A couple times each month, I take a little time out of my hectic schedule to stop at Panera Bread in my neighborhood. Whether I just need a quiet space near the fireplace to write or a warm bowl of chicken soup to offer me a little comfort before going home, I treat myself to that little peace of heaven.
Each time I go there, I always see Joyce — with her perfectly coiffed cornrows, skin the color or burnt sienna, a smile as big as Texas, and a hospitable presence to match. I always say “How are you today, Joyce” and she always says “Amazing!” In all the years I’ve been going there, our conversations have been friendly and brief — the time it takes to order soup, a soft dinner roll, iced green tea, and a blueberry muffin. This time was different. I told her that I can always count on her for a smile, and she responded by saying that God just keeps blessing her over and over again. I smiled and sang “Over and over…over and over…over and over again.” Her smile grew as she asked “Who sings that song?” I told her it was Trinitee 5:7.
By this time I had my muffin and tea, and I was headed to the pick up area for my soup. She followed me there, asking whether I’d seen the Grammy’s. I hadn’t, but I had heard a lot about the show, plus we DVR’d it for later.
“Did you see that rapper?” [She couldn’t remember his name.]
“You mean Chance the Rapper?”
Joyce squealed, “Yeah, isn’t he amazing?”
“Oh yeah, he’s definitely something special — a young man rapping about his love of the Lord!”
“My daughter called me into the room to say ‘Mom, you need to see this guy on the stage. He’s speaking your language.'”
Through that brief conversation, I learned a lot about Joyce. I know (for sure) that she loves the Lord; we have that in common. She has a daughter, she loves music, and she’s thankful that God keeps blessing her over and over.
My conversation with Joyce reminded me of my scripture reading from Mark 5:2-19. It’s a powerful story of a man possessed by many evil spirits. Jesus commanded them to leave this man, and he allowed them to enter a herd of pigs. Overcome by those spirits, they ran into a nearby lake and drowned. The man, on the other hand, was freed.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” ~Mark 5:18-19
The great thing about God is that he’s so generous with his favor, and we could never repay him for his grace and mercy toward us. Imagine the weight lifted from this man when Jesus freed him from bondage — allowing him to live among his family members, freely telling them how the Lord had blessed him. What has he freed you from today? How has he blessed you over and over? I’ve been blessed with his presence and this platform. As I mentioned yesterday, if he doesn’t do one more thing for me, He’s Done Enough.
Before you leave today, turn up the volume and enjoy my Music Monday selection by Trinitee 5:7 entitled “Over & Over.” Remember to count your blessings today, and share the love of God with everyone you meet. May blessings abound! <3