This past weekend OG, EJ and I drove out west to Great Falls, which is nestled in the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains. OG participated in our church denomination's Fine Arts Festival. The F.A.F. is an annual event that allows students to be discipled in various artistic venues such as music, art, writing, drama, sermons, etc. The program was implemented for the purpose of helping students discover and grow in their talents so they can be used for service within the body of Christ as students mature into adulthood.
Our weekend did not go quite as planned. I had budgeted $500.00 for our travel expenses (fuel, hotel, meals) but because of auto repairs we ended up spending twice that amount. Yes, you read that right. Our vehicle broke. So, auto repairs, car rental, an extra night in a hotel and additional meals cost us an extra $498.00. As awful as the trip was (so awful that the stress has made me physically ill), I still have reason to thank and praise the Lord.
20 years ago we would not have been able to even consider making this trip. 20 years ago we didn't own a car and since OG was the ONLY student from the eastern side of the state present, car pooling wasn't an option. If we had owned a vehicle back then and it broke down, we'd have found ourselves literally stranded 400 miles from home. 20 years ago we lived below the poverty line thus, there wouldn't have been any money for auto repairs, car rentals, extra hotel and food expenses. 20 years ago not only were we financially impoverished but we were also resource impoverished. Because of my own foolishness and sinful decisions 28 years ago I had been shunned from my family and I didn't have any real friends, only co-workers with whom was acquainted. Thus, we wouldn't have even been able to borrow money to get home. 20 years ago, our auto breaking down in a city 400 miles away from home would have been more than devastating to our family.
I thank the Lord that our circumstances have improved significantly. I thank the Lord that He brought about the opportunities that have ushered in a more comfortable lifestyle and the resources that help us to deal with unexpected situations. I thank the Lord that He had mercy upon me where no man or woman would. I thank the Lord that He continues to shower me with mercy and grace, even on the days when I fail Him.
I always enjoy driving out west because I enjoy seeing the change in landscape. The rolling prairie where we live holds it's own beauty, but a drive into the foot hills and mountains is striking.
Yes, we live where the deer and antelope still play.
Yes, we live where small country schools still dot the landscape.
Yes, we live where there are still hundreds of miles of un-populated areas.
Yes, we live where there are still majestic views.
I am thankful this past weekend presented us with multiple opportunities to see and experience God's GREATNESS. What did God do for you this past weekend?