Such unexpected generosity could only be the result of God’s intervention
And all who were about them aided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered.” (Ezra 1:6)
Last summer I had the privilege to meet and spend significant time with Brittany. Brittany, a Marine wife with three young and energetic children, draws you in with her infectious smile and positive disposition. She and her children received a scholarship for military families to attend a weeklong camp in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Throughout the week, Brittany would stop and say, “I cannot believe I am here.” She felt overwhelmed with the generosity of a Marine veterans’ foundation that funded her entire trip. This group was willing to invest in a military family and pave the way for their reintegration following deployment.
Over the years, God has motivated many groups and organizations to action in order to help families in the process of redeployment. Oh, they may not recognize or acknowledge that it is God, but he is the originator of such good gifts. God is concerned about taking care of you. Just as God used people to aid in the restoration of the temple in the day of Ezra, he uses people today to aid in restoration of families.
The writer of Ezra emphasized the holy nature of the rebuilding. Neither a human plan nor project, the return and rebuilding was a work of God.1 God moved on the hearts of Gentile people to give extravagant gifts and offerings toward the return of the Jews to their homeland. Such unexpected generosity could only be the result of God’s intervention.
God can also awaken a desire for the restoration of relationships following such an event as military deployment. Brittany would tell you she was surprised and amazed to be the recipient of the generosity bestowed upon her. The gift came from an unlikely source of blessing, but such is often the case. God provides for those whom he loves—frequently in unexpected ways.
How has God provided for you in unexpected ways during deployment or reintegration? How have you been motivated to help others through deployment or reintegration?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, thank you for moving the hearts of people to do good in this world. Thank you for the times I have been a recipient of your care through the generosity of others. Challenge my heart toward love and good deeds today. Amen.
1 Kathy Dahlen and Knute Larson, Holman Old Testament Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2005), 8.