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Women of the Advent | November 1, 2023

Dear Leslie,

I have wanted to write a Lenten reflection to sum up how the Lord worked in my life during my experience as Lenten Lunch Coordinator. Though I memorized Scripture as a child and have spent decades in Bible reading and Bible study, I did not have a particular verse in mind as I approached this task.

You were THE major inspiration for me when you said you were not concerned about all the pieces of the puzzle that needed to fall into place because you have never seen the Lord not provide! God used your confidence in him to draw me to trust him and to ”test the Lord in this” (Malachi 3). I was willing to say “I’ll be the main bus driver” and would try to coordinate the various areas needing attention. With the head start of great Day Chairs, the list didn’t seem that daunting. (I was clueless.)

But once the bus was rolling, it was incredible to watch all the people jump on board! In the past, I have had a tendency to allow a pit in my stomach to accompany any managerial task. This time I said, “Lord, whenever the temptation to worry arises, I will simply put it in your hands and just do the next thing that I know to do.” (1Peter 5:7: “…[cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”)

Sure enough, God filled in the blanks each time there was a blank to fill. Before a problem could fester, he provided the answer: a Co-Chair, whom I liked (but didn’t know how much!); the last Day Chair, so willing to invest her time and energy; the most organized person to order food, who came by way of a choir friendship; a veritable spreadsheet whiz; and enough people who had “gone before” to carry all the loads.

The whole atmosphere was one of dependence on God—learning to ask for and seek the Holy Spirit’s presence. Those around me entered each task with prayer; it was a privilege to invite the Holy Spirit to cover all of our work.

A verse that has new meaning for me now is, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). Being painfully transparent, I confess I have prayed this verse hoping it was not I to be sent. But now, saying “Yes! Send me!” feels possible and feasible. I may feel unequipped, but God provides all that is needed. The work is his, not ours.

I hope this will be a word of encouragement for future volunteers and leaders. The word was preached and mutual love and encouragement in the body of Christ grew. Praise the Lord! 

In Christ, 
Nancy Canada

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