It’s not up to us to find a way to provide for our future

The momma cat here at Safe Haven Farm caught a big, fat mouse for her remaining kittens the other day. She brought it up into the yard so that her kittens could chase it around and learn how to hunt. The kittens are getting pretty big now, but they still rely on their mom to provide a lot of what they eat. I couldn’t help but think about how that compares to my life following Jesus.

It’s easy to get caught up in what we have and what we don’t have in our lives. In a culture like ours that is constantly focused on having the latest and greatest material possessions, it can be difficult to remember that the best things in our lives were given to us, entrusted to us for safekeeping. We don’t really own anything of real value. You know that, right?

I mean, you can work for your paycheck. You can earn a living. You can buy a house and so on and so forth, but you didn’t make any of that. God made it before you did, and He chose to give it to you for safekeeping. Your life, your family, your home, your savings–all of it belongs to Him, whether you admit it or not. So if He’s been good enough to give you everything He’s already given you, why do you doubt that He’ll continue to give you good things in the future?

Amelia Pond bringing a captured mouse to feed her kittens, Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Amelia Pond bringing a captured mouse to feed her kittens, Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Psalm 84:10-12.

A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.

I guess for me it’s not that I doubt God will give me good things. It’s that I doubt His definition of good. No, I don’t really doubt it. Just sometimes it scares me. What God says is good is absolutely good, yes, but living Good according to God in this world is hard work. It’s not easy.

God is good. Period. So everything He does is good. We can all believe that 100%. But being good and doing good doesn’t happen automatically, not in our broken, sinful states. It’s a choice we have to make every day, and we can only accomplish it with God’s help.

The world show us all these things that will make us happy. We’re exposed every day to the temporary highs of living for self, and we get to see how much fun it looks like–but we also get to see the consequences. And they’re not nearly as much fun.

There are no shortcuts to following Jesus. You want to follow Him, you go His way. You do what He does. You says what He says. And if you live that life, you’ll be blessed. See what it says? God won’t hold back anything that’s good for those who do what’s right. That’s a promise, and God always keeps His promises.

So it’s not up to us to find a way to provide for ourselves. No, we shouldn’t be lazy. God’s given each of us a job to do, so we ought to get out there and do it. But the results aren’t our problem. When we try to control the results of our choices, that’s us trying to play God, and we’re not strong enough to do that.

We are supposed to do what we’re here to do. Live the way God says is right to the best of your ability. Trust Him. And God will provide what you need.

He really will. It may not be the amount of money you’re hoping for. It may not be the house you dreamed of or the car you really wanted. It may not even be the job that you think fits your skill set. But that doesn’t matter. If God gives it to you, take it. Run with it. Do your best.

In the end, do we really even know what we need? We can’t even make up our minds what we want!

So do what’s right and be on the lookout for God’s provision. He will always always provide. It may not be what you’re expecting or who you’re expecting, but you’ll get what you need right when you need it.

Learning to trust God’s complete provision

I double booked myself. Again. I hadn’t done that in a long time. I told someone I could give them a ride at a certain time, but I forgot I had already arranged to help somebody out on the same day.

What do you do when you need to be in two places at once? How do you decide what is more important? They’re both important.

The way it works for me? When I end up double booked (which has happened more frequently than I care to admit), I pray about it. Maybe that sounds cliched, but when I am lost, that’s the best solution I’ve found to help me get sorted out again. And usually, God tells me what I need to do. He makes it clear to me what I’m supposed to choose.

But what do you do about the person you’ve left hanging? How do you handle that situation? Well, funny story, I offered to help find a replacement for me, and I got the surprise of my life. I discovered that God had already prepared a more qualified person in my place. I just had to ask.

God had already known what I was going to need. I just had to sit back and trust that He would provide.

givingToday’s verse is Philippians 4:19.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

This is Paul talking, and Paul had more reason than anyone to complain about his lot in life. Seriously, I think he spent more time in prison than outside of it. But he never lacked anything he needed.

