Book Bag

Program folder. Bible. Workbook. Handouts. During the first couple of weeks at HUM men are given a number of things that they need to carry with them to their classes. Richard G. was struggling with keeping track of all his things. It was just too much to carry. He dropped things. He lost things. He was getting frustrated and angry. What he needed, Richard thought, was a book bag. Many of the other clients had book bags. How could he get one?
Richard asked one of the staff how he could get a bag? “The book bags were donated. We’ve given out all of the ones that we had. They’re all gone. I’m sorry.”
That same day in the discipleship class the teacher said, “If you need something, pray about it. Prayer really works. If Jesus thinks you need something, he’ll make sure you get it. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.”
That night Richard asked God to get him a book bag. The next morning a man he didn’t even know walked up to him. “Can you use this?” he asked, as he handed Richard one of the recently donated book bags. Richard couldn’t believe how quickly God had blessed him, providing exactly what he asked for. But God wasn’t finished blessing Richard just yet. He wanted Richard to know just how abundant His blessings can be.
Later that same day Richard was working on the front desk when a truck pulled up. The driver came in and said, “I have a delivery for you.”
“Who is it from?” Richard asked.
“I don’t know,” the driver said.
“Who is it for?”
“There’s no name, it just says it’s for Helping Up Mission.”
“Okay, I guess I can sign for it,” Richard said.
The driver started bringing in boxes, 16 of them. Richard opened one box, then another, then another. Each box was filled — with book bags — 500 of them in all. Sometimes God uses something as seemingly insignificant as a little fabric book bag to illustrate the abundance of His grace.
But God was still not finished blessing Richard.
The first week that he was here someone stole a pair of Richard’s shoes. While chatting with a visiting church group Richard shared about his stolen shoes. Before they left one of the group members called Richard over and gave him a bag. In the bag were two pairs of shoes.
Even then though, God was not finished showering blessings on him.
Richard needs glasses. He can’t read without them. Most of the Bibles we have at HUM have very small print. Richard couldn’t read his Bible or do his class work and homework. He mentioned to an intern that he had trouble reading his Bible. “Would you like to have a large print Bible?” the intern asked. “We just had one donated yesterday.” Now Richard spends several hours a day reading and studying his large print Bible.
As God continues to bless him Richard’s faith in God grows. He is finding that what we say in our morning devotions every day is really true. “God is good, all the time.”
Barry M. Smith