“Can I borrow some milk?” My former neighbor & I used to always borrow ingredients for cooking. Both of us were always busy, so it was abundantly helpful that we could text each other & have one of our kids run over whatever was missing (eggs, flour, sugar, milk, cumin, celery salt, etc). And we would often talk about how we had run out of patience, or run out of time, so it was very nice to have a friend who could sympathize with the “short supply” challenge.
Sadly, she moved a few years ago and my cooking has never been the same 🙂
And I’m super grateful that Jesus is never in short supply of everything I need! Indeed, Jesus has an oversupply of patience, grace, wisdom, time, energy, faith, genuine love, help, strength, . . . . To be sure, Jesus is the ultimate Provision for everything we need for all of this week and beyond!
“Caught in the very act!” These were the words of the Jewish leaders when they interrupted Jesus’ teaching with an adulterous woman. Ultimately, Jesus told the woman that He didn’t condemn her, to go her way & sin no more.
“We don’t have enough bread to feed this mass of people.” These were the words of Jesus’ disciples when He told them to feed the crowd. Ultimately, Jesus asked what they had, started with that & multiplied from there.
“Jesus wept.” This was Jesus’ response to seeing the intense grief and mourning from Lazarus’ death. Ultimately, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, after conversing with his sisters who were deep in the throes of loss.
The Jesus Way, which we would do well to follow, includes these things:
the absence of judgment and the abundance of forgiveness
bless the provision instead of cursing the lack
being present in grief and pain rather distracted or numb
Let’s do the Jesus Way in our daily living, which is ultimately the Way of Genuine Love!
I go through seasons in my life where everything seems manageable. This means that I have a balance with my workload, time, responsibilities, family stuff, travel, etc. And then I go through seasons that seem very unbalanced: too much work, not enough time, overwhelming responsibilities, unresolved family challenges and maybe a host of other hotspots. So in these seasons, it’s easy for me to feel like I’m drowning and I can’t manage everything – there’s not enough of me to adequately match everything that’s being demanded or required.
In these seasons, it helps me to focus on what’s immediately in front of me and taking one day at a time. Indeed, I don’t have the resources, wisdom, energy or wherewithall to get very far into the future and it can overwhelm me when I try. Maybe this is why God did the manna thing for Israel, giving adequate supply of bread for each day. This forced the Israelites to trust God on a daily basis and this is a helpful mindset that we can also choose for today. Let’s thank God for giving us daily provisions, adequate for each day 🙂
Sometimes we find ourselves running on empty. This can happen not just with finances, but sometimes we run out of energy, or we don’t have enough time, maybe our relationships feel shallow or perhaps you have more problems than solutions.
Feel free to watch & share this short video to see how Jesus provides for us!
There are times in my life where I am inadequate to meet the needs and demands of what’s happening around me. In these times, I know that I’m not smart enough, not strong enough, don’t have the energy to match the demands, nor do I have the endurance to match the race stretched in front of me. In these times, it’s tempting to get overwhelmed by the questions, the shortfalls, demands, inadequacies and scarcity I feel in my soul. Such deficiency is often a universal human condition and maybe that’s by Divine Design. Maybe God has always intended for us to never be enough, such that we must choose to reach outside of ourselves to find provisions beyond our finite resources.
Let’s be certain that we reach for God to participate in our lives every day and not just as a last resort! Indeed, God is more than enough for our overflowing deficiencies!
Over the last several months, I’ve experienced some amazing coincidences: meeting people who have common ministry goals, reconnecting w people from my distant past, stumbling into situations where I thrive, receiving unexpected financial support & loads more. With such “coincidences” I can choose to see them as happen chance & accidental or I can see them as divine encounters and appointments.
I choose to see such miraculous coincidences as divine direction & answers to my prayers for God to direct my steps. Indeed, I pray almost everyday that God would direct my steps & that I won’t follow the enemy’s whispers, suggestions or influences.
So I’m celebrating today, that God is directing my steps!I’d invite you to join me in that daily prayer for God to direct your steps as well for divine appointments & direction in your daily living!
Oftentimes I’ll ask God to give me the finances to do stuff that’s on my heart. And sometimes the money comes, but more often God gives me creatives ideas, time, relationships & solutions that help me to make progress on various plans. I’m also learning that God gives me wisdom & / or endurance.
Let’s be certain to recognize that God absolutely supplies our needs, often in ways that we don’t anticipate. Sometimes, God can even change a need so that it can align with the provisions that we have!
