Friday, October 11, 2013

The Thousand Hills Cattle Company

It was September 2005 and our country was struggling to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Chad and I were living and serving in downtown Amarillo, Texas at the time and had just received word that our city would be a major hub for refugees from Louisiana.

As is typical in disaster situations, everyone was on stand by and no one was sure how many refugees would be coming. In preparation for response, the city began calling on the resources of local churches and relief organizations. At the time, one of my jobs was managing the kitchen. We were used to feeding lots of people and had a pantry that never went empty.

The Mayor held a meeting to coordinate resources, and it was determined that Citychurch would be providing the meals over the next few weeks as traffic came and went from the staging area at the Amarillo Civic Center. This meant we would be feeding local emergency workers and volunteers as well as children and their families who would have made the long bus trip after facing such a crisis.

When we had the staff meeting to plan for these meals, we didn’t really have a lot of information to go on. The number of people who would be landing in Amarillo kept fluctuating from 300 to 3000. Basically, the plan was to start buying food, cooking it and catering it over to the Civic Center. We would also be feeding people around-the -clock as the buses would arrive.

After we discussed the amount of food the church had on hand and the amount of food we would need to purchase, my dad looked at the numbers and said, “Well, we know who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We’ll trust him to provide.” With that, we prayed to God for provision and everyone went to work.

I gathered up my shopping list and headed out the door for Sam’s. As I walked down the sidewalk to my car, I saw a man standing on the curb looking up at the church sign. He seemed a little confused, so I stopped to ask if I could help him. He explained that he was a pastor and his church wanted to help with all the relief efforts in Amarillo. “One of my members came to me and said he has a bunch of ground beef they want to donate to you guys since you’re providing meals.” When he told me that I laughed and explained, “I’m sorry, I’m laughing because we were just talking about how much food we would need and my dad said he’s not worried about it because he knows who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” The pastor got a real stunned look on his face, and I was really afraid I’d offended him. Then he opened his wallet and pulled out the business card of the man with the ground beef. My voice started shaking as I read the name on the business card aloud, “The Thousand Hills Cattle Company!”

The pastor and I laughed and praised The Lord right there on the sidewalk as both our hearts were stirred to see the hand of God moving to provide for this unexpected need. He later invited me to come share this story with his congregation so that their faith might be strengthened as well.

I’m convinced that God uses our weakness and our needs to draw us closer. When we learn to trust and we finally lay all we don’t have on the altar, it’s like He says, “Now, watch what I can do!” Boldness to move forward in obedience comes when we have experienced His glorious faithfulness firsthand.

What are you trusting God for today? Whatever the need, the Heavenly Father is big enough to provide. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6