was not just about what she gave but I want to say a big thank you again, not just to Faye, but also to all those wonderful people who see a need or even a desire and seek to meet it. And I know it’s not just me who blesses her, but God Himself blesses and rewards such people.
Luke 6.38.’Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap, For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’
Philemon 7. ‘ Faye Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you sister have refreshed the heart of this saint.’ (My version!)
Matt 10.42 Good News. ‘ You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower will certainly receive a reward.’