Italian subs (hoagies for my central and western PA friends) are in my estimation, the perfect meal. My wife and I have had really good ones and ones we wouldn't write home about. Pictured here is one made in a little restaurant in York county and it is worth the trip. For eight years, we would have our weekly Friday date at this pizza shop and most always order two Italians. One with everything and one with lettuce and mayo. Funny part about this picture is that we didn't order this sandwich.
Yesterday, we visited our daughter and went to our old favorite eatery for supper. When we walked into the place, our friends Andrew and Anna greeted us as though we were long lost family. They hugged us and shook our hands profusely. We had not seen them in some time and the reunion was so sweet. We ordered two pizzas and sodas (pop for my central and western PA friends).
As we began to say grace and ready ourselves to eat, Anna came over and placed this Italian down in front of us. I looked a bit surprised as she said, "This is for you. It was what you always ordered." When I said we didn't order it. She said, "I know." In true Andrew and Anna fashion they rocked the hospitality to the max. It tasted so good! Old friends do this. They always find ways to show gratitude for the friendship.
I couldn't help notice a parallel between yesterday's gift of the sandwich and what God offers us daily. We don't often deserve the grace of God on most days, yet God is relentless in offering it. We should be seeking grace daily, yet on some days believe we are worthy to receive it. Or, we ask God to remove sufferings in our lives and expect relief. God responds to us the same way God responded to Paul. God's grace is always more valuable than what we originally ask for.
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV)
Make it a point today in our relationships to offer more to the other person than they might be expecting. Blessings of grace are always welcomed and bring a pleasant surprise to those receiving it. Thinking back to Anna's face, her gracious offering brought a look of satisfaction to her countenance as well!