Welcome to Saturday Share! And I just want to say, “Thank you, Irma, for introducing me to some of the most fun-loving and pioneer-spirited people I may not have ever met if it weren’t for you.”
Irma blew through Georgia at half-speed, leaving us and our new Florida friends without electricity for a few days. (Truly, nothing compared to the destruction and suffering of many.) Though Irma caused considerable stress, expensive preparation and in the end even some extensive damage and loss, Irma turned out to be an incredible blessing to many of us living here in Cedar Creek, Lilburn, Georgia.
For a few days in September 2017, our neighbor’s home became a refuge from the storm, and I made some new friends. It was difficult to see them leave, but we found each other on Facebook and Instagram, hoping to stay in touch. One by one, our little neighborhood has taken great delight in hearing their stories of God’s faithfulness and protection as they’ve each returned to their new normal.
One of the men – husband, dad, and friend – Jordan Headlee has continuously posted positive and encouraging social media messages in the days post-Irma. I’ve been blessed by Jordan’s perspective on life, God, priorities, and blessings – even in times of great trial. And so, without further delay, I am thrilled to share with you Jordan Headlee’s words – Daily Bread.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13
If you have grown up around the church or in the Bible Belt of the South you are more than likely familiar with these verses known as “The Lord’s Prayer” and may have even prayed it yourself a few times. In the wake of hurricane Irma, I am still being drilled with “give us this day our daily bread”.
2016 was a rough year for my marriage, my family, and my finances. 2017 was beginning to be light at the end of the tunnel, until September 7th. On September 7th I came home from work to find my wife had packed to evacuate. I scrambled to pack a few belongings into a backpack and on Friday, September 8th we started our journey to Lilburn.
Our friends had thrown out an invitation on Facebook – while we know they meant it, I don’t think they expected the response they got. We met Jeremy and Nikki McCann at small group going through the book “Power of a praying husband/wife” by Stormie Omartian in June of 2010. It was another rough season for Dory and I in which God seemed to put us just where we needed to be, looking for our daily bread.
Over the years that small group has stayed connected although we litter the east coast from Delaware down to Florida now. I’m pretty sure Jeremy didn’t expect 22 people to accept his invitation to come to Lilburn, but we did! The logistics of having the 5 Headlees would have been enough on short notice, but God provided daily bread yet again.
Normally a 7-hour drive took close to 11. Gas was scarce and the thought of loved ones staying behind was stressful. Once we made it to Georgia, the neighborhood of Cedar Creek welcomed us with open arms – bringing food, towels, air mattresses, and other essentials to make the McCann evacuee shelter home.
As if the thought of losing your home, your belongings, and maybe even family and friends that stayed behind wasn’t stressful enough – I didn’t have vacation or sick days to miss work. We ended up being gone for 6 days.
So why does daily bread hit home you might think? It wasn’t because the grocery shelves were empty. It wasn’t because of price gouging what was left. Driving US 41 most of the way – back country roads, singing with the radio, windows down, with my 4 favorite people in our tiny Ford Escape; it was stress-free and kind of fun. Realizing if I had to start again with just my children and my wife we’d be ok. They are my daily bread. A house, stuff, toys, everything left behind could be done without or replaced.
We spend so much time worrying about the future. I’m not saying don’t plan, Scripture is full of verses that talk about being wise, planning, being good stewards, and whatnot. What I preach to myself is that I need to be present.
In the blink of an eye, Irma went from a 4 to a 2… from devastating to damaging… from destroying to annoying… My kids aren’t going to grow up someday and say “dad I wish we had more stuff growing up”, but they may grow up and say “dad I wish you were around more than you were.” If we aren’t careful we put so much stock in the future – 401ks, IRAs, second homes, bigger houses, nicer cars, larger TVs, boats, RVs, and toys – that we can miss our daily bread.
I was also worried about missing work, but here’s how cool God is. We had a debt that was pretty substantial month to month. That debt wasn’t postponed. It wasn’t late fee waived. It was forgiven and a refund check of $57 issued to me for overpayment.
So, what was the monthly amount we owed? Yep, it was the amount of those 6 days worth of work. Anyone else get goosebumps? You can’t make that up!
God will provide your needs. It doesn’t always happen this way, but in His way He always provides. Will you see His handy work?
Many places around the world, people go to bed without pantries full of food. When we say “there’s nothing to eat” often it’s more “there’s nothing I want to eat.” When they wake up they hope to have a meal or two that day.
With losing my job in 2016 the idea of daily bread was a reality for us. That’s precisely when God laid Matthew 4:4 on my heart and seared it into my soul “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
While we were in Lilburn we visited Nikki and Jeremy’s church where Louie Giglio was preaching on how to live fear-less in an age of fear. My heart was pierced as he read Psalm 46 and talked about who is in control.
In the midst of natural disaster, war, famine, a cancer diagnosis, divorce, loss of a loved one, miscarriage, depression, in the midst of all of it God is on His throne. These days were laid out before the foundation of the world.
I just need to spend more time being still and knowing who is in control instead of joining the panic and wondering if God is even paying attention to what’s going on. He is giving us daily bread.
Are you looking for it?
1: How can I work to be more present for my family, friends, and community? God has tasked us with loving our neighbor as yourself. What does that look like practically?
2: With all the chaos going on how can I stay calm and have faith? “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 NIV
How can I encourage others instead of spreading fear?
3: Daily bread requires that we keep coming back day after day. What’s your plan for getting into Scripture and spending time with God daily? If you don’t have one I would love to help you find one!
4: In an age of fear – the news, internet, and water cooler gossip are full of people fearing the unknown. How can we spread peace and calm the fear? Maybe it’s changing how you use social media. Maybe it’s speaking up about what God pricks on your heart instead of keeping quiet. Maybe it’s allowing God to use you in ways you aren’t comfortable but are equipped.