We have seating for 100 in our restaurant and so we told our kitchen to be prepared to serve 100 people the night of Thanksgiving. We also wanted to be prepared for more than 100, so we asked the kitchen to prep additional food to be cooked as needed. We opened our doors for our Thanksgiving meal at 5 pm and by 5:45 our head chef told us we were out of food.
I looked out from the kitchen and noticed there were people crammed up against the walls and the front door waiting to be seated. Over 130 people in all. No problem, there were only about 30 people who hadn’t ordered and they weren’t seated yet. By the time they were seated, we would have the additional food prepared.
That’s when I found out, that the kitchen hadn’t prepped more of the main dish. There was no more chicken prepared to cook. There was no more chicken in the refrigerator nor in the freezer to prepare.
About this time, David starts taking really long, slow, deep breaths. While the kitchen staff is franticly trying to come up with a main course, I’m vetoing all their ideas. “No, we can’t do hamburgers for Thanksgiving. No, we are not going to serve k-bobs.” Within a few minutes, we had come up with a plan. A plan that included David going out in the freezing cold, searching for a taxi, getting to the closest supermarket, buying as much chicken as they had (if they had any), and returning as quickly as possible. Let me just tell you I am married to one amazing man!
David returned, everyone was served, and there was food left over! But that isn’t the story I wanted to tell, it is only background information. An amazing thing happened while David was at the supermarket and I knew nothing about until later.
As David was throwing chicken into his cart, he noticed a Caucasian couple with a toddler nearby. Now, David was more than a little frustrated with our staff and the whole situation. His only thought was to get the chicken and run out of that store back to the taxi. But, he felt a small voice urging him to speak to this couple. “Not now! I’m in a hurry!” These were his thoughts. But the voice persisted, “This is why you are here buying chicken.” I’m so thankful that my husband recognizes and listens to the voice of our Father.
David went over to the couple and found out they were Russian and had only lived here for a couple of months. They knew no one. Now, “it just so happened” that we had a Russian team staying right next door to us. David invited them to come to our house on Sunday, they came, and were so excited to find Russians that could understand and answer their questions.
We have no idea why this couple was brought into our lives. Maybe to help us better recognize that our Father makes no mistakes. Maybe to be a comfort to this family who is far from home and everything familiar. Maybe to teach us to look for opportunities to serve even in the midst of hectic moments.
I do know that I learned I need to give thanks even when everything around me is going wrong. I need to look expectantly to see how my Father will solve my problems and work out the struggle of the moment to His glory.
I need to “give thanks in all things” not just for the good, not just for what is obviously beneficial for me, but I need to “give thanks in ALL things for this is the will of my Father.”