Sunday, August 14, 2016

Just What You Need for Two Quarters

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

I love a bargain and several years ago, I hit the jackpot for two quarters at our local library book sale. Finding The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship in the pile of books for sale brought back memories of my Mom reading it to me and the amazement I felt as the story unfolded before my eyes.  Fifty cents later, this book now sits on our bookshelves tucked between Dr. Seuss and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Recently, I was telling my friend Pam about this book as we were marveling at how God brings friends into our lives that we can bless and who bless us at just the right time.  

The Fool of the World is based on an old Russian folk tale and tells the story of a young man, the Fool, who though he was neglected by his family, decided that he would marry a princess. The Czar had offered his daughter's hand in marriage to anyone who could bring him a flying ship. 

Early in his journey he met a hungry old man; though the Fool only had crusts of dry bread and a flask of water, he willingly shared his food with the old man. Before the meal the Old Man proclaimed, "Let us eat what God has given." Reaching into the bag for their dinner, the Fool miraculously found soft white rolls and cooked meats. After a delicious meal, the old man explained to him how to make a flying ship ending his instructions with this important advice, "Be sure to give a lift to everyone you meet."  

As the Fool went on his journey, he picked up an amazing assortment of individuals. One man could listen to all that was being said in the world, the second man he picked up could step across the world in a single step, next they picked up a man who could shoot a target thousands of miles away. Later in the journey, the ship picked up the Eater and the Drinker, individuals who had an insatiable ability to eat and drink. The last two passengers were a man who carried a lot of wood that turned into an army of soldiers and a man who had a bundle of straw that could change summer into winter.  When the fool got to the palace, the Czar was not impressed with the simple peasant who showed up in the flying ship.  To prevent his daughter from marrying a peasant, the Czar came up with a list of absurd tasks that no one would ever be able to accomplish, like getting the magical water of life, eating a huge meal of twelve oxen, drinking 40 barrels of wine, chilling a glowing hot bathhouse and raising an army of soldiers. Amazingly, the motley crew of misfits the fool had picked up along his journey to the Czars' palace had the exact skills need to accomplish the impossible tasks set before him.  In the end , the Fool and the Princess fell in love and "she loved him to distraction."

As a kid, I marveled that all the random people the Fool picked up turned out to have just the skills and resources that he would need to complete the impossible tasks necessary to win the princess. Not only was the Fool blessed because of their uniqueness but they were blessed by sharing their gifts with the Fool. As a grown up, I can look at my life and see how God has put people in my life who have empowered me to complete tasks that I could have never done on my own.  I was blessed with supportive parents who helped me and gave me a strong spiritual foundation. He brought passionate teachers and a wonderful 4-h agent to develop and challenge me. He provided friends like Pam who had knowledge and resources that I don't have. I am so grateful for the stranger who set up a college scholarship so that I was able to have an amazing education and make friends who bless me to this day. He opened doors in my career that are amazing. I can now see how He provided just what I needed, often through a journey that was years in the making. 

As I look at my life, I can see God's hand guiding my path, introducing me to just the right person, making a way when there appeared to be no way and solving impossible problems.  Just like the Fool, on my own resources  I have only a couple of pieces of dry bread but God has turned them into an amazing opportunity to bless others. Just as miraculous as a flying ship, God has given us everything we need, we have access to his unlimited power and resources, though our knowledge of him.  I love how 2 Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."  

Share this with others and let me know how God has blessed you through the seemingly random people and opportunities He has divinely brought in your life.  

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