I Googled the definition of “godsend” just now. Here’s what flashed on my screen, prominent and sure: “a very helpful or valuable event, person, or thing.”
Forgive me, Google, if I’m not enamored with your definition. Seems to me you’ve intentionally sucked the truth out of the word; you’ve credited the source of any meaningful gift to random happenstance rather than to Providence. I feel sorry for you.
The truth is, every “event, person, or thing that is valuable or helpful” in our lives is doled out to us by the generous hand of our Shepherd. Listening to His voice means recognizing these things as the good gifts they are, even when at first they seem anything but.
Cilantro screeching me to a halt
I’ve been in straight-ahead mode this past month. Nothing new for me here: Projects have a way of capturing my attention, holding me prisoner for a time. The project at hand was a chapter I’d been asked to write for a book about mentoring younger generations in the area of worship.
Drowning in a sea of failed paragraph attempts, crumpled pieces of notebook paper slouching at my feet like dejected puppies, I glanced at the clock and was shocked out of my leisurely sentence-structuring. Dad was coming for dinner, and I had little time left to prepare. Jumping up from my chair, I ran to the kitchen and began throwing around pots and cutting boards and knives. Well, actually, I didn’t throw the knives.
I picked up a twist-tied bunch of cilantro, and here’s where my day came to a screeching halt. Because, see, I have yet to come up with an efficient way to de-leaf the thing. I’ve snipped individual leaves with scissors, pulled stems backward down the stalk, furiously swiped at the whole bunch with a knife edge—no matter which method I use, time insists on standing still when I work with cilantro.
But there are worse things than stopping in the middle of my day to absorb luminous sunshine and hum worship songs and thank God for the family I get to serve as I prepare dinner. And this is exactly the thought my Shepherd impressed me with in this godsend-of-a-moment: This is for you, from Me.
Old men, porch deliveries, and Vivaldi
Our Shepherd, He’s good like that. Just these past couple of days He’s sent godsends to remind me to see Him in the moments —
- An old man shuffling in front of Greg and me on the greenbelt, scarf wrapped tight around his neck, walking stick in hand. As we pass him, Greg turns around and calls out, “Beautiful day isn’t it?” I add, “Doesn’t get better than this, huh?” To which the man looks us in the eye and emphatically responds, as if he really wants us to get it: “Oh, sure is! Each day has its own merits” (as if to say not just the sunny, glorious ones).
- A book on my front porch for me to review, my very first assignment from Worship Leader Magazine. It’s called Moment Makers, about making the most of the moments God gives. Sheesh, Lord, do I really need You to speak so overtly to me? (Well, actually, yes.)
- Vivaldi in my ears as I write this blog, playful violins coaxing plodding cello to join in the fun, my pen energized by the dance, flowing, flowing across the page.
If you miss everything else…
So I also Bible-Gatewayed the words “God sent” just now. (Hey, if Google can be a verb, so can Bible Gateway.) The results of this search did not fall short:
God sent his Son …
that we might receive adoption to sonship…
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'”
Galatians 4:4, 6
Of all the countless godsends our Father pours into our lives every day, this is the most profound. If we miss this, we miss everything. If we don’t acknowledge “every helpful or valuable event, person, or thing in our life” as a gift from our Father who sent His Son and His Spirit to bring us into relationship with Him, we have missed everything good. We have not experienced a godsend at all.