Proclaim His Glory! MINISTRIES
Ordinary Lives Transformed by Extraordinary Experiences with God
The Turkey Dinner
by Bonnie Tackett
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
The flap over the mail slot snapped shut as the mail fell to the floor. Envelopes of all shapes, sizes, and colors lay sprawled out like a pieced together throw rug. Excitedly, I approached the front door. Surely, there’s at least one piece of personal mail for me, I thought. Not just the usual advertisements, bills and pre-approved credit card applications.
I stooped to pick up the mess and spotted an envelope from the bank that looked ominous. Hm-m-m-m, that’s odd. I wonder what this is? I thought as I retrieved it along with the other mail and placed it on the kitchen table.
Opening the envelope from the bank first, I discovered a foreclosure notice from the institution that held the mortgage on our home. “What’s this all about?” I questioned indignantly. Confusion rushed into my mind. Hadn’t we paid the house payment?” Certain that we always paid on time, I calmed down and decided to ask my husband about the matter when he came home from work.
Restraining myself from jumping the gun as he walked through the door, I approached him calmly and handed him the notice.
“Oh, I’ll take care of this on Friday when I get paid,” he said. “ I’ll get it caught up—all three months’ worth.”
“What? Three months’ worth? You haven’t paid the house payment for three months?” I challenged, horrified by the situation.
“Don’t worry. It’ll get paid. I used the money for the kids’ clothes, eating out, and all the other goodies we bought,” he said nonchalantly. “No big deal.”
“No big deal?” I retorted. “I can’t believe you did that. We have to pay the house payment and pay it on time. We could lose our home!”
Anxiously, I waited for Friday to arrive. That night after depositing his paycheck at the bank, my husband returned home. “It was just enough to catch up on the mortgage,” he commented, “but not much left to live on. Only enough to buy gas to get me to work for the next two weeks.”
I stood there stunned, yet grateful—stunned that we had almost nothing to live on, but grateful to God that the house payments were current. “You mean there’s no money for groceries? What am I going to feed the kids?” I felt the panic starting, then took a deep breath, closed my eyes and silently prayed that the Lord would provide.
I called our three boys together and told them we needed to pray. I briefly explained that we were getting our bills caught up and had little money available for our needs. “Let’s all pray and ask the Lord to provide,” I instructed. “Shawn, you start first, ok?”
“Alright,” he said and closed his eyes. “Dear Lord, please make a way for us to eat for the next two weeks. We can get awfully hungry sometimes. Thanks and Amen.”
“Lord, please provide for us like you did with the manna in desert,” Marcus, our middle son, prayed aloud.
Then Eric, the youngest prayed. “Lord, please send us food. I’m hungry now.”
I concluded the session. “Lord, I commit the whole situation to You and know that You are in control. Thank You for what you’re going to do. Amen.”
Several days later, the telephone rang. “Hi. Bonnie? This is Pastor John. I’m just calling to remind you about the Fifth Anniversary Banquet at the church this Friday. Don’t forget to come. And bring the kids, too.”
From deep down a resounding, “Yes-s-s-s!” erupted from my lips as I hung up the phone. “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you. You’re so good to us!”
The day of the banquet arrived. We all looked forward to going and eating a wonderful meal. Although thankful, we were getting burned out on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water. We all dressed up and drove to our church for the festivities.
The program included a slide show presentation of the church’s past highlights and the important roles played by some members of the congregation. Immediately after, there was a time of music and singing. Then came the meal.
“Oh. Sweet Jesus,” I whispered as a turkey dinner with dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh salad, warm-from-the-oven baked rolls, and all the trimmings of the sumptuous meal was served. Along with relishing the food, I rejoiced in the fact that my God provides for His children. But this was far more that just “providing.” This was a meal fit for royalty.
As the evening drew to a close, the pastor’s wife Janie, asked us to do her a favor. “You know, at the last minute several families couldn’t come tonight,” she said. “And we have a lot of food left. I really don’t want it to be wasted. Would you be willing to take the leftovers home?”
Willing? Did she say willing? I asked myself. “Oh, OK,” I answered in stunned amazement. “But are you sure? Would anyone else like some?”
“No, why don’t you just take it all. I’m sure the boys can eat it—after all growing boys can really put it away.”
She turned to leave, then suddenly came back. “By the way, John and I, and the kids are going on vacation in a couple of days. Before we leave, I always clean out the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. Could you stop by tomorrow and take whatever I have? It’ll be stuff like opened boxes of cereal, crackers, and the meat from the freezer. You know, the power could go off and then we’d have a mess when we got back,” she said. “If it’s all right with you, come about 3 o’clock and I’ll have everything ready.”
Speechless, I stood there in total amazement at the length to which God will go to bless His children when He answers their prayers. “Perfect love casts out fear,” was the verse I heard over and over again in my mind.
At the outset of this ordeal, worry, doubt, and fear touched me for a moment, but was quickly replaced by the provision and personal love of Christ.
For years afterward, I enjoyed reminding my children of the lessons learned—that as children of the King, He would always provide for our needs and that the words of Psalm 23 are very real, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”
Whenever my boys remember the turkey dinner, a confident smile spreads across each of their faces. For they know they truly experienced the goodness and unfathomable compassion of the One who loves us most!
“I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live… He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.” Psalm 146: 2, 7
Lord Jesus, I praise Your mighty name and thank You that in Your abundant goodness and mercy You provide all my needs—great and small. Even when there seems to be no way, You graciously give me everything I need for godliness and life. With gratitude and thanksgiving, I will praise Your name forever! Amen.
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