ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT I COULD ASK OR IMAGINE


From a practical standpoint, the job is exhausting.   Its physical labor and constant movement.  Water filled pots back and forth from sink to stove weighing 75 pounds or more, boxes that are bigger than my person lugged back and forth from the freezer, checking in and arranging the $10,000 food orders in the walkin refrigerator and freezer 2 times a week.  Not to mention the 6:00am - 11:00pm hours, 6 days a week.  There is about 1 hr of every day that I am not working.  Ive never done manual labor so this feels very, very intense.    I have one assistant.



Some days my energy level is high, and some it is not.  Just like you.  Somedays I have the help I need, some days I do not.  Just like you.  About twice a month I have a day of feeling extremely tired.  Each and every time I get to that place the Lord restores me in an unexpected, unimaginable way.

Yesterday as I walked into the kitchen I immediately noticed notes everywhere.  It was before 6:00am and I found myself walking the labyrinth of words.  On the mixer which is larger than my person, on the warmer where we place foods just before serving, on the ovens, on the ventilation switches, on the overhead spoon and spatula organizers, on the refrigerator door (both inside and out), on the soap at the freestanding sink where I wash my hands 1000 times a day.  Words, vision, meaning, depth.  And then I noticed something else.  Quotes.  But with only the initials of the author - a mind puzzle for me to work.  You should have seen the giddy smile on my face.  Before 6:00am.  Someone had surrounded me with scripture and also quotes from some of my favorite thinkers - Jonathan Edwards, AW Pink, Oswald Sanders, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Who could have known to meet me on all those levels, to encourage me on all those levels?  After all, these are not the authors most are drawn to!  I know no one here who enjoys these thinkers.  I wandered the kitchen like it was a fragrant garden, smiling ear to ear.



I didn't capture all the notes here for you, I simply didn't have time.  But you get the idea.




I have chalkboard doors and cabinets all over the kitchen and keep new scripture and praise and worship lyrics written on them each week.  But thats me writing it for others.  Someone came in and wrote these for me!!!





And suddenly I realized something.  I ran for my desk.  I grabbed an unrelated note that had been written to me weeks before, comparing the handwriting.  Tears poured down my face.  The woman with whom there had been the most friction when I accepted this job, the most thorniness, had written these for me.    How could this be?  I compared the handwriting again.  Which also means she had taken the time to read quotes by those whom I have cited on my chalkboards for the past 4 months?  And she created a prayer walk of encouragement for me in that kitchen?

I can hardly breathe thinking about it.