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Thanks for ‘man-glitter’ and perfect boards

While renovating “the old house,” and returning it to its rustic old country store personality, I have found myself making many trips to the lumber pile of old barn wood, rough cut sawmill planks, scrap boards, and other salvaged material. The tin roof building was once Fauver’s Grocery and my wife’s grandparent’s residence.  It is also the humble abode to which Gale and I brought our newborn babies home from the hospital. Percy and Alta Mae Fauver’s great-granddaughters, Jessica Boyd Smith and Kallie Rose Boyd will soon open the throwback as Clementine Country Store.

During the project, I have made many trips to the wood stack thinking, “We don’t have a piece like that,” only to be pleasantly surprised. I would dig a while and there it would be; just the right size and patina. I began to be amazed at how the lumber bin produced what was needed at the right time. I paused to offer a prayer of thanksgiving each time I lifted up the needed board from the stack.

I prefer to refer to myself as “woodworker” rather than carpenter. I can certainly work with wood, but I’ll leave carpenter to those more skilled in the trade. I love sawdust, or as someone has deemed it—“man-glitter.” I especially enjoy the smell of certain woods like cedar and cypress. And don’t even let me cut into a piece of heart pine, now that’s a pleasing perfume, an arousing aroma, a fabulous fragrance.

After rummaging through the stack one day, I made another unexpected find, a beam that fit the job perfectly. Once again the stack supplied what was needed. The thick old timber had square-headed nails poking out, bent—perfect. It may seem simplistic, but it moved me. I stepped back, lifted my cap from my head and thanked Him again. A beautiful biblical story tapped on the window of my mind.

God sent Elijah to a single mom in a famine stricken place called Zarephath. The widowed lady and her son were on the threshold of starvation. Astonishingly, God expected the woman to provide for Elijah. God sure works in mysterious ways. The poverty afflicted woman explained to the prophet that she had only enough flour and oil for one little loaf of bread with no expectation of resupply. But the gracious lady dumped out the flour jar and poured out the oil jug, kneaded and baked her last morsel of sustenance.

As she worked the dough, Elijah’s words dominated her thoughts, “Don’t be afraid…for this is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the surface of the land” (1 Kings 17:13-14).

She and her son would live! The flour and oil would never be empty. I don’t believe that the bin and jar were ever full, but that God put in enough for each day. God confirmed His promise every morning, and the woman and her son learned to trust Jehovah-Jireh (The LORD will provide) each day. A full bin and jar would have carried her for a week or more, but it would not have required the same depth of trust.  Maybe that is why Jesus taught us to ask for our “daily bread.”

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19).

Garland Boyd is pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church. He can be reached at 601-833-6760.