Ravens, brooks & widows. These were three ways God provided for the needs that Elijah had. After reading about these resources this morning, it struck me about how creatively God works to meet & resolve the needs in our lives.
Let’s be wise stewards with the resources that we have while appreciating that God has some very creative & interesting ways to meet the needs that exceed our current provisions. And above all, let’s continue to remain grateful because God is always faithful!
“My God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory,” – Philippians 4:19. I’ve prayed this verse far more times than I could ever count, asking God to provide time, wisdom, strength, money, direction, anointing, etc. Usually, when I’ve prayed this verse, I have some specific things that I want from God, to match up to the needs that I’m experiencing at that time. What never ceases to amaze me, however, is how God meets my needs and answers my requests – often in ways that I didn’t consider. Here are some examples that might encourage you about the creative ways that God is our Provider:
money: I’ve had God divinely supply money, provide an unexpected resource, or decrease a bill / expense.
time: there are innumerable times when I’m overbooked & trying to figure out how to get everything done, when an appointment I’ve booked will cancel or get rescheduled
energy: somehow when I run out of energy, the Holy Spirit finds ways to help me with strength on the inside to go the extra mile and to push through the tired or drained.
Let’s be sure that we let the Holy Spirit be our provision, however the Holy Spirit would chose to provide 🙂
Abraham’s servant was commissioned to find a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son. There were some very significant criteria for this wife, like she had to move away from her home & family to marry Isaac. From the servants conversation with Abraham & his prayer to God, it seems to me that the servant felt some heavy pressure to find the wife & bring her to Isaac.
In my opinion, the whole wife acquisition challenge was a giant walk of faith. And this happens one step at a time. The servant made this journey by getting together lots of helpful resources & leaving his home. Then he took awhile to get to his destination. Upon arrival, he prayed & asked for God’s input to find the right wife & God totally confirmed the servant’s prayer. The end story is that the servant returned with Rebekah, a beautiful wife & divine provision for Isaac.
When we have needs in our lives, let’s take the faith walk with God, one step at a time 🙂
I’ve just returned from a 10day trip to Cambodia & Bangladesh – an amazing trip with some intense ups & downs. Now that I’m home, I find myself struggling to keep up. I can’t seem to find enough energy, get enough sleep or have enough time to navigate through each day proficiently.
I suspect that maybe you’ve had a season like this & nothing seems to be enough.
Here’s some ideas that could help:
Let the Holy Spirit direct you rather than drive yourself to frantic burnout
Be mindful of those moments of rest the Holy Spirit provides & be content in this provision, even if it’s just a few minutes
God’s grace is sufficient & His strength is abundant – ask for more!
Remember that this is likely a season & not a lifestyle.
This morning, I had the most wonderful breakfast with a friend I’ve known for many years. We haven’t been able to catch up & have a deep conversation so this morning afforded the time & place for us to do just that. We shared with vulnerability about our struggles & weaknesses along with how Jesus has helped us along the journey. It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a rewarding conversation & this was absolutely a gift from God. This time was all the more beautiful because it came on the heels of a very busy & demanding weekend for me.
I’m very grateful that God supplies what we need, when we need it – even in ways that we don’t expect!!
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!
I used to have an insatiable appetite for good coffee, not so much bad coffee. Thankfully, I’ve had an intervention so I’m not quite the junkie I once was. But this journey has started me to think about some things in new ways. It seems like the human experience suggests that we can never get enough – not enough money, not enough time, not enough recognition, not enough care or attention, not enough . . . .
I think our perspective on the idea of “enough” gets warped because we focus on the provision more than the Provider.
Somehow we’ve swallowed the poison that provision can replace Provider & we chase the illusion of enough.
When I was a coffee junkie, I could never get enough. I believe that the enemy of our soul would endeavor to perpetuate this illusion through the continuous acquisition but never sustaining pursuit of provision rather than Provider.
Indeed, let us seek first the kingdom of God & everything falls into divine order.
Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people on two occasions because of availability. On each occasion, everyone was in dire straights, but Jesus came through with a miracle of plentiful provision based on the simple principle of using what was available. Jesus used a meager few fish & loaves of bread, the provision that they had, along with His disciples as distribution agents. I would speculate that maybe one or two of the disciples thought it was crazy to be sent to feed thousands of people with such a paltry provision & yet because they were available, Jesus worked His miraculous provision through their available hands & feet. Jesus prayed for the provision & then told His disciples to go & give.
