Have Your Stinkin’ Cake…

…And Eat it TOO!!

Sometimes when I read the Word of God, I think, really?? God did that?? I’m hanging wit da Israelites in NuMbErS now-a-days. They weren’t real happy. Life wasn’t exactly greener on the other side of the Egyptian fence. It was hard. Seems like they have forgotten that the LORD just recently DeLiVeReD them from slavery and oppression. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough. Does this strike a chord with anyone out there other than me?? How quick am I to forget ALL that He has done for me! How quick am I to complain about something being ‘hard’ when the ‘hardship’ was an affirmative answer to prayer!! How quick I am to be of the mindset… it’s never enough! The Children of Israel always wanted more than they had. God provided them supernatural MANNA that “tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil”, however, they weren’t thankful for that. They wanted more.

So, He delivered. He ordered up some quail. In fact, He ordered enough quail to that it piled up THREE FEET around “in a day’s journey in every direction”!!! Can you imagine, quail up to your thighs as far as you could see?? God said, “I will give you meat… for a whole month – until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes nauseating to you!” Can you believe He said that? It’s in the Bible… Numbers 11:20! I have to admit, I was a little taken aback by this… maybe because I just want to see my loving God getting angry. However, this isn’t sinful, human anger – it’s righteous anger. He is a God of love. He is also just. He is a holy God.

What if the Lord gave us everything we wanted? Would all the money in the world really solve our problems? Would being able to do anything we wanted to do bring satisfaction? What would happen if we, instead of griping about what we don’t have, spend some time being truly thankful for what we do have? Maybe we should:

  • Be satisfied in His provision
  • Be thankful for His provision
  • Be humbled by His provision

When we pray, sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes we just have wait a bit. He does love us and He does care. He does actually do things for our own good. Let’s turn our griping into praise. He IS worthy of it.

Looking back… WHAT IF…?

Provision:

What if early on in planning the church plant someone gave us all the necessary money to get done what needed to get done? Than we wouldn’t have seen God move supernaturally and provide for our every need along the way. We would’ve missed the blessing of His provision. We wouldn’t have gotten a $10,000 sound system DONATED to us! I could give a ba-zillion examples… but you get the idea!!


What if during the planning of the church plant, or back when we were on deputation preparing to go overseas, and we had no regular income someone dumped a boatload of money on us? Than we wouldn’t have learned to become dependent on Him and Him alone. He has PROMISED to take care of all of our needs (Phil. 4:19), not necessarily new cars and filet mignon, but food, clothing, shelter etc. He wants us to trust Him for that… and be thankful for it! Had we never had to ‘struggle’ we would continue on in our thanklessness and self-sufficiency. He used these times to increase our faith and showed Himself Faithful.


Sickness

What if Kevin would’ve never gotten “sick” and had a hospital stay in 2007 with a 6-week recovery afterward. Than he wouldn’t have sat still enough for God to speak to his heart and confirm what the next ministry step He wanted us to take was.


What if I never had a breast lump(s) and subsequent lumpectomy in 2001? Than I wouldn’t have drawn nearer to my Jesus for peace and strength that He so deeply wanted to give me.


What if I didn’t get shingles in 2002? Than I wouldn’t have known the Lord’s loving chastisement for bitterness in my heart that He so greatly wanted me to repent of and lay at His feet, for my own good!!


Relationships

What if all my BFFs were still my BFFs? Than I wouldn’t know that Jesus wants to be and is sufficient as my BFF. I wouldn’t have been humbled in order to work on some pride issues I had have going on. I wouldn’t know that even though circumstances change, friendships change, JESUS NEVER CHANGES. I wouldn’t have looked introspectively at how my actions have hurt others and learn from those mistakes.


What if my marriage was perfect? (ha ha) Than we wouldn’t know that when we truly seek Him 1st, everything else falls into place (Matt. 6:33). We wouldn’t see God move in each other to grow our love in ways we never knew imagined. We wouldn’t take the time, with each other and with God to make things better…


What if my kids never rebelled? Than I probably wouldn’t pray as much. Just bein’ real. Seriously, having children greatly increases one’s prayer life… and the Bible does tell us to pray constantly. (1 Thes. 5:17).

None of these situations are fun or enjoyable… but praise God we can look back and see His purpose through them. He is the God of LOVE, and that has never changed. He loves us through the trials, and only allows them for our own good (Romans 8:28). Someday, I hope I can get to the point where I “count it all joy” (James 1:2) when I’m actually IN the trial, and not just afterwards, looking back, knowing He is doing a work in me through that trial.


What about you? What trials have you faced that you can clearly see God was doing a work in you?

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