Mary Lindow ~ The Messenger Podcast
Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
”The Timing of God and His Impeccable Attention To Details”
By Mary Lindow
Today’s podcast is one that I am going to share with you about “another wonderful story” of how the Holy Spirit can prompt us to do things for others at the most uncanny times, and as if they were perfectly orchestrated years and years beforehand.
And, of course, the Lord knows the heart desire of every one of his children, but he often uses his own children to help bring about the heart’s desire for many other people by being obedient and acting when the Holy Spirit in first Corinthians says, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
IT WAS NEAR CHRISTMAS TIME, and a local Women’s Aglow group, which happened to be a good sized chapter, was having a Christmas ladies luncheon and asked if I would come in and be their keynote speaker. The room was decorated beautifully and of course the tables were festive for the holiday!
As I was sitting at the table next to the team members and the president of the group, there was a conversation about the beautiful table settings. I was just listening and enjoying hearing them talk about how they went about getting everything ready, and why they wanted to make it so nice for so many other women that were coming, because many of them worked full-time jobs and didn’t get a chance to come and partake of beautiful things during the holidays because they were also busy mothers.
ONE OF THE LADIES BY THE NAME OF BILLY WAS SHARING WITH EVERYONE THAT SHE HAD JUST GONE SHOPPING WITH HER DAUGHTER A FEW WEEKS AGO, and they had picked out Wedding China for her daughter and her husband, because her daughter was going to be married in the spring. She went on to say that she never did get to have Wedding China as a young bride and wanted her daughter to have a beautiful experience and opportunity to have a beautiful table.
I THOUGHT, "WHAT A WONDERFUL THING THIS WAS THAT THIS WOMAN WAS GETTING CHINA FOR HER DAUGHTER, AND THAT SHE HAD NEVER HAD WEDDING CHINA HERSELF." She went on to mention that she had picked out a special pattern herself as a young bride, but that it was just not possible for her family and friends to give wedding china at that point, because it was a very frugal wedding, and other wedding gifts were more important.
I sat there and wondered about how wonderful it was for her as a mother, to be so concerned that her daughter would have a beautiful table to set with beautiful things, when she herself had never had any. Now, it was time for me to get up and share my Christmas message so I did, and afterwards told her how beautiful her story was to me about her daughter, and proceeded to go home for the day.
On my way home, I began to remember that I have been given an entire set a Fine China from a dear friend, whom I had come to know while I was in Bible College.
NOW, THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!
This dear, godly, lovely man would take on students to help with jobs or different kinds of projects in his home or, other derelict properties that he would buy, and train them and also pay them so they could pay for their Bible college fees. He had been in the military with a high clearance type of job, and although he had wanted to marry, he knew that he would never be able to be home enough to justify caring for a bride. At 63 he began to take students into his home for meals and storytelling, and developing them for skill sets. He had been a trainer for all kinds of business components of the military.
WHEN I MET HIM WHEN IMMEDIATELY HAD A BOND because he was also a gifted musician, and had a love for Fine art and Fine China. He would go to the thrift stores or take me along and different places where very wealthy Texans would drop off Crystal and China and dishes and silver that they were no longer using. So he was forever scouting out Havilland china pieces or different kinds of China to add to his collection. I went on to meet my husband and marry him later and we moved to Illinois. (That’s where my husbands from.)
THIS LOVELY MAN BY THE NAME OF ALAN would occasionally sent boxes of pieces of things that he would find to add to a side of China for me, and I did have wedding China of my own. At one time we had three full sets of Fine China and I wasn’t sure what to do with all of it! Then came two boxes that he had found of a 1950s china pattern that he thought was exquisite! I had opened the boxes and noticed there were eight place settings, eight cups and saucers, eight salad plates, eight serving plates, and also a creamer and sugar set as well as a large serving bowl.
SOMEHOW, I NEVER FELT LIKE THESE WERE TO BELONG TO ME, and I really didn’t have storage for them. So, I put them away in a cupboard thinking that someday if we moved and I had a China hutch for them, I would use them as spring dishes. They had a platinum rim, they were white and off to the right side there was a spray of flowers that had a lot of teal and a little bit of touch of pink and a hint of orange, and of course soft green.
STEVE AND I WERE THEN CALLED TO GO HELP PIONEER A CHURCH IN MISSOURI, so we packed everything up and moved those dishes and everything else to Missouri. And understand these dishes have been shipped from Dallas Texas to Illinois. Now they were taking a trip to Missouri!
