Have you ever been in a place where there wasn't enough? Maybe it is money, food, friends, joy... I know I have. In many ways if I looked at all that was lacking in my life today, according the the world's standards I would get discouraged pretty quickly, but that's why I'm writing. Today, I'm going to look at all that we do have and where I feel we don't have "enough" I'm going to be grateful for what we have!
I'm reading through Exodus right now with Good Morning Girls over at Women Living Well. I read Chapter 15 today and God's people the Israelites have just been freed from slavery in Egypt. A few short chapters ago they walked across dry land in the midst of a sea when before their eyes, the Lord parted the waters and closed them again, drowning their enemies. The Lord provided a way through and a way out.
In this chapter the Israelites are in the dessert with no food. They begin to grumble and complain because they are hungry. Don't we all!:-) We have no right to grumble and complain to the Lord but in our pride, we do. He is good and in His faithfulness he provides them with the food that they need each day. First with quail and then with manna. Why? Is it because the people were doing a great job serving Him? Was it because they were such loyal followers of Him and were faithful to Him? NO. In fact it appears that they were acting opposite of that and even after The Lord provides, they do not keep His commands. No, He does not provide according to our faithfulness. It is because He IS FAITHFUL to HIS PEOPLE, regardless of how we act.
All our lives we're taught to be good and we get good. After we've lived for a while, we find that this is not true. Sometimes even when we are "good" we end up with the short end of the stick. His actions toward us are dependent on His goodness and perfect love for us, not on our performance.
Before you take it too far and say, "well, I guess I can just do whatever I want and He's gonna provide." It doesn't work that way. He is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5) and we are not to take His grace and trample all over it. (Rom. 5:19-6:4) He will not stand for it. He died and rose again so that we may live in newness of life. No longer slaves to sin, nor to ourselves and our deceitful desires. He will bless obedience. What He wants me to know and call to mind is, His provision for His people comes from His goodness. (Phil. 4:19, 2 Tim. 2:13) If it were dependent on me, I would never be provided for. For apart from Him, every good work I do is "as filthy rags." (Is. 64:6)
I want to remember today all of the ways He has provided for us and continues to. Then I'll be grateful. I'm also going to ask Him daily to continue to provide for us in the future. Why? Because I deserve it? NO. Because He's in control of it. (Is. 43) Much to people's surprise God own's everything and He gives and takes away as He pleases. (Ps. 50:10, Ps. 24:1) From and to His children and from and to those who do not believe. This is a hard truth to swallow at times, but when we are believers in Christ and know God is good, we can know that we'll always have all that we need. If we had all we wanted, our lives would be a mess. We'd be like little kids who want more and more candy and end up with a terrible stomach ache in the end. Fat and sloppy and miserable, to make the picture more clear.:-) When it feels like we don't have enough, He will always provide the grace we need to be content. Sometimes it all comes down to the simple choice to believe that.
Let's ask Him today for what we need and praise Him today for all that we have.