Ahava Love Letter
“Commit Your Way To Him”
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5 (NAS)
“You are all set,” Mr. Phil Bailey, my boss, told me. “Just talk to the manager when you get there.”
I had been employed at Eagle Groceries store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for a few years at that point, in 1976. They had wanted to make me the Night Stock Crew Chief the year after I graduated from high school. That was in 1973. But I wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Get married. Have ten kids. So I moved on when I felt the Lord saying “Go.”
This nationwide grocery chain (Lucky Stores) was just one mile west from that other grocery store, near the University of N. Iowa, where I did my one year of college. That other one (HyVee – the newest competition) was where Kurt Warner was bagging groceries and stocking shelves too around that time. Back in the 70’s. (You might recall, he was the one who made it big in the NFL later. If only I hadn’t quit my football career for a new job, my senior year. Right before the “big rival game” between my Catholic high school Waterloo Columbus and Cedar Falls High School, where I actually lived. Dream on!)
By the way, Kurt had been led to the Lord by his wife, Brenda, who had been led to the Lord by my youngest sister, Lynn. (She is one of my five sisters. The youngest of the girls. I only have two brothers though.) The Warners and Lynn, with new husband Greg, were neighbors at the time, near CFHS.
I like to “name drop” once in awhile. I have known Lynn Martin Cowell for over 35 years now. At least since she was born. (I won’t give out her real age. Women tend to not like that bit of info disclosed for some reason.) She is a Proverbs 31 Woman speaker and author, in case you are interested further.
And sorry for the sidebar. I am sure those of you too over 50 get “side barred” sometimes. Don’t worry though. That too will pass when we get our new memories. At the final graduation time.
Back to my original story. When I arrived in LaSalle/Peru, Illinois, I went directly to the Eagle Grocery. There I found out they didn’t know who I was. “Steve Martin? From where?” was all they said. Seems like Mr. Phil Bailey hadn’t made the call to transfer me.
Panic came on me immediately. Here, at the wise-old age of 22, I had moved the three hours from my hometown. Had left all behind me (except what could fit in my pretty blue metallic, two door 1967 Mercury), and “went”, as I felt the Lord had told me. All in obedience of course (or maybe because my marriage engagement to Kathy had just broken off…)
So here in the Illini state, chief rivals of my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, I looked up and exclaimed, “Lord, what have You done to me?”
At least I was still single, didn’t have five others to care for at the time, and had my two closet sisters in town (Sue and Mary, with their husbands, Dave and Bob.) Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His head most of the time, but the single guys room up in the Victory Church loft had a green couch to sleep on, so there I landed. I thus had to seek employment elsewhere. I needed a job.
“Why this unexpected development, Lord?” I lamented almost daily, during my morning prayer time. And through the day. For a good solid week for sure.
I had never been unemployed in my life. Ever since I started my first job (not counting the “kitchen duties” rotation with my other siblings, from age 10), my Waterloo Courier paper route in 6th grade, work was just the norm.
Dad worked two jobs. Fifteen 15 hours everyday (except Sundays, when we went to 6:30 am Mass.) And I never saw Mom sleep, raising us eight kids almost by herself it seemed when I was still home. I need a job Lord. I can’t depend on others for my needs.
Why this unexpected, unplanned change right now? Did You leave something out in that prophetic word You had given me, that I knew how it was to all work out when I trusted You?”
My heart had already been broken (smashed down even, with all the red blood drained out it seemed) before the move here. Kathy didn’t want to join me on the African mission field. She wanted to be an English teacher instead in her Iowan home town. I wonder if she ever did.
“Commit your way to the Lord” thus became my life-long verse during this time. “Trust also in Him” was what I had to hang onto to. “And He will do it.” I had to believe that. “Especially now,” as I buried that promise deep in my still warm heart.
Even though I wasn’t expecting this change, nor had it planned out in my “organizational, administrative” brain, I had to believe that the Lord knew what He was doing. He knows all things. And He always has my best interests at hand, ready to reveal them to me, one step at a time.
For the record, I did get a job soon enough. It was at a very small restaurant called “The English Muffin”, if you really want to know. But I needed to take the open door the Lord gave me, until the next one opened up. All for His reasons, in His full wisdom and knowledge.)
It was a new season for me. It is a new season now. I hope you are in one yourself, or are expecting one soon. He is the Keeper of His promises, and He will give you the desires He put in your heart. He certainly is doing that in mine. That is why I love Him so, in addition to eternal life that He freely gave me.
May His Ahava be with you today,
P.S. As I said in one of my Israel e-journal entries recently, on our first Ahava Adventures trip to The Promised Land of His Chosen Ones, Laurie Unzicker Martin was the Lord’s choice for me all along. Since the beginning of eternity, in fact. His plans are SO MUCH better that what we can come up with! I love my good wife very much. And I wouldn’t now have Josh, Ben, Hannah and Christen without her (plus four grandkids!!!)
Ahava Love Letters (#2 ) ©2010 Steve Martin - Love For His People, Inc.