This morning was Childress’ Old Settler’s parade. The boys and I rode in the parade so we could throw out candy with little VBS invitations on them. As I threw out the candy, I couldn’t help but think about the crazy parade I were in a few years ago …. and the embarrassing thing that happened. Here the story…
A few years ago while preaching in Tulia, I was also serving as a volunteer paramedic for the Tulia ambulance services. One Saturday, my buddy Scotty and I, volunteered to go to a little town called Kress about 10 miles away, to drive the ambulance through their parade and throw out candy to the kids. Since we actually provided ambulance service to this little community, the hospital thought it’d be a good idea if we showed up for their big annual parade.
After picking up our 3 very large bags of candy that the hospital provided us, we were off. Neither of us had ever been to the parade in this little west Texas town, but when we got there neither Scotty or myself were very impressed. When we lined up for the parade we noticed that there were lots of vehicles like fire trucks and police cars, but there was hardly any people there for the parade. Actually, only a handful of people had shown up. I remember thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I gave up my Saturday for this sorry parade?” When the parade finally started, we turned on our sirens and lights and waved to the people who’d actually shown up. We threw out a few pieces of candy, but soon realized we had tons of candy and no one to throw it to. We finally noticed one little boy at the very end of the street. He was actually the only kid we’d seen. So Scotty and I decided, “Let’s don’t take any of the candy home. If the kid has showed up for the parade, let’s reward him.” So when we came to the end of the street where the one lone boy stood, we waved him over and started dumping huge handfuls of candy right in front of him. When we finished dumping all the candy out the window, we left one of the largest piles of candy any one kid has ever had. That kid was blessed with more than he’d ever be able to eat. And by the look on his face when we started throwing candy at him, I know he must have thought we were the greatest guys in the world. We left that little boy everything we had, three very large bags of candy. We knew he was going to need a much bigger sack than the one he had.
What we didn’t know until about two minutes later was that where we were was not where the people actually gathered to watch the parade. The street we’d been on was just the starting street. When we turned the corner, there were all the people. Hundreds of people had actually shown up. Kids were everywhere screaming for candy, and we had none. We had nothing left to give. We had thrown everything to the one lucky (and very surprised) first kid on the other street. The rest of the parade we just waved, laughed and threw out rubber gloves.
I later got to thinking how God blesses us with so much more than we’ll ever need. As His children, He makes sure we have the spiritual necessities that we need like forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, peace and other things as well. But He doesn’t stop there; he also pours out physical blessings in our lives and gives us more than we ever deserve. He simply blesses us like we’re the first kid at the parade. He shovels more into our lives than our little bags will ever be able to carry. The difference between God and our three bags of candy we gave out at the parade is that God never runs out. Ever.
God is good.