Seems to me that the same principles apply to us today. Jesus merely asks us to be available & then to go & give.
Watch this video of some magnificent peeps recently who did exactly what Jesus said & multiplied His love by being available:
Do you ever worry about stuff? Some people say they never worry & I’m happy for them. Other people, like me, we can sometimes get worried about various things. Seems like some common stuff that gets worried about includes finances, job / education things, relationships & health issues. Of course there are more things, but my point in bringing up the worry stuff is related to Jesus’ teaching about worry in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says that the birds have food provided for them & the flowers are beautifully appointed in their various displays. Furthermore, each day has enough challenges to keep us attentive to the present rather than borrowing worry for the future.
Jesus tells us to look around & see how well our Heavenly Father manages the world in which we live. We can certainly trust our loving Heavenly Father to take very good care of us, as His children. Nestle into the Holy Spirit when you get tempted to worry 🙂
“Mom!” When my kids call for me, I often reply, “I’m listening.” When I say this, rather than “yes”, it seems to give them a micro pause & I find that the quality of our chat improves. I think that when I say, “I’m listening”, there’s a sense that I’m giving them a better quality of attention than a perfunctory “yea”. And getting to have some quality interaction with my kids is always platinum for me.
I was thinking about this as I read Genesis 22 this morning where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Three times in this chapter Abraham says, “Here I am” – once to God, once to Isaac & the last time to the angel getting his attention for divine provision. In my thinking, when Abraham said “Here I am”, he was saying my version, “I’m listening”.
Seems to me from Gen 22 that the quality of our listening just might have an affect the abundance of God’s provision in our lives. This is important not only for us as individuals, but also for the succeeding generation. Selah
I’ve been thinking lately about Abraham & how God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, in Genesis 22 – what an absolutely horrible thing to ask from Abraham! And yet Abraham obeyed God, set out early in the morning, complete with supplies, servants & his son (I would have conveniently forgotten something, like my son, oops!). Abraham’s journey to the place where he was to sacrifice Isaac was a 3day journey & I am quite positive that every step he took closer to the place of sacrifice became increasingly dreadful in anticipation of such an overwhelming sacrifice. When we read this chapter, we learn that God is our Provider, with the ram in the bush provision / substitute for Isaac.
Nevertheless, the longer & more that Abraham was obedient to do what God had required, the more he became aware that he needed God.
The greater our obedience to God, the more we become aware of our need for God, full stop.
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 🙂
Ever feel like there’s more month than money or more stress than supply? If you’ve decided to follow Jesus, there’s a good chance that you might have some seasons that seem sparse, challenging & even stressful. I was reading about Elijah this morning in 1 Kings & how there was a drought in Israel. During the drought, God spoke to Elijah to go into the wilderness by a specific brook & God would make a provision for Elijah. The provision was the brook & ravens bringing him breakfast & dinner. After the brook dried up, God instructed Elijah to go to a particular town & that a widow was there who would take care of Elijah. When Elijah obeyed, he learned that the widow was preparing to fix the last meal for herself & her son.
I find that both of these provisions (ravens & starving widows) were highly unconventional. In our world, let’s not limit our obedience to God to conventional provisions. Perhaps Elijah’s unconventional provisions were directly linked to his unconventional obedience to God – just something to think about ,)
There are lots of things that I think I need but what I continue to experience in almost a daily way is that God’s provisions are perfectly timed for my exact needs. I have been seeing this reality for several months now – from things related to having more time, achieving things really efficiently, financial provisions & strategic wisdom, just to name a few examples. So I feel that God is really challenging me in a couple of ways:
*trust God more & better
*maybe if there’s something that I think I need that I’m not getting, maybe I don’t really need that “something”
*provision has lots of different expressions & aren’t just financial (wisdom, efficiency, time, etc)
*God’s provisions are perfectly crafted & timed for each need in our lives 🙂
Greetings! This is just a quickie thought that could possibly help you during those seasons that seem insanely busy. Last night, I took a walk after dinner & was talking with God about the sermon that I’m giving tonight. I was hoping that on my walk God would give me some direction for tonight’s topic because I was feeling that this preparation was getting ENTIRELY TOO LATE!!!!!! Despite my recurring requests, I didn’t feel that God was giving me any direction for tonight’s topic and at the end of the walk, I let Him know that I was disappointed in His “poor performance”. To my frustration, I felt He replied with 2 answers:
in my conversations with God (some people call this prayer), I don’t always get to control the agenda or topic for discussion. Indeed, when God seems to not be answering a question or a request, I need to consider that He has a different purpose or agenda for the time that we are sharing
the timing for God’s answers is in His hands and I can rest assured that God is never late – this has certainly been confirmed to me this morning since the preparation for tonight seemed to be compressed into possibly the most efficient sermon prep time I’ve ever experienced
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the various needs in my life. Sometimes I just think about them, but sometimes I get discouraged, sometimes I get frustrated and sometimes I get excited about them because I know that God has something good for me in these various needs. We all have needs – be that finances, emotional things, health, relationship areas, energy, wisdom, humility, etc. I think that part of being human means that we are designed to have needs.
