The Delightful Providence of God

AUDIO VERSION

 

I said last time that even though living out Priscilla’s disease faithfully would now become our “priority activity,” we would continue in the way of life God had called us to, trusting Him by faith to provide our needs.  As I explained in an earlier post, one of the principles of that life is, “You must do your part.”  So I would keep taking freelance writing and editing assignments for as long as time and energy permitted.  Over and over again, God timed these assignments so that they came just when I did have the time and energy for them.

For example, on Monday of the same week when Priscilla made the chicken shawarma, I completed my last remaining freelance assignment.  There were now some Grad IV tasks I wanted to catch up on—for example, annotating the group’s email list for our new staff worker, to explain who was a current student, who were alumni who were still in touch with the chapter and when they’d graduated, etc.  So I asked our small group to pray that God would send more work, but only at the end of the week, once I’d “cleared the decks.”  On Friday, I got to the end of my to-do list.  And that same day I was offered a long-term freelance writing assignment that I could work on as time permitted.  On Saturday I was offered some similarly flexible long-term consulting work.

As I explained in my opening posts, I finished that writing assignment, and there was also a pause in the consulting work, just as the wood was delivered for the floor renovation we did in June 2013.  And just as that renovation was winding down, I was offered some new editing work by another client.  We were planning a trip to New York City shortly after the renovation (I’ll tell about that starting in my next post), but as it turned out, the client wasn’t able to have this work ready for me right away.  So I was able to give my full attention to packing and preparing for an adventure that ultimately posted many logistical challenges.  But once we got home and were settled in again, the client sent me the material.  As I put it in my journal, “The job had repeatedly been put on hold and now it came on line just when I needed it.”

This kind of thing would continue for as long as I had time and energy available for freelance work.  Some months later I was offered a large proofreading job (600+ pages).  I accepted it, though I was somewhat concerned about when I could start it, since we had visitors coming soon for several days, and getting ready for guests was becoming more complicated and time-consuming.  But I needn’t have worried.  As I explained in a journal entry written just after this visit, “In the providence of God, always delightful although less surprising after repeated manifestations, the book I was supposed to proofread was finally ready—it arrived by email right around the time our guests left!”

I worked on this project as opportunity permitted and it took about a month to complete.  Literally just as I sent out the invoice for it, I heard from a different publisher about another editing project.  I gave them a quote for the work, but it took them longer than usual to approve it.  I got the go-ahead right after another two sets of guests had come and gone.  (I’ll explain in a later post why we were getting so many visitors at this time.)

I said in my previous post that we believed God would “demonstrate His continuing faithfulness even in our new circumstances.”  Episodes like these certainly made that faithfulness evident.  But the people who felt God had called them to support us in our ministry with Grad IV also remained faithful, even as our situation changed.  They continued to sustain us by their prayers, friendship, encouragement, and gifts.  Here’s one example.

In April 2013 we were facing some major car repair expenses.  These were beyond us, so one morning we asked God to put it on someone’s heart to help us with them.  Later that same day we got a call from some longtime friends of our work.  They told us that they really wanted to “invest in our ministry” by assisting us financially.  (This was even after we’d sent out an update, earlier that month, explaining that “Priscilla’s symptoms have progressed to the point where we now need to delegate some of the responsibilities we formerly fulfilled.”  In other words, we were slowly having to give up the ministry.)

These friends started asking about several specific things we might need help with.  In each case, in response, we told them truthfully that we were okay in that particular area.  “Well there must be something!” they finally said.  At that point I felt free to mention the car repairs, and they gladly agreed to cover them in full.

 

Someone behind the scenes was making sure that assignments arrived just when I was able to work on them.

Author: endlessmercies

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is a writer and biblical scholar who is also an ordained minister and served local churches as a pastor for nearly twenty years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He has an A.B. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School. Dr. Smith answers questions about the Bible, particularly those that arise from the use of his study guides, at goodquestionblog.com.

2 thoughts on “The Delightful Providence of God”

  1. Chris
    I do feel blessed and encouraged by your life. God will use your talented pen for his honor and glory. Thank you. Phyllis

    Like

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