“I found it!” called my wife from the kitchen. She was excited. “Our can of pumpkin pie filling!”
We were still fairly new missionaries in the rain forest of the Indonesian province of Papua. The initial excitement of being there had about worn off. We were feeling the responsibilities of communicating the gospel to an animistic tribe. We were also feeling the loneliness and isolation of being the only western family in our area.
Although not on the Indonesian calendar, Thanksgiving was still on ours and we wanted it to be as familiar and comfortable as it could be half the world away from home. We didn’t have a turkey, but we could get chicken. We could get some familiar vegies flown in from other mission stations. Now, with the pumpkin pie filling, so lovingly carried from home and stored away for just such an occasion, we were ready for a family feast.
Then my wife read the label. “Oh, no! We need two eggs. Do we have any eggs left?”
We were so isolated, we had to have some foods, like eggs, flown in from the capital city on a missionary plane. We usually ordered eggs in trays of 30, which had to last the couple of weeks between flights. Our tray was empty. No eggs, no pie.
For the sake of our 3-year-old (as much as for our own), we tried to be upbeat. But our little one had a better idea.
“If we need eggs, and we don’t have any, let’s ask Jesus to give us an egg.”
Looking back, I’m not sure how much faith I had, but we followed her childish confidence. Together we bowed and let her pray a very simple, “Jesus, we need an egg. We don’t have one. Please send us an egg for our pie.”
In the busyness of starting our day the next morning, we noticed an older woman from the nearby village standing just outside our kitchen.
As I approached her, she held out her hand, showing what looked like a mound of grass and leaves. As I watched, she stuck a finger into the grass and wiggled it around, revealing – yes, you guessed it -- one small, dirty chicken egg.
The next day, Thanksgiving, we had our feast, complete with a pumpkin pie which, even with only one egg, tasted heavenly to us.
We were thankful, very specifically, for the egg. We were even more thankful that we could come to God with such a childish request, and He cared enough about us to honor that request.
Since that day over 40 years ago, I’ve not forgotten that we should be thankful, not only for the specific visible blessings God gives us, but even more thankful to know that we are His children, He loves us, He hears us, and He has already given us everything we need in Him.