Jesus said, “…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
We are The Joy Girls! With a name like that it’s no surprise that our ministry’s mission is to build joy wherever we go. The Bible says, “The joy of the LORD is your strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10) and we stand on the rock of that truth. Joy is powerful!
Time and again we encounter God’s goodness as we minister to women in recovery. Although they may have led marginal lives previously, by the time we meet them, most are desperate to change.
Valentine’s Day we were bolstered by an amazing divine appointment. God showed up with His mighty force in such a seemingly coincidental way we knew it could only have come from His divine hand.
I had baked a beauty of a cake—dripping with pink frosting and roses, while my best friend Vicki brought ice cream and baskets of gifts. When we arrived we prayed a simple prayer. “Lord, help us be a blessing to these women.”
Inside the small house known as The Fishing Lesson, we found ten women in varying ages and stages of recovery from the tyranny of addiction and abuse. Some sported scars left by tormented times within prison walls.
The home is an equipping center whose name is based on the concept that if you give a woman a fish, you feed her for a day, but if you teach her how to fish, she will have food for a lifetime. In spiritual terms, these women are being taught not merely to survive in the moment, but to gain a heart for God in order to learn lifelong lessons only He can deliver.
There’s a loving yet strict environment in this dorm-style residence. Bible Study and The 12 Steps lead the way, but there is more—so much more. This program offers hope to the hopeless, teaches kindness and self-respect and supports its residents as they learn to live in the light and love of Jesus. Bit by precious bit they begin to see themselves not as they once were, but as God sees them now—being transformed by their faith.
We don’t talk much about where they’ve been. Instead, we focus on how God is transforming our own lives. There’s time for testimonies, talk and a skit from yours truly. That night I shared the splendor of resting in the Lord using the 23rd Psalm as my text. I wanted to underscore how Jesus is fulfilling His role as their good shepherd, and how God’s rest is increasingly available to them as they learn to put their trust in Him.
Then, it was time to cut the cake and load it up with ice cream. Ali loved the frosting. She couldn’t get enough. One by one we dug in to find that sugar, as always, makes our heads swim. With forkfuls and giggles we shared sweet things, and afterwards Vicki (whose love language is most definitely giving gifts) distributed the presents.
That’s when awe-struck wonder hit us front and center! As each woman unpacked her goodie bag, she discovered a two-dollar bill. But wait! Hand-written on each bill was “Matthew 17:20.” And beside that scripture a tiny mustard seed had been painstakingly glued.
Vicki hadn’t done it. She hadn’t even noticed the writing when she stuffed the bills into the bags. What? Who? We all looked around in amazement. Finally I said, “Look at the supernatural treasure Lord supplied for you! Wow! Wow! Wow!”
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God showed off in a BIG way that night! In the midst of helping those women overcome their trials, He provided tangible evidence of His great love on a two-dollar bill! After all, we were in a place called The Fishing Lesson, and in that precious, joy-filled moment those women hauled in a big catch: the goodness of God to help their mustard-seed faith grow big and strong.