ABOUT TWO YEARS LATER STEVE AND I DECIDED THAT WE WERE GOING TO MOVE BACK TO DENVER, COLORADO BECAUSE THE LORD HAD PROMPTED US TO DO SO. So once again, we packed everything up and moved to Denver. There I was in Denver speaking at a Women’s Aglow Christmas banquet luncheon and I hear this woman-discussing find China for her daughter.
NOW! BACK TO ME ON MY WAY HOME.
The thought came to me, (prompted by the Holy Spirit) “Why don’t you give that set of China to Billy? What a wonderful Christmas gift it would be to gift to her, and she would have a lovely set of China for her own home.”
I was absolutely thrilled to think that this would belong to someone else, and that the Lord would want me to give it to them. But I wasn’t sure if it was a pattern she would want or not.
BUT THE PERSISTENT NUDGING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…
… WOULD NOT GO AWAY!
I went into our basement storage area and found the two boxes and everything was still pristine and in great condition. I wrote a quick card, and told her that I felt like the Lord wanted me to give these to her after listening to her conversation about buying China for her daughter and then that I just wanted to bless her with it so she would have a beautiful table at Christmas time. I did get a hold of her telephone number and called and told her that I was having my husband and two little boys run some boxes by, just a little something for her. Would she be home? She said of course she would and she said she was “quite intrigued”.
I BUNDLED UP THE BOXES AND HELPED MY HUSBAND GET THE TWO LITTLE BOYS INTO THE CAR AND OFF THEY WENT TO DO THE DELIVERY. I was downstairs folding laundry, and just thinking about how much I hoped it blessed her, and that she would be tickled that the lord thought of her.
NOW COMES THE MOST EXCITING PART!
The phone starts ringing and I went upstairs and I missed it. (This is back when Cell Phones were way too expensive for everyone and we still had a landline with a long cord!)
Then the phone started ringing again, so I quickly answered the phone, and on the other end, there was the sound of someone gasping and crying! Now Being a pastor's wife, we often received calls from people who were in distress or who were needing prayer, so, I began to saying, “Hello? Who’s there? Can I help you?” Finally, the person on the end of the line was able to clear their throat and gather their emotions, and it was Billy the lady who Steve had dropped the China off to.
SHE BEGAN SAYING, “OH MARY! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!” And of course I didn’t, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but I could tell that she was overcome! She then began to tell me that when the boxes arrived, she was tickled to think that someone thought of her, and my husband said my wife wanted to give these to you and wish you a Merry Christmas. But, when she closed the door and went to open the packages, she reached in and pulled out one of the dinner plates that was in a slotted cardboard area. The China pattern was the EXACT China pattern that she had wanted as a young bride, but never had. It had the platinum rim that she had desired to have on her pattern! And there were eight place settings, just enough for her Christmas table and her family that was coming to feast. Also, she was able to set a beautiful place setting and table, for the Mother of the Groom, who was going to come and visit.
THIS WOMAN WAS WEEPING AND LAUGHING, AND COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE HELD ONTO THIS CHINA FOR HER ALL THESE YEARS. I told her that they have been given to me and shipped from Dallas to Illinois to Missouri to Denver. Imagine! The Lord had shipped those dishes, and had me move them “strategically”, until they got into the hands of the woman that he had planned to bless them with!
MY FRIENDS, GOD KNOWS THE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS even down to the simple things like Fine China, and he knows that soft and beautiful things, in specific times of our life are so necessary, to show us how lavish and beautiful his care and love for us is.
THE STORY GOES ON BECAUSE MANY OF HER FRIENDS THEN BEGAN TO HEAR THE STORY ABOUT “THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE CHINA”, and they began to give her serving pieces that matched, or Silver pieces or Crystal, and one friend even gave her a set of family silverware to accompany her beautiful table. Everyone wanted to get in on the beautiful moment!
WHEN STEVE CAME HOME, WE JUST PUT OUR ARMS AROUND EACH OTHER AND LAUGHED AND CRIED at the joy of knowing the Lord had those dishes, literally moved and sent on his behalf, to this darling woman.
I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO NEVER, EVER, MINIMIZE THE FACT, THE HOLY SPIRIT ASKS YOU TO DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
It could be something as simple as giving them a beautiful scarf that you are no longer wearing, or perhaps you have tools in your garage that you’re not using.
IT’S IN THE ACT OF GIVING
THAT THE PRESENCE OF GOD COMES DOWN
AND TRANSFORMS WHAT WE ARE GIVING, INTO HOPE.
GIVING IS NOT THE NATURE OF THE DARK WORLD! Taking and grasping and hoarding is from the dark part of the world. But we as believers are to give freely because we have freely received everything we could ever need to save us from the doom and darkness of this world.
When Christ himself came and gave his life as a lamb, as a child, he gave his life to us in the form of an infant so that when his day to die up on the cross came; he could truly say that he experienced life like we have, from cradle to grave.
