July 2017
Simple Times

Just Enough

I feel so cherished and so loved.

 

Kevin Ferrill has a servant’s heart and wants to help everyone around him.

He wants to support me. He wants to get a job tending animals and give me half his weekly salary because he worries about me.

He has a servant’s heart and it’s not surprising that he has already been a missionary, seriously telling others in Nicaragua about the Lord and even giving his testimony in church and having it translated for the Spanish-speaking congregation there as he spoke.

But I have to explain to Kevin that I have all I need because the Lord always provides just enough.

Kevin, now the ripe old age of 10, was adopted by Laine and Rob Ferrill in February 2010 and had heart surgery to implant a shunt to help his pulmonary hypertension in April after they got home from China.

"He’s a walking miracle with his heart condition," Laine explained. "He only has one working ventricle! Typically children like Kevin who have lived with lower oxygen have a lot of learning delays, but Kevin’s cardiologist is always amazed at how smart Kevin is – even with the low oxygen level getting to his brain! It can only be the Lord!"

Kevin’s surgeon was Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Robb Romp and his surgery was conducted at University Hospital in Birmingham.

But at first I didn’t know all that about Kevin. I just knew his family (made up of many birth and adopted children of all ages) moved about a mile down the road from me last year from their previous home in St. Clair County and I enjoyed seeing them all each week at church.

Kevin and I have always been able to carry on long conversations about many interesting things such as a mama cat that presented the family with kittens, the baby chicks his family has started out in their spare bedroom and their friend’s seven cows that currently roam their pasture.

While Kevin was in Nicaragua with a mission team (including his parents) in February of this year, his testimony included how he had been adopted from China by the Ferrills, but that his most important adoption was when Jesus became his Savior.

His wisdom in the rest of his testimony is astounding. So I know he will be able to understand that, while I appreciate so much his offer of help, he needs to continue studying as he grows older because God always takes care of me by providing just enough.

I’m not a great theologian. The readers of this regular column know me as a chubby, gray-haired homesteader who enjoys living the simple life. I’ve always been a prepper in some ways and I just enjoy living back to the land.

But this theory of just enough continues to pop up in my life.

Bill Brinkworth wrote an article in the "Bible View" email devotional where he explained the ideas of just enough.

He explained, after the Israelites complained (forgetting they had been treated badly as slaves and how God had delivered them), God answered their pleas by providing manna every day for them to eat. They had just enough for every man, woman and child. If they didn’t trust God and tried to hoard the food until the next day, it became a stinking mess riddled with worms!

However, on the day before the Sabbath when folks weren’t supposed to work, they were given enough manna for two days ... and it lasted fine for that second day!

All through the Bible and through history we see the theory of just enough played out perfectly.

Joseph, after being sold as a slave, was put into an unlikely position of leadership so he could provide food for his family when famine struck their homeland.

A widow had a barrel of meal and a container of oil that miraculously refilled every day providing just enough food for her and the prophet Elijah!

But some of you may already be pooh-poohing, saying, "Well, that was in olden times."

Brinkworth went on to tell in his article how in the past 30-plus years there have been thousands of just enoughs in his family’s lives! While they always tried to live frugally and make the most of their resources, they needed to paint their house. Paint that was just enough to cover the house and in the color they’d wished for suddenly appeared! Then there were clothes donated to their family that were exactly the right size and style, although the donors couldn’t have known that.

"We quickly learned it was not coincidence, it was by God’s provision," he explained.

Readers have seen similar things in my own life and farm.

I sure don’t believe in a name-it-or-claim-it-gospel, or the prosperity gospel as some expound. Some of them say, if you live right, have faith and pray just right, you will be blessed in everything you do and never have money worries, sickness or any other problems. That sounds wonderful, BUT the devil has too big a foothold in this old world to let that happen. But I do believe God is still in control and sometimes He uses things, large and small, to remind us of that!

I believe what Paul repeatedly said in the New Testament about working with your own hands to provide for yourself and how those who are able to work and don’t shouldn’t eat. I also think that sometimes our best efforts are honored in miraculous ways!

I’ve told before of my son Nathan being 2 years old and needing caps on all his teeth just days after our house had burned and just weeks after my husband Roy had returned to work because of a foot injury that almost took his life.

The pediatric dentist had figured and scratched his head and wrote down the exact amount of Roy’s profit-sharing check nestled uncashed in my purse that no one had seen!

Or how I had to take one math class in college and had to pass it with at least a C to maintain my scholarship. How I struggled all quarter and still just had a 70 average ... how I needed at least a 70 on my final to pass ... how the teacher’s red pencil slashed my test as I watched him grade it ... and how he added up my total with me watching ... to exactly 70! No more and no less. Just enough to let me keep my scholarship!

How I was a young, frightened, single mama way before Roy came into our lives and had to take 2-year-old Jannea to the old Carraway Methodist Hospital in Birmingham because she was a sickly baby.

Thankfully, they were able to get her feeling better, but, before I could get out of there, I had to go to the cage of the grumpy woman in the billing department.

Finally she adjusted her glasses and growled that her bill would be $45 and I had to pay before I left.

I knew I’d had a 10 and five ones in my pocket when I left home (I think I charged a grand total of 75 cents for each piano lesson I taught then). But mama had stuffed some bills into my pocket as I rushed out the door after leaving my older daughter with her and daddy.

I reached in and gingerly pulled out the 10 and the ones. Beside my crumbled bills were a neatly folded 20 and another 10. I had EXACTLY $45!

Like author Brinkworth, I can recount numerous other times when God has shown me He is watching out for me, usually with just enough.

While I likely will never have my farm fenced-in completely with lots of Pygora goats, miniature Babydoll sheep and alpacas munching on the grass, I am content with the homestead and goats and other critters God has blessed me with.

So Kevin, I tell you in this article, and I’ll tell you again in person the next time I see you, "Your offer to help me blesses my soul in ways you will never know until you are old like me! But you don’t have to worry. In this simple life, I have just enough."

 

Suzy Lowry Geno enjoys a simple life on her Blount County homestead and can be reached on Facebook or through her website www.taitsgapstore.com.