church.  picnic. 

When you think about the church picnic- and the lady who plans it- you might imagine this:

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Or this:

MARTHA PLIMPTON
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But what you should imagine is this.

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That’s me.  This year I volunteered to run the church picnic.  Easy!  And it was… Until I decided that there wouldn’t be enough food and that everyone would be mad at me and declare what a failure this picnic was.  And if I fail then no community will be had and people will frame my picture in the welcome center with a big caption, “Not allowed to plan picnics!” And then someone will vandalize it with a tiny hitler mustache which is really cruel because it was very insulting in the first place.

As I strode through the hallways of church on Sunday, going to pick up the picnic coolers from the boiler room (aka where the Norfolk rats sublet old collection plates) I could sing only one song- There Will Be Miracles from The Prince of Egypt.

🎤There will be miracles!  When you believe!  Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.🎤

This song got my mind to thinking- hasn’t Jesus fed many with little?  Didn’t he do it more than once?  There will be enough fried chicken at this picnic.  There just will.  And if not?  He’s still good.

As I ran into my friends in the hallway I related to them some of the blind panic I was feeling.  Because you know- there I was just believing the gospel, in a blind panic.

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You know what we did?  We huddled up and sang “Jesus Take The Wheel.”  And he did.  He saved me from the road I was on.  I giggled and felt God’s faithfulness that had been there all along.

I know what you are thinking.  It’s that I learn a lot of lessons through song.  You would not be wrong to think that.  Because right now as I proofread my post I am thinking about when satan tempts me to despair and how much cooler it’d be if I told you how faithful I was- that I prayed without ceasing for the picnic and that it was a roaring success and that during the picnic three former Wall Street traders stumbled upon our picnic and afterwards were so impressed with our genuine hospitality and general holiness that they became believers.

But what happened was a picture of God’s faithfulness TO me.  I felt paralyzed so I texted a friend to pray for me.  I ran frenzied through the halls and several women encouraged me.  My husband came alongside of me to wrangle our children and to haul heavy items and generally be a hero.

I will not despair that my story is not “great” because God showed up today in minutia- in details- in buckets of fried chicken.  

I am bewildered at Gods persistence to find glory in my weakness.  This week I have proven that I am a weak vessel.  With holes.  Also- rust.  And when God shows up to look at my rusty vessel and says “Yes!  This I can use!” I am overwhelmed by his kindness to me.

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.  Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” John 6:5-7

Spoiler alert.  Everyone ate.

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