Here’s what I feel like God has been speaking to me about on the topic of the various needs in our lives: needs are nothing more than God’s invitation to take a journey with Him to explore His provisions in all their different facets. I’ve been thinking about this in relation to Abraham in Gen 22, when God told him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Abraham took a multi-day journey in obedience to God’s direction, regardless of whether he understood God’s directive or not. Furthermore, he had confidence in God’s ability, provision & direction, as we can see in how he replied to Isaac’s question about the sacrifice (God will provide a sacrifice). Here are a few quick take aways that God is showing me from this chapter:
deficiency is often God’s test to show us what’s in our hearts – Gen 22:1
the journey to God’s provision requires our obedience – sometimes we have to get moving even if we dread where it seems like we might be going
keeping our eyes on God will help us to keep moving regardless of how we feel
God’s provisions are uniquely timed to meet the exact time of our need & often not before, even though this can make us super jittery
I’ve had some interesting experiences of late that deal with the issue of needs & provisions. Here are a few areas where I’ve experienced some needs (see if you can relate to some of these): car problems, time shortages, some people issues at work, money shortages, kid concerns and more. As I’ve thought about these, there are many different ways to address & resolve these things by money, more time, wisdom, work efficiencies & more.
Sometimes I think we get a little too narrow on how we want these needs to be resolved. Sometimes our prayers are about having more money, or more time, or more help. But maybe these provisions are nothing more than the observable results of God’s immense love for us. Maybe the real issue isn’t about resolving our needs but rather trusting in God & His love. If we leave our life in God’s hands, He perfectly matches every need to His perfect provision.
There are times that I’ve prayed for more:
time & He has made me more efficient
money & He’s given me a creative idea on how to cut some expenses
help & He’s decreased some of my work
friends & He’s worked on me to be a better friend
Jesus said to seek His kingdom 1st & everything else will take care of itself. With God’s help, lets be sure that we’re going after God & resting in His outrageous abilities to provide for our needs 🙂
Enough is an interesting word. It makes me think of other words like, full, satisfied, adequate and others. I’ve been thinking about this word in many different ways – one of them related to rhubarb 🙂 You see, when I was growing up, we had a few rhubarb plants & my mom would make these really tasty rhubarb desserts. So over the last 5 years, I’ve tried to remember to buy some rhubarb plants to plant in the Spring. I’ve failed because I always remembered too late & the stores were all out of rhubarb plants. But this year is different 🙂 I bought a few plants over the Easter weekend & I’m really excited to plant them – now I’m just trying to figure out where. I want to make sure that I get them in a place with enough sunlight – enough being the operative word.
Of late, the word “enough” has been interrupting all kinds of thoughts – making me think that I don’t have “enough.” Maybe you’re like me & perhaps you wish you had more time, more energy, more wisdom, more money, more sleep, more sun, more friends, more help, more love, more rhubarb ,) more patience, more . . . . . just plain more. God & I have been chatting about this dilemma – maybe I would be more accurate to say that we’ve been wrestling about this topic.
So its interesting to note that yesterday in my Bible time I read Ps 107:9, “He satisfies the hungry and fills the hungry with good things.” Furthermore, I’ve been studying about God’s grace this morning & He tells me that His grace is “enough”. Perhaps my challenge is that I’m looking to my own resources more than looking to God as my provider. When I see God as my provider, then I can trust that whatever He gives me is “enough.” But when I get my focus off of God & onto myself or something else, then I easily fall into the lack trap – never enough.
Ever struggle with keeping your focus on God? What are some things that you’ve found helpful in keeping your focus centered on God? Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