The Lilies of the Field

Matthew 6:27-29 (ESV)
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

When I was younger I quit my job and opened a recording studio figuring it wouldn’t be too hard to make a living since I’d been making extra money recording bands from a rented house I lived in.  I had no business plan; no savings; a lot of debt and while I built the place all my clients went elsewhere…in simple terms it was a ‘money pit.’  I quickly found myself living at the studio since I had to give up the place I was living in to save rent money and gas money to get back and forth from my parents house everyday was out of the question.  I cooked on a hot plate and washed my hair in the bathroom sink.  I went home once a week to do laundry and have a proper shower.  It was not a glamorous life but I did enjoy the work when I could get it.  Since I rarely got enough work to pay the rent after a while I took a job as a stock-boy at a drug/general store down the street just to make sure I would have some regular income.  Now, even with this day job I had far more debt than income but somehow always had what I needed (food and shelter).

Two particular events come to mind.  Late one night a client wanted pizza and gave me money to run and get them a couple of slices before the pizza place closed while they stayed at the studio setting up for their recording session.  While the slices were heating up, the guys behind the counter were getting ready to close up shop.  They had a couple of pizzas left over that would normally just get thrown out.  The one guy suddenly started to act weird and said to the other “it would be a shame just to throw these out.”  At this point I had already ordered and had money in hand to pay for my order so there was no way the guy could have known my situation.  The other guy was just trying to close up shop and knew they usually had to throw out some food at closing.  At this point the first guy looks at me and says you want a free pizza?  He didn’t know it but that pizza fed me for a couple of days.

The thing that was so striking about that night and why I remember it so clearly so many years later is the sudden change in the guy at the pizza place.  When I walked in he was acting just like any other New Yorker working in a pizza place, he took my order and threw the slices in the oven.  Did the Holy Spirit touch him as I stood there waiting?  This was a visible transformation that I still remember twenty years later or maybe it was just good luck.

The other event I remember was when I was working at the store.  The various food vendors would come in and stock their shelves with bread or chips etc. and sometimes a few items would go past the ‘sell-by’ date and they would leave an outdated bag of chips or two in the back for the employees to snack on.  One day there was an entire shopping cart full of bags of Sun Chips.  I asked the guys I worked with and they said that everyone had already taken what they wanted and I could have them all if I wanted just throw out what I don’t want.  Needless to say, I took them all and this was another case of my needs being met during a desperate time in my life.  Of course, the guys I worked with didn’t know my situation since I was embarrassed to admit how broke I was and I never even met the vendor who serviced that product so again was this God providing for me or just good luck?

Heavenly Father,
You are the creator of all and have shown me mercy when I didn’t deserve it.  I have made some bad decisions in my life but you have never let me down, thank you for carrying me through the rough times in my life.  I owe you a debt I can never repay so you sent your son, Jesus, to pay it for me and I am grateful.  Give me the courage and strength to spread the Gospel in Jesus’ name.
Amen

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2 Responses to “The Lilies of the Field”

  1. That story made me tear up. God is so kind. It amazes me to think just how kind He was to me all the years I was living in either complete rebellion or total hypocrisy. I never went hungry either and saw many dramatic evidences of His provision.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Jim,

    God has been very faithfull in my life but like the Jews in the wilderness I often forget just how much he has done for me. I am very concerned about my job situtation but I know in the past the Lord has taken care of me and I have faith he will continue to do so until he calls me home..Good post

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