Unexpected Gift From the Lord
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20
I love when God gives me a special moment, revealing He is Immanuel "God with me" and reminding me of how much He loves me. Last night was one of those moments, and when I told JeJe that I was gonna cry (with tears swelling) - he said, "go ahead and cry" (oh, I sure do love him).
We were down to unpacking the last of the boxes following our move from Cluj. Our entire kitchen was all that remained. Up to then we had been "camping," waiting for the electric stove and the rest of the kitchen to be set up. (Our books and knick-knacks were to be unpacked today.)
Elli came down after school to help me with all the kitchen items. As we progressed in unpacking we came upon this cube shaped, beat up, brown cardboard box with "Coleen Dishes" written on it.
The only dishes I own are some Corelle and some other everyday ones I picked up at a sale in a market here (which is more than many others have). Apparently I had a puzzled look on my face as I opened the box. JeJe said, "those are your dishes". I just looked at him.
At this point, I need to repeat how thankful I am to God for my husband and children. My Mom went to Jesus when I was 16 and I was sent to live with family members who ended up (over the years) pushing me out of the family for reasons of personal gain. There have been lots of hurtful Christmases in the past. JeJe's parents split when he was 3 months old, and he was raised by his grandma and aunt who are both now deceased. So...our little family unit means the world to both of us, and we have started our own family traditions.
This Christmas, we are in a new home, in a place where God said "Go and I will bring beauty for ashes and joy for mourning" (Isaiah 61). He has spoken to our hearts to love those here as He has loved us. Now, back to this banged up brown box. I had forgotten all about it. JeJe told me in the past about it, but I wasnt sure what it was he was talking about. It had been packed away for over 5 years in our last house. We didnt have a cabinet for it so I never saw it. In fact, I had forgotten about it. The box had been delivered over seven years ago by a family member. At the time we lived in a small place that didn't have much storage and we were preparing to move to Romania, so it remained unpacked..and unremembered.
Last night I opened it for the first time. Everything in it was wrapped carefully with packing paper. This box has made it across the seas on a ship, through the Panama Canal, on a truck from Germany - to this place, for this moment....
The box contained my mother's china dinner settings along with some of her Waterford water goblets! I gasped and the tears came. Aren't they perfectly beautiful? My greatest memories of her are her joy (she had a great sense of humor and a lot of friends), and her love of Jesus (I often awoke to find her reading from her Bible each morning).
God blessed my heart with this moment. He let me know, in a tangible way, that He sees me, knows my heart, and loves me so very much.
My parents were married in California in 1965, so this china has been through two major earthquakes in the San Fernando area (1971 and 1994). Some pieces were lost, but nine main course dishes and 9 dessert plates remain. I love making delicious desserts for my family. There are only four of us, so I am looking forward to the future to see who will be using the other five plates.
There are only two tea cups left. I think they will be perfect for JeJe and me to enjoy a hot drink together through this coming year.
All this a reminder, that God sees (El Roi) and gave us "Immanuel" (Jesus) to reach down between us and Him - and, if we are willing to take time to pause and draw near ("preparing Him room") - He wants (waits) to meet us in very tangible ways.
Christmas 2016 - an extra special Christmas. A prelude to God's awesome work in 2017.
by Coleen Jejeran, Missionary to Romania