Friday, November 29, 2013

Being Favor

According to the business world, today is black Friday, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and then there’s cyber Monday. 

I suppose millions of people will be out looking for the best deals of the year hoping to find favor on prices for that special someone.

For me, shopping isn’t something that has entertained most of my thoughts this week, mainly because of all the activity in our home. Several pet emergencies, ministry, Thanksgiving, writing and my husband’s birthday filled my agenda and the week isn’t over. 

Throughout the chaos one thing stayed on my mind; God allowed us to be favor in another person’s life.  I didn’t realize that it would come in the form of chicken sitting.

Lord, watch over our car!
Our car has been on the top of our prayer list lately. Even though the fuel filter was replaced, we smelled gas each time we got out of the car. 
My husband asked his friend, I’ll call him Chris, to bring his car ramps to the clinic last Friday so he could get under the vehicle to look at it on Saturday.  The fuel filter, however, had other plans.

My husband had to pick up some parts for a job that he was doing.  When he got out of the car, the gas fumes were overwhelming, but you still could not see any leaks.  As he was leaving the store, he started the engine to take a look underneath the car.  By now the leak had made itself visible and gasoline was pouring out of one of the filter line connections.

The mechanic that we use occasionally was only about two miles away, so my husband thought he would be able to make it there.  Within 300 yards of the shop the engine quit.  Coasting uphill is not a law of physics that scientists will tell you works, but the car coasted uphill over a set of railroad tracks, back down the other side (a few hundred more feet) and right up to the mechanic’s shop overhead doors.  God’s angels went on car duty that day.

No Business Today ...
The shop seemed extremely quiet for a Friday morning, so hubby walked to the front door and was met by a sign that read, “CLOSED.” Seems the boys had gone deer hunting.

Now what?  He called his friend with the ramps.  It’s a miracle in itself that he actually answered the phone.  God moved in another way. This gentleman was in the area when he normally wouldn’t have been and was only about four blocks away.  Chris came right over and they got to work in the mechanic's parking lot.

It had rained overnight so the dirt and stone parking lot was a saturated muddy mess, and it was just above freezing. You get the picture that this wasn’t going to be a fun thing to do.

The car is low to the ground so neither of the men could fit completely under the car. With gas fumes overpowering the location somehow they had to get under there to work on the problem.

The filter is located adjacent to the left rear wheel and up inside the chassis.  Chris tried reaching it from the front and got it hooked up a couple of times only to have it pop off when they started the car.  Both of them needed to work together to snap this so-called “quick connection” in place.  Lying on their backs in the midst of the mess Chris turned to my husband and bluntly said (using his exact words), “Friendship sucks”.

About 45 minutes later they were able to get the connection to lock in place.  Sore from the fuel line aerobics that they had done and covered in gasoline, clearly a “No Smoking” sign should have been placed around their necks. 

Job complete … no tow truck needed, nor any additional costs, just a little extra “Cheer” detergent in the laundry.  For my husband he felt that God gave him favor in the fact that he had a safe place to work on the car (an empty parking lot) and that they were able to finish the job themselves.

Friend Zone?
When my husband shared the events of the day last Friday, only one thing stuck out in what he said … Chris referring to this “favor” as a thing of friendship while he was in the middle of an uncomfortable situation.

This was a big step forward for Chris.  You see, for the past year I have been praying for him to receive Christ.  Every time my husband has the opportunity to work with this person (in whom he already recognized as a friend), Chris would bring up questions regarding faith, Christianity and reasons why he didn’t believe.  Chris never openly acknowledged my husband as a friend, but on that day he regarded his act as one of friendship.  Wow, that was something huge.

Chicken Boo
A door opened last week for God to allow someone to show us favor, and now the Lord was about to permit us to "be favor" for someone else.

Without knowing about my writing on favor, Chris asked my husband if he would do him a “favor” this week while he and his wife were out of town for Thanksgiving.  This would be another step for him along the lines of trust.  He asked my husband if he would care for his pets.  This isn’t an easy task, because Chris lives out of town on a gravel road.  Getting there is an act of faith, especially in the dark.

My husband explained to me that we had to go feed chickens and a feral cat twice a day, let them out and put them back in their pen at night.   Chris told my hubby that we had to make sure they were safe from the coyotes and bobcats. You can imagine what I thought we would be doing in rounding up chickens and fencing off wild animals.

Embracing Favor
Each day it was hard fitting everything into our schedule and we grew rather tired quickly.  I have a new appreciation for chicken growers. 
Right now our day is filled with other things besides work.  Two rescue cats have been diagnosed with kidney failure and have to be given medication along with hydration fluids (Lactated Ringers) several times a day. 
My husband calls it “juicing them up.” The easiest way I can explain it is to think of how you baste a turkey or chicken by adding fluid under the skin.  This IV type procedure has to be done 6 times a day between two cats along with medications and caring for other animals with special needs. 

With all this going on we didn’t have time to have thanksgiving, but took time to be thankful.  You might have thought that we were tense and on edge trying to keep up with what we had to do, but we have had a peaceful week.  Lord willing, we will have our Thanksgiving on Sunday.

Recognizing Favor
This week I read a lot of comments on social media sites where people posted what they were thankful for this year.  I can testify that most of them were about family and their work, but few spoke of their friendships.
It may be an oversight, but I wonder if people really recognize that having a friend is another way God gives His children favor.

When Chris made that statement about friendship, it caused me to remember a passage in the Bible where Jesus no longer called his disciples servants, but from that point on He referred to them as friends. 

Jesus said, “From now on I call you not servants; for servants don’t know what his lord does; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15  emphasis mine)

Something took place, an exchange of trust if you will, when Chris accepted my husband as his friend. 
He recognized there was a burden, some inconvenience on his part, yet because of friendship he was willing to take on the task for his “friend.” 
He didn’t think of it as an imposition, and gladly got down on the ground in the mess to save someone.

In praying over this writing one song continually played in my mind, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Chris’ actions reminded me of just how powerful the favor of a friend can be.

There are times in our life that God will call us to “be the favor” to someone in the form of our giving of ourselves in some degree.  That’s exactly what He did with Jesus when Christ laid down His life on the cross.  Jesus demonstrated how great His love was for us when He willingly obeyed the Heavenly Father.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13  KJV)

My husband was blessed in that he found favor from his friend and God concerning the car.  His friend came when he called and God caused Chris to be in the area at that particular time.   When called, Chris came.  This took the friendship to a new level.

I never thought I’d thank God for allowing me to be a chicken sitter, but I did.  By “being favor” to Chris it has caused him to continue seeking things about faith and God.  Our prayer is that he comes to accept the Friend that loves him more than any other.

Maybe you don’t have lots of friends or even one that would come to rescue you in the midst of trouble; there is someone who will be there every time.  Jesus is that friend and is willing to be anything you need Him to be in your life.  All you have to do is give Him a call … He’ll meet you wherever you are.  (P.S.  It may or may not involve chickens!)

What A Friend We Have in Jesus – the story behind the hymn.
Until next time, be favor to a friend this week!
What's New this week: The New Hess Truck for 2013
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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by
Gateway Bible

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