When I was about 13 my brother and I were living at some house that my dad had swindled someone out of. I don’t know if anyone knew that we were living there and I can guarantee that we were not supposed to be there. It was a huge house in a very nice neighborhood.
It had two different upstairs, one for me and one for my brother and a large deck with a pool outside. We were living large that year.
The thing that would have set you off that we didn’t belong there was that there wasn’t any furniture except for my dads king sized water-bed, a dinning room table with chairs and two couches. My brother and I either slept on the floor or in our dads bed.
My wonderful, hardworking mom was living a few miles away in a one bedroom apartment working her tail off to provide.
It was summertime and my mom let us stay with my dad so that we wouldn’t be sitting in the apartment bored all day. Unfortunately my dad was not responsible enough to care for us by himself, even if we were both teenagers.
My brother was months away from being old enough to drive but my dad let him drive him around in the convertible two-seater car that some how appeared in our driveway. Our house was the place to be that summer. We spent all day outside at the pool and all night up in our separate upstairs hanging out with our friends.
Then one morning we woke up and my dad wasn’t there. Back then no one had cell phones so it’s not like we could just call him up to see where he went. We paged him on his pager but didn’t get a response. That car was sitting in the driveway but my brother was too scared to take it without a license.
After about three days alone and no word from our dad we realized that we were on our own. Just like we didn’t have any furniture, we didn’t have cupboards stocked with food either. There were boxes of pop-tarts and a huge turkey that I guess my dad had cooked for dinner a few days before he left.
I can’t tell you for sure how long he was gone. We both agree on two weeks but it could have been 10 days, it could have been 14, I really have no idea. There was no way that we were going to tell our mom what was going on. We didn’t want to get our dad in trouble and we thought we would be in trouble for being there alone.
We slept in my dads bed together every night because we wanted to be together and, even though neither would admit it, we were scared. We woke up every morning and went directly to the pool. I don’t think that we had TV, I can’t remember a single time watching TV there.
We would have pop-tarts for breakfast and then bring the turkey out by the pool and pick off of it until we were full.
Then, just like he left, my dad showed up without a word of where he went. I don’t think that we even asked. The answer wouldn’t have been the truth anyways.
We refer to those two weeks as the “turkey pop-tart sandwich days”. My mom would have come straight over to the house and taken us if we told her what was happening but for one reason or another we never told her…until we were in our 20’s. I can’t imagine how she felt when we told her. We were over it but it was a fresh wound to her that we couldn’t relate to anymore.
A few things that I am very thankful for when it comes to those two weeks 1) I wasn’t an only child and my brother was not only very protective of me but he truly loved me 2) Pop-tarts come two to a package so it was simple for us to share 3) my dads king sized water-bed, so my fifteen year old brother would still sleep in the same bed as me but had enough room to be far enough away and 4) God always provides.
I don’t know how many boxes of pop-tarts we had but we never ran out. It was almost like they would multiply each night to make sure that we would have something to eat in the morning. I also don’t know how big that turkey was but there was always enough for lunch. I’m sure that there was other snacks that we munched on but I can’t remember.
I know without a doubt that God had His hands on us during that time. Have you ever opened your kitchen cabinet and had a single box of pop-tarts staring at you? Have you ever worried about how you are going to pay the bills, feed the kids, find a job, find a spouse, find yourself? Well, you’ve gotten this far and He’s never left you, I can promise that He never will.
Sometimes He gives us just enough and sometimes He showers us. It’s not fun when we have just enough but why isn’t just enough safe for us? He is going to provide, He is never going to leave you. He may not give you all that you dream of or all that you want but He will, without a doubt, give you all that you need. Do not fear, do not be anxious and do not worry. Go to the Lord in prayer, give Him thanks and praise His great name and He will provide. He is in love with you. You are His child. He wants what is good for you and what you need. I’m not blowing smoke, check it out
“31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need .” Matthew 6:31-32.
I’m good with that. I can verify that it is true. I stared at a box of pop-tarts and a turkey for two weeks and even though I dreamed of steak,dr.pepper, breakfast tacos and mashed potatoes (not all at the same time of course) God gave me enough and for that I am grateful.
It’s not always easy but let’s give thanks for having just enough instead of asking for any extras. After all, God pours out His blessing when we least expect it.
Let’s pray “All mighty Father thank you for always providing for our needs. Help us to see the blessings in your provisions and to forget about the wants. Remind us to have faith that You are always with us, always provide for us and have a love for us that goes beyond our understanding. In Jesus sweet name, amen”.
We had one other piece of “furniture” in that house that I left out. We had a record player and two record, Billy Joel’s “Glass Houses” and Montley Crew’s “Theater Of Pain”, don’t ask me why. We listened to them so much that even after 25 years I can still sing every word to every song on both of those albums yet I can’t remember to get to get toilet paper when I go grocery shopping. I never forget pop-tarts.