Facing the giants...even when it rains.

About a month ago, I read an article somewhere about a Christian movie called 'Facing the Giants'. I didn't pay too much attention to it - other than making a mental note to rent the movie, then, subsequently, I placed the movie in my Blockbuster queue. When the movie arrived a week or so later, I put it aside, saying, "I'll watch it when I get the time."

I lie to myself. A lot.

I think the movie sat on my TV stand for over a month. My friend, Tamar, also rented it and said, "Toma, you HAVE to watch this movie...you HAVE to!" I let the time go by, and about two weeks ago, on an early morning before work, I popped it in my DVD player - thinking "I'm just going to watch a few minutes of it, before work."

I got to work at noon that day.

I have never been more moved. More inspired. More encouraged...than I was that day. I won't give anything away - but, if you haven't seen this movie, and you want to be out-of-this-world inspired, rent it. No. Buy it. Immediately. I encourage you to watch it with an open heart and an open mind.

I'm at a place in my life where I'm struggling with something - and it's heavy on my heart and my mind.

Oh, wait. No it's not.

You know why? Because the battle isn't mine. It's God's. It's a heavy financial issue - and, not that I feel that God's just going to write me a check, but He is the God of miracles. And NOTHING is impossible with Him!!

I realized this, all too familiarly, earlier this week. There's a young couple who is staying in my lodge. They have only been in the Air Force for a few months. They married just over a year ago, and then had two children. The husband joined the Air Force, and it forced a separation of the family, early on in their marriage, which was incredibly difficult. Once he completed boot camp, they reconnected and moved to Monterey so he could study Korean here at the Language Institute; they've been here just over a week.

Anyway, Jill (the wife) saw my online advertisement for babysitting, and called me last Saturday - not knowing I was the manager of the lodge where, in fact, she and her family were staying! She was encouraged and relieved to find a Christian babysitter in the area - and that I was so close by (right downstairs, as a matter of fact!). Anyway, we chatted for a bit, and she said she'd call me later on to schedule some nights.

She called me yesterday - and appeared to be, quite overwhelmed and, honestly, just...sad. I immediately felt called to be of service to this family. Not just because of what I do, and who I do it for (for a living), but because Jill truly loves the Lord and I could tell she was experiencing some extreme discomfort. So, as we chatted, she asked about scheduling me for Saturday. I, of course, was happy to oblige. She then, in turn, asked me what my rate was for babysitting.

I told her that I wouldn't be accepting money from them.

She was overcome with emotion - as was I. I told her (and I quote you, Miss Debbie), "Jill, if you don't allow me to do this for you, you will rob me of the blessing."

To which she could only reply in tears.

"Toma, you have no idea how you have answered my prayers. First, you just appeared, out of nowhere, then, you want to babysit. FOR FREE! We are having such a difficult time right now; re-adjusting to life again as married couple - and we really need this time. I don't even know how to thank you."

Now, I didn't just put this out for everyone to say "Oh, Toma, you're so sweet! What a nice thing to do!" I did it, first and foremost, in His service. By choice. I am in dire straits right now - thanking God for the miracle He's going to perform with my finances, before He even does it! But, this opportunity was presented to me, so clearly, that God wanted to say "Toma - I'll cover you; go and help this family.

For Me."

You see, it wasn't just to remind me that there are always those less fortunate than me. Because, truly, who calibrates those scales? Only Him. He showed me that we all struggle. It's when you're at your weakest, darkest place; when you think you can't give any more...that you dig down deep - give your very best - and then find a way...

to give a little more.

I heard a song last week, off of MercyMe's newest album...and this one passage just stuck:

"I am Yours regardless of the dark clouds that may loom above; because You are much greater than my pain."

When you buy the 'Facing the Giants' DVD, as I said, watch the movie with an open mind. When it's through, make sure you watch the 'story behind the story'.

And then....

Get out of the boat.

Be blessed,

Toma's Favorite Song Today: "Bring the Rain" by MercyMe