by Terri Gillespie
Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 TLV
The ornate rod iron fence was too high—especially for vertically-challenged souls such as me. Behind the formidable barrier were the thousands-year-old olive trees of Israel’s Garden of Gethsemane. Trees that Jesus most likely passed, perhaps touching their young trunks as He made His way to the Garden for prayer to His Father.
I wanted a leaf. Oh, how I wanted a leaf. I checked the sidewalk around me for the small willow-like foliage. Then I knelt to hunt the ground just inside the fence, but there was nary a leaf, not even a fragment.
If you’ve ever toured Israel, you know it is frowned up to take natural “souvenirs.” Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a rock or tree left in the Land. There are hefty fines, and one could be unceremoniously escorted from the site.
So, what did I do? I lifted my foot to a crossbeam. If I climbed a bit higher, maybe I could reach one of the branches. That’s when the tug on my backpack brought me back to reality. Fortunately, it was only my wise hubby warning me to stop. He shook his head as he walked on.
I pressed my face against the bars and sighed. LORD, could I please have just one little leaf? When I turned away, I looked down and saw not one leaf, but two! Yes, in the area I had just searched.
As I praised the LORD, several from our tour approached and asked what had happened. Somehow, I knew I wasn’t to give the extra one away, so I told them to pray. The next few minutes where once there had been an empty sidewalk, there were slender green leaves in front of each person. Whoever asked that day, received.
Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine …
Did I need that little leaf? Of course not. But our heavenly Father had to have smiled at my longing to connect with His Son. Still, I did wonder about the second leaf. Should I keep it or give it away?
The supple green leaves were placed in my small Bible—at Joshua 1. Later, whole flower petals from what was believed to be the Garden Tomb were “conveniently” left on the sidewalk. My Bible filled with meaningful reminders of my first trip to Israel.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 TLV
Upon our return, our ministry secretary, Faith, wanted to hear every detail of the trip. That’s when I knew why there were two leaves. After I told her the miracle of the olive leaves, she teared up. Once I gave her the leaf God had left specifically for her, she wept.
“Oh, how I want to go to Israel,” she said as she blew her nose.
“You will,” I responded. The moment I said it, I swallowed. Faith was a single mother who could never afford the trip.
She shrugged and said, “Maybe. If it is the Lord’s will.”
Two years later, Faith accompanied us to Israel. God had provided the finances, and she finally visited the Land she had so longed to see. What an incredible gift it was to watch her experience the Land for the first time carrying her little Bible with her olive leaf.
Twenty-three years later the leaf isn’t as green, and it is fragile. But it’s still the tiny, sweet reminder that our Father does indeed give us more than we could think or imagine. And it began with a simple prayer for an olive leaf.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, messages, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, because of His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, released in October. https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-books/sweet-rivalry/
Sweet Rivalry, the story of twins separated by a troubled mother. One twin is lovingly raised by her grandmother who owns a small-town bakery. The other sister is raised by an addict mother. They discover one another through a televised baking competition. But will rivalry break them apart again?
Join the conversation: Has God ever given you more abundantly than what you asked?