This is a post from the midst of a most difficult time in the life of our family. Our country’s economy had crashed, which eventually affected all areas of life and ministry. My husband’s corporate ministry job was deleted, and though everyone (us included) thought we would quickly “land on our feet in another ministry position or place,” the Lord had other plans for us, and we lived for a long season without a job. Of course, God didn’t waste a moment of it, and He faithfully provided for us on a daily basis. We still look back on that lean time with gratitude for the many blessings God poured over us. We learned so much. We gained so much. We grew so much. We changed so much. It was good, because God is good. May He use this story from our difficult season to encourage you!
Q: What do milk, a turkey, and some flowers have in common?
Did you think I was telling you a corny joke? 😉
Some days ago, James and I found ourselves at a crossroad where “faith and trusting God” meets “practical steps in providing for our family.” We certainly thought we would have a ministry position by now, and never planned on moving into the new year without a job.
But we all know how our plans are not usually the same as God’s plans. Truth be told, Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s plans are HIGHER and BETTER than ours! However, since it is heading toward Mid-November, it seems like time is running out. We honestly don’t know what the Lord wants us to do – except what He has told us to do up until now: obey Me for today and trust Me for tomorrow.
I know I shouldn’t, but when I think about the future, and no knowledge of a job, I sometimes feel this panicking feeling rising within me. With the Lord’s help, I fight it off every time, but it often hits before I know what is happening. Along with the Scriptures He has led me to cling to (see post below), every so often, the Lord does something very kind and amazing to remind me (and our family) that He will provide for us and take care of our needs.
He did that very thing two Saturdays ago. James and I had been talking and praying about what to do if he didn’t have a job soon, when a friend knocked on our door. She said that the Lord had us on her heart that day, and that He instructed her to bring us something as an answer to our prayers. Then she said that we would understand what it means, and that anyone else might think she was crazy. (grin)
She went out to her car to get her gift to us, and came back with a half-gallon of milk, a frozen turkey, and a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers. (She also included lots of other wonderful groceries – but they were extras.) The milk, turkey, and flowers where the things God instructed her to bring to us along with this message: “God will supply all of your needs”. (Phil. 4:19)
We laughed, cried, and hugged. My friend left, and with grateful, but puzzled hearts, James and I asked the Lord what He meant with the milk, turkey, and flowers in relation to the message of providing for all of our needs. Within a few minutes, it was crystal clear.
The Milk represented our daily needs. Milk is something we consume every day. By giving us milk, God was telling us this truth: God will supply our daily needs.
The Turkey represented above our daily needs. A turkey is a special treat we enjoy every once in a while – but it is not something we consume on a daily basis. By giving us a turkey, God was telling us this truth: God will supply above our daily needs.
The Flowers represented beyond our daily needs. Flowers are certainly not necessary for survival. But they are something beautiful that we enjoy – something that brightens up our days and our home. By sending us the flowers, God was telling us this truth: God will supply beyond our daily needs.
This sweet friend must have talked about “God will supply all your needs” to her children, because later that night on Facebook, she quoted her young daughter’s version of the verse: “God will supply on your knees.” Isn’t that the truth!?! All our needs, on our knees.
Philippians 4:19 in its entirety says, “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Did you notice a most important word? EVERY. Most translations say “ALL“. “God will supply ALL your needs…”
ALL includes more than the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. ALL encompasses those needs for friends, community, relationships, peace, joy, rest… all of the needs that we have.
As our family prepares to move and go wherever God leads us, this was such a timely and comforting message to us. When we start to wonder “what? when? where? how? etc…?” , we will remember the milk, the turkey, and the flowers. And, we’ll remember the fact that My God will supply ALL of our needs, ON our knees, according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus!
“Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful and timely reminder! Also, thank you for this awesome verse you have put before us: “The One who called you is completely dependable. If He said it, He’ll do it.” 1 Thes. 5:24 (the Message) We are looking to you and trusting you to “do it” – in Your time, and for Your glory. Thank you for your patience when we panic. We love you… a men.”