Ever have a moment that catches you so off guard that your jaw just drops open automatically?
I have. Several times actually. It can be a result of some shocking information (“So-and-so is getting married!” or “Jim Bob down the road wrecked his truck because he hit a cow—but don’t worry, he’s ok.”) Perhaps it’s from someone jumping out from around the corner trying to startle someone. (which the jaw-drop is quickly followed by a thwack from me to the alleged scarer.) Sometimes I don’t even know my mouth is gaping open with surprise til someone awkwardly tells me to pick my jaw up off the floor and close my mouth. (Such a proud moment. Sigh.)
A few days ago, my beloved husband and I had a pretty intense jaw-dropping moment… brought to us by Jesus Himself. Here’s what went down…
We were traveling for the holidays and on the second leg of our journey from Columbia, Missouri to Worthing, South Dakota, we needed to stop for breakfast. We hadn’t done a “Factor of 7” act of kindness for December yet, but honestly, my preggo brain was not focused on the Holy Spirit at 6:54am whatsoever—all I was thinking about was “Protein, protein, must have protein. Hungry, hungry, hungry.”
We found a sign on the interstate to Subway (it’s hard to eat a healthy breakfast on the road!) so we took the exit. At the top of the off-ramp were two homeless people holding a cardboard sign. Brandon turned to me and asked, “Hey lover… Can we buy breakfast for those two?”
Even on our tight working-for-Jesus-dollars-single-income-we-have-a-baby-coming budget, I of course said yes, moved by my darling’s ability to be attuned to the Holy Spirit when it was the furthest thing from my brain. (Side note: As a Christian, my husband is the most beautiful, handsome and yes, sexiest, when he is listening to Christ. Did ya hear that, Brandon? Write that down…)
We parked at Subway, ordered two sandwiches for us and two more for the couple standing on the ramp. We dropped a 7 Days Time card in the bag, gave the two hot foot long breakfast sandwiches to the couple and let them know we would be praying for them.
So our day continued. Our hearts (and stomachs) full. On the road again.
But the jaw-dropping Jesus moment came later that evening…
Brandon and I arrived in South Dakota, and one of our first stop post-supper was going to the hospital to see Grandpa Willie. We stopped by Grandma’s house to get her car so she could drive herself home since there wouldn’t be room in the truck with all 6 of us piled in and she had hitched a ride to the hospital with a friend earlier in the day as the roads were kind of icky.
My beloved and I were riding in grandma’s car, just the two of us, following Brandon’s parents, brother and his brother’s girlfriend who were riding in the truck in front of us. As we watched the street before us, two pieces of paper blew up off the ground as the truck in front of us drove by. Brandon stopped mid-sentence and said “What was that?? I think it was money.”
Before I could utter a word, my darling made a u-turn, parked in front of a church sidewalk (no irony there), and jumped out to investigate. I watched this scene from the passenger seat, jaw-dropped… Expecting IF it was any kind of cash, it would be a couple of one-dollar bills.
He comes back glowing and shouting—it was a $10 and a $20.
I gasped as I suddenly remembered what we had paid for breakfast that morning for ourselves and the homeless couple.
Yep. THIRTY BUCKS.
(I will give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the ground.)
I reminded Brandon of this $30 blessing moment from earlier that day—all He could say is “No way… Seriously?!?! SERIOUSLY!?!?”
Maybe $30 on a small town Iowa street doesn’t seem to be very significant to you… but we were confident that this jaw-dropping moment was surely brought to us by the One, the Only, Jesus Christ Himself. There were WAYYYY too many variable factors for this to just be a “random coincidence.” (Plus, God is sovereign over all—so as far as we are concerned, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.)
As we recovered from our shock and overflowing heart-joy, we realized He didn’t just “pay us back” the $14 we paid for the stranger’s sandwiches… He also covered OUR breakfast as well.
Wow, Jesus. Wow.
Bottom line: God cares about the big and small. He is always watching and listening. He is the ultimate provider. He will encourage, reward and smile at us when we do something in His name, via His love.
So what’s stopping us from living like this ALL the time? Today is a great time to start. Won’t you join us?
Jaw-dropped by Jesus,
“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” ~Luke 6:38 MSG
PS: What did you think of our latest “Factor of 7” and Jesus jaw-dropping payback? How does Jesus make your jaw drop? Comment below!