Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Penny for Your Thoughts

I recently met a single mom who left an imprint on my heart. We spent a couple of hours over lunch sharing some of our personal stories with each other. We’re so different in a lot of ways, but share similar struggles and heartaches of being a single mom. The big difference is she’s in the middle of her daily survival mode and I’m on the other side. I’m quite a few years older than she is. I see her working hard, trusting God to meet her needs, even though it’s so hard most days. I know without a doubt that if she continues trusting Him, He will bring her to the other side of her plight.

She shared a precious story with me that day and has given me permission to share it with you. Her raw openness with me and obviously with God, touched me to the core. She currently lives with her three children in a garage they’ve turned into a temporary home. She has suffered some injustice in her lifetime, a broken heart and now faces job loss. As we talked over our brown-sack lunches, her passion and hunger for the Lord was evident. I’m using a different name as I tell her story for her privacy.

It was a stressful, ordinary day, just like all the others. Mary’s emotional and physical strength were drained. She saw no light at the end of the tunnel. She tried to be strong for her kids and not crumble under the pressures that mounted daily. She cried, “Just where are you God?” It was a day where Mary felt there was no more hope, direction or love from the One she sought it from. She couldn’t take another day like this, let alone another minute. “If I just knew You even cared,” she yelled out to the Lord. “Do I ever cross Your mind? Do You think about me at all?

While Mary is ranting and raving to the Lord in her emotional rage, she tells me she can sense a gentle touch to her heart. During her meltdown she says it was as if He was saying to her, “You’re on my mind. I am thinking about you.” She responded to Him by putting a condition out to God saying, “If it’s true, then, that you think of me, then let me find a penny for every time I cross Your mind.”

While she’s telling me her story, unhindered tears drop from her huge brown eyes and I can’t even talk. I was thinking about the shoebox of change I had in my closet at home and how I was going to dig all the pennies out and give them to her. When I could finally speak, I asked her, “So how did He answer that challenge?” She said, “I have a shelf full of pennies!” She doesn’t spend her pennies. She’s still collecting them. She said once she found a dime and thought, “Oh, Lord, ten times I just crossed your mind?” After we finished our lunch, we walked into the next room where someone had scattered a trail of pennies on the floor leading up to a zip-lock baggie overflowing with pennies. Mary cried. I stood with my jaw dropped.

God hasn’t answered all of Mary’s prayers yet or brought her to the end of her dark tunnel, but He’s given her hope. He assures her He’s walking through the tunnel with her. When I got home and shared her story with my husband as he worked on his car in our driveway, I looked down and there were 7 pennies scattered in the driveway. Now, every time I find a random penny I know God is thinking of me too, just like Mary.

Do you feel like Mary did, that God never thinks about you or your situation? Do you feel like He doesn’t care? Psalm 40:5 says, “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered!”

He may not give you the answers you're looking for today, but He'll give you Himself to get you through each day until He brings you to the end of whatever your dark tunnel may be. You're on His Mind.
In His grip - Terri