“If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for installing in me an early love of the scriptures.”
~~~~ Daniel Webster
I read this quote this morning and it brought up many warm feelings I have for my parents and the way they raised me to love God, respect and reverence Him and to trust Him completely in all things~knowing that even if I don’t understand why things happen the way they do, I know He is working things out for my benefit. They taught me to pray and seek His will for my life. Even when I was stubborn and wanted to do my own thing, I still knew that God never left me alone, He still loved me and would always accept me into His arms when I came back to Him.
I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for turning your own hearts to God when I was just four years old. I watched them at church at the alter praying before every service, praying as a family in the living room kneeling before the sofa, praying even in public over a meal and walking into the bedroom at any time of night or day and finding them kneeling beside the bed deep in prayer with Bible open and praying more. My parents were not perfect by any calculations, but in raising my brother and sister and me, we know how to pray today and believe God is going to make a difference and we trust Him no matter how things turn out. They led us by example to PRAY first, not last when all other means were executed. I saw them search through the scriptures for guidance in making decisions and I witnessed their simple, child-like faith in the miracle working power of God to heal the sick and work miracles in impossible situations. I saw them forgive when someone treated them poorly and saw the fruit of that forgiveness in action as restoration in broken relationships were mended. I have seen them both heart broken, in tears and exhausted, when their backs were against the wall, not knowing which way to go or who to call, they both called out to God and believed He would help! He ALWAYS did!!! He ALWAYS does!
I remember when we were stranded on the side of road going to another church for another revival and how God sent angels to help us with gas money or repair our broken down car. We prayed and God performed miracles. I have witnessed God provide food for us, a true miracle. There was the time when lettuce turned into cabbage in the fridge in Beaumont, TX! Mom made supper from a small cabbage and one potato and fed a family of five. I still love cabbage and taters today! Or the time when a single “Whataburger” hamburger, fries and Coke fed all five of us in Baytown, TX! We ate and were full and Dad got the last bite when no one else wanted anymore. Or the single can of Chicken Noodle soup, Snickers candy bar and can of Pepsi we feasted on while broke down in Lafayette, LA in the old school bus we lived in on our way to our next tent revival in Houma, LA.
I tell these stories not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but to share that God is and has ALWAYS provided and sustained and been present in my life. God never forsook us! He was ALWAYS there and caring for us, ALWAYS knowing where we were and what we had need of! He ALWAYS came through, maybe not the way we wanted, but we never starved, we were never stranded for long. Simple equation: PRAYER moves the hand of God!
There is NO WAY anyone can attempt to tell me that God does not perform miracles, I am a miracle, I have been on the receiving end of miracles way too many times through my 50 years! Had I been raised in a home where money were not scarce, where both my parents worked on “regular”jobs instead of traveling in the ministry to preach the gospel, or where we had a regular home instead of the old school bus, Airstream travel trailer or old car as we traveled from city to city; it would have been way easier and more “normal” by everyones account. BUT, for me, I would not have the same, deep ~ rooted, simple, child~ like faith in God that I do now. There is really something solid, something that strengthens your faith in God when you pray for food to eat because there is none and a can of soup turns up in the cabinet where it was not there earlier. God performed a miracle for us!
Life is not always easy, there is lots of pain, loss and heartache, but may I remind you that Father God is with you ALWAYS! Yes; God is good, He is faithful and His love, mercy and grace endures forever!
Mom and Dad; Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and planting that seed of knowing and trusting God through accepting Jesus as my Savior when I was five years old. That seed took root, grew and blossomed into the deep faith I have today. I have persevered and have carried on that legacy to your grandchildren and the next generation and the next.
I love you and am forever grateful for your lives, your sacrifices and your example of LOVING and TRUSTING God, no matter the cost, because in the end…..
What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face, the One Who saved me by His grace,
And He takes me by the hand and leads me to The Promised Land,
What A Day, Glorious, Beautiful Day That Will Be!!!!!!
I love you with all my heart,
Tonya Foster Henshaw