Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flourishing: Provident Blessings

Just this past few weeks, a large family we know has been packing up and readying themselves for an overseas move. They called us one afternoon to see if we would be interested in their food storage items. We pretty much never turn an offer like that down! They were giving the more day-to-day items to other neighbors, but those of us who actually go through whole wheat and dry beans regularly are much rarer birds. I know of another family or two they could have offered the items to and been confident that they would get used, but our friends were hoping to get the stuff out of their basement that very day and I'm guessing they knew we tend to be quick and efficient in responding.

A few hours later, all of us were carting precarious stacks of #10 cans down to the basement -- none of them had been in boxes, they probably wanted them all for the move -- while I was trying to figure out where to put them and make room for the next incoming load. It was a fairly sticky day, and we were all sweating quickly.

There was much more than I had expected, definitely a few hundred dollars' worth of food. Rice, flour, whole wheat, beans, powdered milk, mashed potatoes, macaroni, dried apples, even 3 cans of butter powder. The oddest item was a whole bunch of little cans of processed cheese, labeled something like Australia's Best Cheese in English but with most of the rest in Arabic, a few years past the best-by date. (Those were utterly unappealing even to me and got tossed, though it seemed like there must be some kind of curious story behind them...)

At some point in the ensuing days, as I gradually rallied myself and inventoried my new stock of storage, I realized how much we've been blessed by following some of those more difficult admonitions of prophets and wise leaders. We've saved up food, we've learned to use more traditional methods of preparing meals and ingredients, we've reduced our reliance on pre-packaged items; I really think it has improved our health, moods, skills, and bank accounts all at once, not to mention how it might benefit us in a true emergency.
So as I reflected on how lucky we were to be the recipients of this extra bounty, especially when we're trying harder than ever to live close to our means with S.'s job change last year, I realized that we weren't 'lucky' -- we were prepared for blessings when they came. We had been diligent, we had sacrificed from time to time to try to follow what we felt was important counsel, and both the Lord and our peers knew that we had room for what they could offer.

Or, mostly had room: as were were trying to pile up the last cans in our storage room that afternoon, I joked to my son that this must be what the scriptures mean when they promise to pour out so much from heaven that there is 'not room enough to receive it'. And truly, I think that is the meaning -- the windows of heaven don't generally open to provide convenience and easy prosperity, but they do open to meet our needs abundantly when we continue to be faithful stewards. For which I am thoroughly grateful.

No comments:

Post a Comment