lunch money

lunch money

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

What do you do when your kids ask you for lunch money? When those slips of paper come home from school announcing the menu choices for the upcoming week, and you’re forced to make a decision as to which “days” merit your $3.50? Do you, like me, scramble for change all the while grumbling about inflated lunch prices and how your child will likely drink the chocolate milk and nothing else?

What do you do when your neighbor comes asking for lunch money? Literally.

Mine did today; not because he didn’t have money to purchase his own lunch, but rather because we insisted that he did … ask us for something.

You see, our neighbor is a mechanic who works exclusively on Nissan vehicles. When we moved into the parsonage six years ago and noticed that Dr. John’s Auto Clinic would be sharing a fence with us, we had no inclination of how this would prove providential and beneficial to us over the years. He’s been a “saving grace” for our vehicles. He was again this morning.

The car wouldn’t start, and Dr. John was called to the rescue. He arrived on the job early; around the fence he came, with tools in hand, knowing that our car wouldn’t budge from its current state of rest. We feared the worst. He warned us last evening of the most probable cause behind the car’s refusal to start… something about a hydraulic pump “something or something” and an uncooperative clutch.

But an hour later, our “something and something” was fixed by flushing out the old hydraulic fluid and replacing it with some new. Our neighbor asked for nothing in return. When my husband insisted, he simply requested lunch money. My husband handed him a twenty dollar bill, and Dr. John asked him if he wanted some change.

Can you even imagine?

Lunch money, friends, in exchange for the provision from God’s great storehouses of riches. It couldn’t have come at a better time; I am profoundly grateful for the gift and humbled by the ways in which God continually arrives on the scene of my life to remind me of his watchful care on my behalf.

Every day and in incalculable ways, our God shows up to show us his “God-ness”. We aren’t always privy to his arrival. In fact, most of us miss it. Why? Because we’re too busy scrambling for change in the crevices and hidden places of our daily life instead of looking up toward the open and spacious places best reserved for his sacred grandeur.

Wide and long and high and deep. That is exactly how far our Father travels to get our attention and to lavish his love upon us. To flush out our “old” and replace it with his “new”. The simplicity and the complexity of it all still stuns me and leaves me speechless. Well, almost.

Look up this day, my kindred pilgrims, and see his kingdom come. His will be done. On earth, even as it has so beautifully been done in heaven.

As always,

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PS: Another satisfied customer; he made me include this…

33 Responses to lunch money

  1. Elaine…I LOVE THIS!!!!! Everything about it. The kindness of your neighbour. The provision of God. The "lunch money" analogy. The words. The heart. The picture. (Glad she included it Pastor Billy!) The grace. The care. The lavish love. The simplicity and the complexity.

    I also love the hand that penned His thoughts. Precious.

    Oh Lord, remove my search in the crevices. Fix my eyes on You.

  2. Oh…how I LOVE this post!!! God is ALWAYS so wonderful in how he provides for our EVERY need!!

    What a great reminder…to be watching…looking…and waiting for an opportunity to 'bless' someone.

    It's so easy to get so caught up in our day-to-day that we don't notice the GOD moments!!

    Thanks for blessing my heart today!!

  3. What a blessing! And it goes both ways. You are a blessing to this man. He is a blessing to you.

  4. Oh, wonderful. God loves to give His children gifts–and I am thrilled you have chosen to share one of yours with us.

  5. wifeforthejourney:

    Right after new brakes and four new tires on my car in July, how low I was last night when I found the clutch pedal sitting on floor of my car? To say I was distressed at not being able to get my 2003 Nissan to go into gear would be an understatement. Still, I knew right where to go – next door – and "Dr. John" was ready to help me.

    Bright and early this morning, with John providing the tools, the time, the know-how, and the results, (all I had to do was follow John's instructions and pump the clutch a lot) and my car was back in on the road.

    Dr. John is a great neighbor; I can't begin to count the number of times he has helped me – I don't want to ever live next door to anyone else. But what about our attitude towards God when things go wrong? Do we go to God right away? Do we trust Him to have the tools, the time, and the know-how to provide good results? Do we want to stick with God all the time?

    Today I want my faith in God to exceed my faith in the doctor, the pharmacy, and the repair shop. Thanks be to God for providing for my family and I through others, but may we always acknowledge that it is God who brings the provision and not we ourselves.

    Thank you Lord, for my family, my church, my neighbor, my car, and for Your good provision!

    Love to all,

    "Do not be deceived my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadow."
    James 1:16-17 NIV

  6. Thank you, Lord, for your provision! We have been on the receiving end of those blessings on many occasions over the past few years. God has been so faithful to provide for every need we've had.

    Oh, and I love to be on the giving end! It's an wonderful blessing for me when God calls on me to perform a good deed or offer monetary blessings for others. What a wonderful feeling it is when I walk in obedience to Him!

  7. P.S. So glad your car is fixed. This summer we've put four new tires on two vehicles, had the electrical system in one repaired, and had wheel bearings replaced in two wheels on hubby's truck. My car goes into the shop Friday to have an oil change and to have the brakes checked. Your life and mine continue to parallel one another's…sheesh.

  8. Elaine,

    I am thankful that here in America, there are still warm hearts, helping hands, and the willingness to allow God useage of "us".


