What areas in your life are needy? It seems that often the quick answer is “money.” But if we pause for a second, our answer might be more along the line of more time, wisdom, discipline, strength, better relationships, genuine love, courage, patience, etc.
This morning I read how Jesus multiplied the fish & bread to meet the hunger needs of thousands of people. His disciples came to Him with the need – too many people & a paltry amount of provision. To this problem, Jesus asked them what they had. After identifying what was there, Jesus blessed the provision rather than cursed the need or lack.
Let’s be sure that we’re grateful for what we have, even if it seems like it’s not enough. Then let’s utilize what we have with thanksgiving & our eyes on Jesus to keep providing & multiplying!
There are lots of occasions when I feel inadequate & when situations demand more than I have: more wisdom, solutions, answers, stamina, vision, etc. I say this as I wait to catch a 6:30a flight this morning to participate in an important meeting. As I look at this day, I see that it will require more of me than what I feel that I have. In & of myself, there’s not enough of me to meet the expectations of this day.
And that’s a good thing.
This is good because the abundance of these needs force me to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than depending on myself. Because I’ve been an independent person, such reliance isn’t always comfortable to me but I’m learning that God’s abundance is far superior to my deficiencies.
To experience God’s abundance, let’s decide to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than our individual resources.
Our culture tells us that “more” isn’t enough. We need more money, more time, more status, more popularity, more followers, more friends, more activities, more education, more clothes, more muscles, more fitness, more image, more contacts, more influence, . . . . . . . I’ve been thinking about “more” in light of what the Bible says about the demands of our culture for more & increased provisions.
In the Bible, God is revealed as God our Provider / Provision in Genesis 22, when Abraham discovers the “ram in the thicket” as he’s about to sacrifice his son Isaac. Our culture thoroughly affirms the truth that God is our Provider and we revel in experiencing God’s provisions (in an already abundant country). But Abraham’s journey to experience God as his Provider was on the path of sacrifice. The whole journey that ended up with Abraham experiencing God’s provisions was the preparation and journey of obedience & sacrifice. Maybe what we really need is more sacrifice 🙂
My boys woke up fairly early this morning & we’ve been sitting together reading a little bit. They were just discussing between them what we could make for breakfast, given what we’ve had over the last few days (french toast, bacon, pancakes, etc). They’re thinking of making cinnamon toast & I’m pushing for scrambled eggs for a protein boost. Nevertheless, there are many different options for today’s breakfast 🙂
The same is true for God’s provisions in our lives. I’m learning that God’s provisions for me come in lots of different ways. Here are some of the varieties of ways that God provides in our lives:
time (unexpected cancelled activities, something takes less time than expected)
wisdom (creative ideas, insights, solutions, etc)
energy (strength in what has been draining)
quiet & still (these can be very rejuvenating)
encouragement & direction (even in small amounts & with 1 step at a time)
God’s presence – for me, there’s nothing more sustaining than when I am with God
So if you’re in a season that seems short on supply, perhaps it might be an interesting exercise to reconsider the various ways that God does supply for us 🙂
All of us like to receive gifts that we want. For example, recently, my husband bought me a kindle & for me its the perfect gift because I really like to read & when I travel, my books can get excessively heavy. He bought me the kindle just out of the blue & I’m SUPER happy because its fantastic! Sometimes, however, we get some gifts that aren’t so whippy, or even gifts that we don’t want.
I find that this is true with God as well. We are particularly happy with God when He gives us what we want, but when He gives us something that we don’t necessary want, we can be ungrateful. We often tend to overlook the gifts that He gives us that we don’t want, but He knows that we need. God gives us what we need, when we need it & I’m becoming increasingly convinced of this truth. He gives us time, wisdom, energy, resources, favor, etc. We may ask for money and He may possibly give us wisdom on how to lower our expenses. We may ask for a certain achievement or promotion and He may give us an inner contentment that we are beloved in His sight. We may ask for friendship and He may possibly give us the opportunity to be a friend to a needy person & experience His love to us as He loves through us. We may ask for more time and He may give us a way to more efficiently use the time that we have. We may ask for many things, but let’s be certain to give God ample space to answer our requests in His perfect wisdom 🙂