"May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king."
It all began at a local restaurant recently while eating dinner with my family and some friends. We were all enjoying conversation about the Lord, our lives, and the Sunday church service. There was nothing unusual about it at the start, but by the time it was over we knew God had visited with His favor.
Our 12 year-old son, Joel, is not eating off the children's menu these days. A child's portion just doesn't work to fill his appetite anymore. As we were all looking at our menus, I noticed he had his eye on one of the biggest items on the menu. I could see his eyes light up when he looked at it. Then a couple minutes later I asked him what he wanted, and sure enough, it was the "TOUR OF ITALY". Although I would've liked to have gotten it for him, I knew the price was much more than we had for that meal so I had to tell him we couldn't do the "TOUR OF ITALY" today.
Maryann, one of our friends with us said, "Can I buy him the 'TOUR OF ITALY' today?" We happily replied, "Sure." Joel was jubilant that he could eat such a meal. I said, "I guess the favor of God is on you today son!" Shirl and I were both very pleased God had chosen to bless Joel with his desire through a friend.
We all placed our orders and then went back to our conversation. About 5 minutes later I heard a great clattering of dishes and I turned and saw a waitress reaching to catch her tray of dirty dishes as it was falling. Everything ended up on the floor!
At first it appeared to me that some of the heavy dishes had just missed hitting Joel. I thanked God that they had missed him. Just one of those dishes could have done serious damage had it hit him on the head. We asked Joel if he was OK and he said very casually, "Yes, no problem".
A few minutes later a gentleman seated at the table next to us came over to Joel. He stated, "You are one strong boy because you took a hard hit... you are one tough boy!" Then he looked at me very seriously and reiterated, "He REALLY is -- he took a hard hit!"
After he went back to his table Shirl asked Joel, "Are you sure your shoulder's OK?" (She thought a plate had nicked his shoulder.) Then he answered, "My shoulder's fine. It's my head that got hit." None at our table had seen the plates hit his head. Now we understood why the man had emphasized being hit hard. So we thanked God that an angel must've softened the blow.
Later on during our meal Joel had a wide-eyed look on his face - he was astonished about something. We asked him, "What's up?" He lifted his hand from the table and uncovered a $20.00 bill. We wondered where that came from and then he told us it was from the man who had spoken to him earlier. As the man was leaving the restaurant (without us noticing his departure) he had discreetly given it to Joel and said to him, "The Lord said, 'Bless and you will be blessed', so I want to bless you!" and he quickly walked out.
So I said, "Wow Joel, the favor of God REALLY is on you today!" Shirl also pointed out the fact that Joel is a giver and God has seen the many times he has freely given and here was a direct Word from the Lord through a stranger to emphasize the giving principle.
As we were finishing up our meal, the waitress, who had profusely apologized to Joel, returned and quietly asked him if she could buy him a desert. He politely refushed, but she left the dessert menu with him and told him to look it over anyway. Trying to be considerate, he said he wasn't going to order, but his mom explained to him, it would probably make the waitress feel better if he accepted, so that would be the most polite thing to do. At that his eyes lit up and he got a great big grin as he said, "Give me that menu!"
He ordered a special Pumpkin Cheescake with caramel topping and once again I told him that God's favor was definitely on him and remarked jokingly, "I wish I had been sitting in your chair today!"
As our meal eneded our waiter walked over to me with a huge bowl of soup to-go. He told me, "This is for you to take home." That had never happened to me before -- my favorite soup -- no charge -- God's Favor --- YES!!
Then to top it off, the next day Shirl recieved her special favor from God unexpectantly as well. While shopping at the craft store, she saw an item that she would just love to have, but thought she better not get it at this time. When waiting in the checkout line she offered to let another lady go ahead of her. That lady, in turn, gave her a 40% off coupon for that special item she had wanted -- and now she could get it. She had experienced in a small way, as Joel and I had the previous day, the favor of God.
I know God's ultimate FAVOR was sending Jesus to redeem mankind from our sins. But sometimes it's those little "favors" in life that He does for us that makes what Jesus did for us so much more "real".
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord..." Proverbs 8:34-35