In her book, Sugar in a Shoebox, my dear friend, Joyce McFarland, tells the story of her incredible birth. Joyce was born to a very sick and frightened 18-year-old girl. She was born at a time in the rural south during the fifties when racism was very much a part of life. She was born premature and weighed only 2 pounds. The doctor’s words to her grandmother were, “Take this thing home and let it die!”
In her book Joyce writes,
So, my Grandmama took her ‘po’ little sick daughter, my mother, with her ‘po’ little puny grandbaby back to her house so that she and the good Lord could begin the work they had to do to make mere man, the doctor, out [to be a liar]. My Grandmama was a woman filled with wisdom and trusted the Lord. She took me, this two-pound lump of quivering flesh and put me in the only thing that would accommodate my size and Grandmama’s purpose—a shoe box. Grandma lined that shoebox with the softest materials she could find.
Next, she filled a medium-sized mason jar with warm water and wrapped it in cloths so it would not burn the delicate skin of this teeny baby. Into this home-made incubator I went, the barely viable form of a tiny human, clinging to life—struggling to live. Every inch of that shoe box, from top to bottom, from side to side, inside and out, was filled to overflowing with an everlasting love, fortified and saturated with prayer.
Grandmama would empty and refill the mason jar every hour, replacing cooled water with warm water…. [And] every hour, Grandmama would feed me from an eye dropper filled with formula made with evaporated milk. All through the days and all through the nights, Grandmama and Grandma Sudie nursed and prayed, sang and prayed and prayed and prayed, so that a death sentence pronounced at birth would not come to pass.
My Mama was very sick, but no one knew just how sick she was…. Three months after bringing me into this world, she slipped peacefully away into the waiting arms of Jesus, leaving her precious gift, me, to her Mama and family. From that point on, Grandmama Mary Florence became Mama.
[After many months] Mama’s efforts were rewarded when she took me … back to the place where I was born and asked to see that same doctor…. When she stood face to face with him, she asked him this question: “Doctor, do you know who this baby is?” His brisk and curt reply was simply, “No!” Then she proudly proceeded to hold up for his inspection the prettiest, chubbiest, happiest little cooing baby he would ever see. With these words she pierced the innermost chamber of his heart: “This is that thing that you told me to take home and let die.”
My Mama said she could see the years of his haughtiness and his great swelling arrogance crumble as he stood there staring in the shining eyes of this precious child who unwittingly held out her hands to him as the tears of shame and humility cascaded down his cheeks.
Joyce writes: God has a way! What He means to be–will be. What He purposes to be–will come to pass. What He starts, rest assured–He will finish. If you don’t believe it just ask the “Little Shoebox Girl!”
Men, when it comes to genuine saving faith, God in His wisdom determined before the world began to give faith
…to the lowly,
…to the poor, and
…to the humble and contrite.
James 2:5 says, “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom, which he promised those who love him?” And Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
When you look into the mirror do you see someone who is humble, lowly in spirit, knowing you are in need? Do you consider yourself poor in the eyes of the world? If so, then you are a great candidate to experience God’s favor!
On the other hand, if you see someone who feels as though you are doing pretty good on your own, thinking of yourself more highly than you should, taking great comfort in your wealth and sense of self-reliance…then you are far from God and what you really need is a wakeup call…a reality check.
Would you like to experience the favor of God? Then ask the Lord to give you a real attitude of humility and place your undivided trust in Him. Then you will experience the favor, the grace and the blessings of God.