The Fire Hose of God's Blessings

Something exciting has happened... continue to reading to find out what!

The last 19 days have been hard. I'm not going to lie. I've been super
stressed. It seems like there was a lot of bad stuff happening. We
were waiting for this and for that to happen and my prayers were
becoming the type of 'begging'. 'GOD please help us out, we can't
handle this much longer!"

Having just gotten back from grocery shopping in the evening, I looked
and the bagels I had planned for breakfast were moldy. The milk I had
purchased was Soy, not Flax. Two very small errors to be sure but for a
brief moment, I didn't control my temper and I threw the bag of bagels
down on the floor, hard. To my shame, it was in front of my children.
To my credit, I didn't shout or curse or anything.

That's all I did, but it was enough for my kids to comfort me.
"Dad, it's okay, it's not a huge mistake, you're doing well while mom is
gone! You really are!" said my daughter. And they both gave me hugs.

For the last 18 days I've been spending a lot of time in Romans.
Specifically chapters 8 and 9. Walking by the Spirit. John Piper has
an excellent sermon on what this means. To be honest, the concept has
befuddled me for many years. I have had a mantra as life has grown
increasingly stressful over the last 3 weeks.

Walk by the Spirit. Not by your own might, or your own strength, but by
God's strength.

That was my mantra. I kept saying that, meditating on what it meant.
How do I produce fruits of the Spirit when I'm full of stress? How do
love, give off peace, patience and kindness? Self control... etc? How
do I do that when it seems like life is careening off the tracks?

This morning started with insanity. It was super stressful, there was
too much to do, I won't bore you with the details, other than to say I
was under the gun for a high priority task, and everything seemed to
want to thwart me from doing it.

I walked outside, took 2 minutes to read my Bible again, and pray again
'God we need your help! Are you waiting for me to figure out how to
walk by the Spirit through this? Okay I can't do it on my own, I get
it. I need you to provide the strength, so I'm asking for that.'

And then it happened.

God decided to unleash the fire hose. Tons of good things started
happening, rapid fire. Even now I'm wondering if this blog post is
pre-mature as the blessings keep flooding in:

11:28 am -I get an email from a church that has decided to support us!
The level of support has drastically improved our finances.

11:30 am -My wife calls and tells me she's in the middle of moving her
mom from the hospital to her home! (19 days in the hospital over!)

11:32 am -I get an email that informs me that a long time broken
relationship is being repaired!

11:35 am - I get an email, a huge paperwork crisis regarding taxes has
been averted and all is made well again! (big relief!)

11:37 am - I get a call from the optometrist "your glasses are repaired
and ready for pickup!" (not a huge stress, but it will be nice to have
my glasses again, been using my backup pair for a while")

It is only 12:08pm  right now.

I was already giddy with joy after the first blessing... then I find out
my mother in law is going home! ... by the time I got the call that my
glasses were in I was laughing on the phone with the lady.... the
goodness just keeps on coming.

I half expect the amazon items I ordered to show up today too, just
because it would be like that!

Friends, this is how God is in our lives, and has been since we started
this journey.

If it were me, I would like to dole out the blessings slowly... one
every so many days, just to keep us happy. Like getting packages in the
mail. Always more fun to get one a week instead of ten in a single
day. Right?

But God, He blesses us in ways that make it undeniable that HE is the
one doing it. I don't believe in coincidence. How could it possibly be
coincidence that I went to God in prayer, begging for something good to
happen, and then ALL of the good we were hoping for happened and then
far exceeded our expectations?

God gets the glory. He wows us, and wows us, and is faithful in between
the wow times to keep us going! And when He wows us, He does it in a way
that I can't even dare to think 'oh well that's just a coinky-dink!'

The timing, and the order of it... from big to little. It says to me
"Hey Owens family, I got you. The biggies that overwhelm you, I have in
control, the little things you think I don't care about, I have those
too. I have your back, I love you. Hang in there! Be faithful, walk in
the Spirit, deny yourselves, and above all, show me some love!"