AS WE ALL BEGIN TO DE-CLUTTER AND PUT AWAY CHRISTMAS ITEMS, I would encourage you to look at through the lens of what you have, and ask the Lord, “Is this something that I need to be sharing with someone else?”
Is there another set of silverware in your house that you are not using that another family might need?
Do you have several pairs of sports tennis shoes that you purchased and realized you don’t like them and they’re practically brand new?
FIND A FAMILY, FIND SOMEONE WHO NEEDS THEM.
And yes, you have to look for them sometimes, but the Lord will direct your path because you are led by the Holy Spirit and you belong to Him, and the Holy Spirit wastes NOTHING!
WE ARE LIVING IN A TIME WHERE THE BODY OF CHRIST
IS BEING CHAMPIONED AND CHALLENGED TO LEARN
HOW TO CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER AND MEET ONE ANOTHER’S NEEDS SO THAT NONE ARE LACKING.
There’s no place in the Bible that talks about hoarding or keeping everything to us. None whatsoever. But it does talk about sharing and at times, “sacrificial giving to others” so that they may know the love of Christ.
I encourage you to go through your canned goods to look at your bedding, sheets, extra coats, and by all means that dozens of Bibles that we all have sitting on our shelves in abundance! There are those who would give anything to have a new Bible or perhaps a warmer winter coat.
WE CANNOT LOOK DOWN ON THOSE WHO ARE SLIGHTLY IMPOVERISHED OR IMPOVERISHED,
BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING "MORE GODLY" ABOUT BEING WEALTHY, THAN THERE IS ABOUT BEING POOR.
GOD JUDGES THE INTENTION OF OUR HEARTS,
NOT THE ABUNDANCE OF OUR WALLETS.
THERE ARE THINGS AROUND YOU THAT THE LORD HAS PLACED WITHIN YOUR REACH and maybe even you have moved from state to state or move from one house to another that you could easily ask him about and ask him to prompt you to show you who is this to go to.
You may be sitting in a restaurant and hear someone talking about something they need and you may be prompted by the Holy Spirit that you are the one that has it.
It takes simple listening.
It just takes simple listening!
It doesn’t take a Herculean effort.
But love acts!
ONCE WE SECOND-GUESS OURSELVES and never stop and buy that cup of coffee for the person in front of us that seems downtrodden. Or, we wonder if that $20 towards someone’s grocery bill in front of us makes any difference, then we miss out on the blessing. But you see it’s not for us to question the amount or the moment! It’s for us to act in loving grace and humility and kindness, and in that moment change the world!
HEAVEN COMES DOWN AND MEETS THE NEED AND KISSES SOMEONE’S HEART WITH HOPE, AND HE USES US TO DO IT.
I wish you all a beautiful week as you prepare for this up-and-coming year.
My message after the first of the year is going to talk about “Peace in the midst of chaos” because the world is becoming more chaotic, and unfortunately the world is covered with a gross darkness right now.
Believers need to be strengthened encouraged not to quit, not to hide, and certainly not to hoard!
I BLESS YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS AND I PRAY NOW THAT HE WILL TOUCH YOU AND GUIDE YOU AND SHOW YOU WHAT TO DO WITH THE THINGS THAT YOU DO HAVE, THAT YOU CAN GIVE FREELY. And, perhaps there are things that you are feeling a tug at your heart that you need to give but they’re going to cause a little pain to give away. That’s OK! The Lord does love, sacrificial, giving, and above all, he loves a joyful giver!
THERE IS NOTHING MORE JOYFUL THAN TO SEE THE ABSOLUTE SURPRISE AND DELIGHT ON THE FACE OF SOMEONE THAT YOU HAVE BLESSED IN KINDNESS, AND WITHOUT FANFARE.
Have a beautiful and Happy New Year, but above all, pray that the Lord would show you what he has to say to you in 2023 specifically for your life and what kind of assignments he has for you.
THE CHURCH IS BEING CALLED UP TO BE THE FULL ARMORED BODY OF CHRIST, AND MY FRIENDS THAT MEANS YOU AND I.
Goodbye for now please go to my website at www.marylindow.com where you can listen to this podcast directly there or you can read and listen to other things that I have posted there and a few videos.
I say thank you to all of you who have been so gracious to send beautiful Christmas cards and little notes in the mail and also emails with encouraging words, sharing what these podcasts and stories I’ve been doing mean to you.
And I thank those of you who have been prompted by the Lord to support this next year of ministry. Your response has been a bit overwhelming and I thank you for your help, and also I think you more than anything for your prayers for I truly do feel them.
God bless all of you.
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