So! Will you tell me about YOUR tomato?
Not long ago, I posted a story on Facebook about how God provided a small but tasty miracle for me in the Kroger parking lot. We received many great comments about the story, and Lori and I believe that many of you have similar stories to tell. (For your reference, if you have not heard the story, it has been posted at the end of this message.)
I feel that I need to "invest" this story of God's providence, and the dividend I am looking for is the testimony of His provision and blessing in your lives. I know that God has touched all of you at one time or another, and we want to hear about it!
Lori and I would like you, our friends, to send us your stories. We have opened up a separate email account for this purose; it's firstname.lastname@example.org Please email your stories to us there. If you send your story, you are agreeing to allow us to use it for a book! We're going to see if we can find a publisher for this project.
I attend a men's group from our church that meets early Tuesday morning. We spend an hour together; we worship, praise God, and then listen to a testimony from one of the men who attends. This week it was our worship pastor, Pastor Wayne, who had just returned from Africa.
This year, Pastor Wayne has been encouraging us as a congregation to be "sensitive" to the daily miracles that God provides for us. To emphasize this, he told a remarkable story of such a miracle that happened on this trip to Africa . Then our missions pastor, Bruce, told us of a small "miracle" that he had witnessed this week as well. Both of these events could be classified as divine appointments.
I do believe that God is at work in our lives constantly and continually. In the rush and hurry of our lives, we often overlook these workings, or sometimes even put them in the "luck" column; when something "bad" happens to us we either blame our bad luck or blame Satan. We rarely see how God is using even our misfortunes for our good.
The photo above is from the Nashville Farmers Market. I think tomatoes are one of God's miracles! Imagine: a seed placed in the ground has all the instructions in it to produce these lovely fruits. The seed lies next to its neighbor, is nourished by the same earth, watered by the same rain or irrigation, and basks in the same sun as its neighbor - but soon it's a tomato, not a cucumber.
Anyway . Tuesday afternoon, after The Gate, Lori and I meet for a rare movie event (rare because movies cost money and we have very little!). After the movie, we decided to save money on the day by eating at home instead of eating out, as was our custom before poverty. I would grill hamburgers, and we had some precut French fries in the freezer. I asked Lori if we had a tomato, but she said no; tomatoes were hard to come by - and, if you came by them, they have been really expensive.
Lori and I went our separate ways, and I decided to run over to Krogers to see what a couple of dollars could buy in produce. I was thinking maybe a grilled zucchini, or something similar.... I parked the car in the Kroger lot and was calling Lori to let her know where I stopped, when I looked down.
There, right in front of me in the Kroger parking lot, was a tomato. A beautiful, ripe, pristine tomato, no dents, no bruises; so perfect I could use it in a photo shoot, and it was right there in front of me.
I picked up the tomato and looked around to see if I could find who may have dropped it. With no one even close, I returned it to the car and thanked God for this little but greatly-appreciated miracle.