This is what I need to wrap my head around.

God will always provide what I need. God will always make a way for me. He will always get me everything I need–all of it. Not just some of it. Not half of it. All of it. That’s a promise.

Now, that doesn’t mean He’ll always give us what we want. No, what we want and what we need are rarely the same. But in my experience, I’ve found that most of the time, God still gives us what we want too.

It’s hard to trust Him. It’s a lot easier to just jump in and do what you think is right, regardless of whether it is or not. It may start out easier, but it’s harder in the long run.

But if you can let go, if you can truly trust God with everything, you’ll understand that His provision is complete. He knows what we need, and He provides for us, like a father provides for his children.

He knows what we need better than we do anyway. You know that right? He knows what’s good for us. But we have to take that step where we surrender our entire being to Him. And beyond that, we have to be willing to surrender our future, our comfort, and our preconceived notions to Him.

It’s not easy, but it’s better. And He won’t let us go without.

If you are following God and feel like you’re going without, think twice about that thing you don’t have that you want so desperately. Could it be that it isn’t as good for you as you think?

God already knows what you need, and He wants to give it to you. So just sit back, wait, be patient. It’s much better to be given something than it is to just take it.

What God gives us

Good morning from Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, Colorado! I’m not sure what the temperature is, but I’m wrapped up in my quilt shivering in my hotel room as I type this. It’s marvelous!

My best buddy, Katie Morford, and I are attending a writing workshop here this week, and so far it’s been a lot of fun. And we’ve only had one session! The real work starts today.

Are you ever shocked at what God gives you? What He trusts you with? How He provides for you? God blows my mind every morning when the sun comes up that He’s chosen to give me another day.

God gives us good things — great things — every day. Every moment, really. But most of the time, we are so caught up in the busyness of life that we either don’t see it or we refuse to acknowledge it.

He gives us air to breathe. He gives us a home to live in. He gave you a computer to read this blog this morning. He gave me a netbook (thank you, Andy!) and an internet connection to write this blog with this morning. We have clothes to wear, food to eat and many of us have jobs or at least some kind of income. Each of those things are huge.

But God doesn’t just stop there. He goes beyond just giving us what we need. Many times He gives us the things we want too. Fun things (like a trip to Colorado). Exciting things (like an unexpected opportunity to pitch my manuscript at an experienced writer). Encouraging things (like six whole days hanging with my best friend).

The verse this morning is Luke 11:13.

13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

I have had a really great example of what it means to be a parent. I have the most awesome parents in the world, who have really shown me what it means to be loved and protected and encouraged. They sacrificed to give me things that I needed — and things that I wanted too.

But no matter how much I love and adore my parents, they are still people. They aren’t perfect.

God, however, as my Heavenly Father is completely, entirely, wholly perfect. He always has been, and He always will be because He can’t be anything else.

So think about that. If my parents, who aren’t perfect, have given me so much . . . how much more can God give me? What more can God provide for me? It’s mind boggling. God made the universe. He made time itself. He made everything we see and everything that we don’t see.  And He’s offering to provide for me like a parent? He’s offering me the chance for Him to give me the things I need?

Can you wrap your head around that? I can’t.

Imagine the resources at our very fingertips! Imagine the things that He wants to give us! Imagine the help He wants to provide us!

So why don’t we accept it? Do we not think it’s real? Do we not think His offer is real? Do we think He’s unable to help?

Do we think we’re unworthy of His help? Well, that’s absolutely true. None of us are worthy of anything God wants to do for us. No one is worthy of any good thing God can give. But that is the point. That is who God is.

We’re not worthy of salvation, but He saves us anyway because He loves us. We’re not worthy of a relationship with us, but He seeks us out and brings us home because He loves us. We’re not worthy of His aid, but He offers it freely because He loves us.

I don’t know about you, but I need His help. And I’m going to be relying on it pretty strongly today.

God is standing by, eagerly waiting to help anyone who asks. So why don’t we ask?