  9. The picture at the end made me smile, BIG! Yes, Thy kingdom come…may we always take the time to see God working in our lives. Weaving an incredible tapestry that is our testimony of faith.

  10. First we don't do lunch around here. It is a special day in our home when you get lunch money. Maybe once or twice a year. However God's Godness is every so present when we really starting counting up the small changes (ha, a pun)as the day unfolds and you see His hands have reached into His pockets to provide more of just what is needed and then some to spare. I just sent a friend to your blog, and she loves it. Another Oregon person looking into your heart. Happy Wednesday to you sweet friend.

  11. I love this story. I love your telling of it. I love to think that in this discouraging world, there are still folks like Dr. John.

  12. Sister-friend I enjoyed reading this!

    This says it all: His “God-ness”

    Love it! We are so privileged that He is mindful of us. Mindful to show us His God-ness at all times. May we always be open to share HIS God-ness with others for the glory of GOD.

    Love you.

  13. That picture of Billy is precious!! Frame it!!

    This is a great life lesson!Your neighbor is darlin'! I hate missing God moments because I am so busy!! Love your thoughts and your writing today, sweet friend. I miss you! Pack that suitcase and bring your sweet self on over!!

    Love you!

  14. Oh my friend.. after a day like yesterday, I got an unexpected reprieve from my kids…

    I sat at the computer and realized that Beth Moore is going to be all of 2 hours away from me this weekend with her Green Bay, LPL event, and just said to God, "Oh you know the desire of my heart would be to go to this event. I would so love to see her… I can't make it happen, but I would love to go."

    Tonight I mentioned it to my husband, and he said the kids were going to be at the farm anyway, it was going to be cold and he just wanted to chill out after a busy week. He said if I could get a hotel room and ticket, I could go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Talk about an answer to prayer. AND that is just the icing on the cake for me, because God gave me a new start today, a fresh start… and today is a type of "line in the sand" day for me. I am walking forward, fresh start, determined to honor God in everything… even though I am facing the same getting up, crabby kids, laundry, school starting soon, crazy everyday life around here. I am doing it with the decision to be intentional about honoring God, and serving him in this ministry he has put me in. He has called me to this for now, and that is where I am going to be.

    I just started reading "What happens when women walk in faith" by Lysa Terkeurst. AMAZING how God used that and the scriptures she gave to get me started…..

    Sorry I got so long here… maybe it should have been an email, but it was just God's way today of providing a much needed reprieve, a teaching from His heart to mine, and my simple desire to go to LPL, and suddenly He gave it to me… I am blown away.. I am pretty much undone right now. If I could stop grinning from ear to ear, I would be crying. Maybe I'll do both.

    It's amazing how God will suddenly open the floodgates for us. I feel like I haven't even started what He wanted me to do, and suddenly something so crazy, and unexpected happened. I am so humbled and amazed, because I don't deserve this good, I don't but He still gives it. I don't get it, I don't get Him, but I love Him.

    Your story of being blessed by someone so richly just brought it on. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for reading this long comment!!!

    Love you,

  15. You have such a great way of weaving God's truth and life's lessons into a lovely tapestry of truth! Blessings sweet friend.

    Thanks for stopping by. My sister was visiting from La. and we took my mom to the zoo. It was such a pleasant day and we enjoyed the bears especially. Blessings.

  16. Praise God for God's perfect provision for you! I had a day filled with answers to prayer and God's provision myself. One of those blessing bonanza days — yay God!!

  17. I never cease to be amazed at God's providence and His amazing care for me. Timing is everything, and He provides what I need at just the right time.

    Thanks for sharing this blessing in your lives. Donna

    P.S. I always know I'm late in catching up on blogs when there are 19 comments before mine!

  18. How humbling. I wonder how often I look for Him on the heights and in the glory? I wonder how many times I've missed Him in the simple and along the road less traveled?

    Thank you.

    P.S. This felt like a scene from "Happy Days". Fun and lovely.

  19. Elaine, That is such a blessing of provision from God. He had it planned all along, before you ever moved into your home. Great post to remind us of God's loving care.


    p.s. I have and award that I would like to pass on to you. Please stop by and pick it up some time today if you can.

  20. Mrs. Elaine, that is great that the Lord has provided for you all such a gift of a mechanic basically whenever you need it! That's cool:) I am praying Mrs. Elaine:)

    Blessings, Love in HIM, ((HUGS))


  21. This was just a breath of fresh air to me today! I needed this!

    You're a real blessing to us Elaine!

    Love ya,

  22. I will never think of the term "lunch money" in the same way ever again. So glad you shared…

    Cory =)

  23. Lunch money prices are very ouchy! The training required to show my son what his lunch money can buy after I take out the money spent on packed lunches is ridiculous….but I've had to do it.

    The humor God can bring into our lives makes me smile. I'm glad you shared this with the blogging world.

    Thank you for your prayers on Tuesday. I really felt covered and accountable to make more time before the satisfying presence of our Lord. Your friendship is invaluable to me…and yet we've never talked. I just love that!

  24. God is good! Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of strategically placed neighbors, for You "determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live" (reference Acts 17:26).

    Dr. John's act of kindness and generosity reminded me of the believers' fellowship in Acts 2:42-47: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

    Give us all, Lord, a heart like Yours!

  25. "Speak faith to one another"… that's what I heard was a focus of the recent Beth Moore simulcast… and it is definitely the focus of this post… this blog!

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