Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sometimes It's 6 Years...

I recently read an article titled, "First Printing" in the December issue of Guideposts magazine.  Are you familiar with this little magazine?  It's kind of like Reader's Digest, and you can probably find a copy of it on your Grandma's coffee table.  It's filled with stories of faith and inspiration.  
And who can't get enough of those? 
I eat 'em up.

So this month's story won't leave my brain.  I can't shake it.  I keep re-reading it over and over again.  I think about it when I'm shaving my legs and trying to fall asleep.  
I'll do my best to share it with you...

Many years ago, a father struggled to support his family.  
After landing a good job, he and his wife finally had enough money to pay the bills and give their children a Christmas filled with all the trimmings.  Because they now had money to share, he wanted to bless another man who was struggling to support his family.  A friend told him about a man who lived nearby who was working three jobs just to keep his family warm and fed.

So he had the idea of blessing this man with $100 tucked under his welcome mat a few days before Christmas.  He said the gift would be from God, not from him.  

Six years later, this man who works as a cameraman was hired to work on a documentary about Paul Young, the author of The Shack.  Paul wrote this book for his children to teach them about the redemptive power of faith.  He made a few copies to give out to his family and friends for Christmas.  He never intended for it to be published.  Incidentally, The Shack sold 14.5 million copies and has become an international phenomenon.   

So as he and the crew drove up to Paul's house for the last day of shooting, he realized his house was quite familiar to him.  He realized that this was the exact house, six years earlier, in which he placed $100 under the doormat.  

He turned to Paul at the end of the shoot and said, "Hey, Paul, do you remember that Christmas when you found $100 under your door?"

Paul stopped and said, "Of course.  I'll never forget it.  
But how do you know about that?"   

He explained how he wanted to bless someone that Christmas and without ever knowing Paul's name and only his circumstances, left the money under the door.  

Paul said, "Want to hear the most incredible part of the story?  When I finished writing The Shack, I never intended for it to be published.  I just wanted to make enough copies to pass out to my family and friends for Christmas gifts.  I used that money I found under the mat to print 15 copies at Office Depot.  And without that first printing, word about my book would have never gotten out."  

I just sat there and re-read that last paragraph over and over again.

God revealed to each of these men, six years later, how He worked in both of their lives.  

I think this story hit me so very hard because of my many twists and turns in my own story.  Something happens and you think this.  Something else happens and you think that.  Sometimes we never fully understand or see God's handiwork in our lives.  But these men, and now everyone else who reads the Guideposts article, are again privy to God's power of perfection.  
To His perfect timing.
Even in two lives at the same time.

"Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him."
I strive to live by that sentence.
And when I don't see God's handiwork immediately after my obedience, I can't lose faith.  
Because I just might see God's handiwork
 in the details of my life.

Six years later.


  1. HI Ruthie,
    Thanks for sharing that. Amazing story!

    Wendy (Rob's sister)

  2. Hi Ruthie! Been praying for you & each new chapter God is writing for you :) I've been praying for God to align your heart with His in order to be in sync with what HE has ahead. I'm speaking from experience as I too have been writing my story outta sync with God & have been disappointed when He's taken my draft & totally re-written it! Although, we BOTH know that God's stories are much much better then ours, it just sometimes takes us awhile to see that:) Anyway..GREAT post today, love stories like these that remind us that God is good & His timing is PERFECT! Lifting you & your family up in prayer!

  3. Beatiful post Ruth! Thanks for sharing it with us! I have also been working on waiting on God's plan for me and my family. It is just so hard sometimes to be still and listen. Thanks again, I think I'll borrow and share this story. I pray you are well.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story...I got chills! God is amazing! I love Guideposts, always reminds me of my grandmother. I even bought my two best friends little Guideposts Christmas books I found at Walmart this year.

    Praying for you girl. Hang in there!

  5. Love that, "Obey God and leave the consequences to HIM." Great post!

  6. WOW.... I read "The Shack".. amazing book!! What a story behind the book!!!! Praying for you today.. :) ... Renewed blessings, Terri