Today is a pretty low-key day for me, with my discipleship meeting later this afternoon. How about you? How is life going in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and here in the various parts of Minnesota?
If you're like me, it's hard not to watch the Weather Channel and all that is going on with "Harvey." And now it's come back on shore in Louisiana. Let's continue to keep all of these families in prayer.
I'm pretty sure that most of us can tell stories about times in our lives when we've been in need, whether physically or emotionally. Maybe financial. Maybe for food and the basics. Or, maybe you've been in a 'dry' place spiritually or emotionally. Today's devotion is about our God providing for us daily, like the manna in the desert. I could speak of so many times that God has provided for us as a family. Have a Wonderful Wednesday ladies.
“When You Feel Like You’re Barely Making It”
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’”
Exodus 16:4a (NIV)
I’d never heard of persimmons. The advertisement said they were fruit, and it said they were free; that’s all I needed to know.
I emailed the anonymous poster and said I would take her up on her offer for free persimmons.
When I arrived at the stranger’s home, I cautiously walked up the brick steps to the front door. Before I could knock, two women — one middle-aged and one elderly — opened it.
“You must be the lady coming for the persimmons,” the younger woman said, smiling.
“Oh, yes,” I answered. “Can you tell me what exactly you do with them?” I blushed.
I didn’t want the women to know I’d never even seen a persimmon, much less cooked with one.
“Oh, all kinds of things!” the younger woman said, laughing. “We love to bake cookies, muffins and cakes with them.”
The ladies let me take my pick of the fruit, and I filled the box they set out for me. They then offered me several slices of fresh-baked persimmon pound cake.
Those women never knew how that box full of persimmons would go on to provide a persimmon muffin breakfast for our little family during a season of financial hardship.
God is the Great Provider. I’d known that since childhood, but I didn’t truly recognize His personal provision for our every need until I was in my early 30s. I had two children underfoot and one on the way, a husband who worked several extra jobs on the side, and an income that still didn’t cover all our expenses.
It was a desert season. The tunnel looked dark, and I couldn’t see a way out.
Yet, I look back now and see how we richly experienced God’s presence during that time.
With a burgeoning belly, a baby on my hip and a toddler wrapped around my knees, it wasn’t uncommon for me to open a near-empty refrigerator and whisper prayers wrapped in thanksgiving: Dear God, You will meet our every need. You have never failed us. You are in control.
Our family learned to trust God during that season of need. I started looking at and crediting each and every incident — from sale items at the supermarket to the box of persimmons — as God’s provision for our family.
Like manna in the wilderness, the Lord provided again and again and again.
The manna or “bread” from Heaven in Exodus 16:4 wasn’t necessarily what the Israelites wanted, but it was what they needed: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’”
When my family was in need, God proved that we truly lacked nothing. Perhaps we desired more, but just as the Lord had provided for the Israelites in the desert, He covered our needs as well.
When I remember that all things come from the Lord, it enables me to practice contentment in every season. Expressing gratitude with each small gesture moves me from a state of just barely making it to more than just making it — if I let it.
Dear Lord, help me remember You are the Great Provider. Open my eyes to see Your provision in both times of plenty and in times of want. Cultivate a deeper faith in me during seasons when I feel like I’m just barely making it — both emotionally and physically. Help me be content despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (NIV)