"I am guiding you on the way of wisdom and I am leading you on the right path." Proverbs 4:11

Category: 31 days on provision (page 1 of 4)

31 days on provision: the final prayer

 

The Lord God Almighty-He is our Great Provider.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.  ephesians 3:14-20

 

this concludes 31 days on Provision.  To see the first post in the series click here.  To read the entire series click here and read backwards (the first post is listed last, the latest post is listed first-i don’t know how to change that. thank you for grace.)

things provided

PROVISION:

1. The act of providing or making previous preparation.

2. Things provided; preparation; measures taken beforehand, either for security, defense or attack, or for the supply of wants.

 

PROVIDE:

v.t. [L. provideo,literally to see before; pro and video, to see.]

1. To procure beforehand; to get, collect or make ready for future use; to prepare.

Abraham said, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering. Gen.22.

5. To foresee; a Latinism. [Not in use.]

6. Provide, in a transitive sense, is followed by against or for. We provide warm clothing against the inclemencies of the weather; we provide necessaries against a time of need; or we provide warm clothing for winter, &c.

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i remember when i stumbled upon Abe’s words.  

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.

i was walking along admiring some art and various quotes all art-ed up.  but his quote stopped me in my tracks. i stood and stared at it and pondered.  pondered what it must have been like for him to be president during the civil war.  pondered when he said that-maybe it was before he was president?  instantly i felt like i knew the man.  because i knew by experience exactly what he expressed so well.

as i’ve been thinking through this theme of provision this month-and the many time’s i’ve found myself driven to my knees because there was no where else…

i see the gift of having nowhere else to go-it’s teaching me to choose to go nowhere else.  my need is so great and His provisions my only hope.

because life is hard.  and the days are long. and the years are short. and discouragement is everywhere.  and life is beauty-full. and the days are filled with romance and art and breakfast in bed menus and sun sets that take my breath away. 

the really hard stuff.  and the really beautiful stuff.  both and all of it-

He sees it before, He takes measures beforehand, for security, defense, attack, and the supply of wants.  he makes ready for future use.  He provides……

hope for the hypocrite, art, courage, no school, cloud of witnesses, Father, Himself-Provider and Deliverer, wisdom, kept strong, His Presence….constant and faithful, growth in becoming ok with the person that is me, meeting me right here, a good story, power to enjoy, a place to go, sealed secure, rest, stores, knowledge, music, a Good Shepherd, help in the tension, romance, access, a hiding place, and an invitation to deeper understanding on a subject-in this case it was His provisions.

…..against this hard and beautiful life.


i was talking with my Father this morning.  and the truth that He whispered into my heart is this:

it’s really about you and I.  (our relationship)

about your heart growing and expanding as you

experience Me

 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises.
 2 Peter 1: 3-4.


this is part of a 31 day series on Provision.  To see the first post in the series click here.  To read the entire series click here and read backwards (the first post is listed last, the latest post is listed first-i don’t know how to change that. thank you for grace.)


things provided: hope for the hypocrite






Matthew chapter 6.

“you are not to be like the hypocrites…..you are not to be like the hypocrites….you are not to be like the hypocrites….”  over and over –the Lord knows i need repetition to pay attention.

my hypocrisy .

in case reading Matthew 5 and 6 didn’t open my eyes to it, the Lord orchestrated some events to open my eyes to it.

Sunday my pastor said this;

“Sin loses its power when i tell the truth about it.”

so here it is.

the truth about it.

when they call i don’t want to answer.  when i answer i don’t want to help.  when they lost my number i was delighted.  now they have it again, i’m not delighted in the least bit.  when i help it is out of obedience, not desire.  i’m unable to now discern boundaries-because i want to build up a high tower and secure my fortress so that it is impenetrable-those are the boundaries i would like to operate under. 

another thing i’m chewing on that my pastor said Sunday; (his first day back after 6 weeks of leave) is this:

This summer i told the Lord over and over, “i can’t live like this”

now it’s; “how do i live like this?”

i’ve been saying it too.  for different reasons, but i can’t count how many times i’ve said to the Lord; “i can’t live like this.”

how do i welcome people into my world whom  i don’t love and don’t want to love?  how do i smile when i pick them up and say a cheerful hello when what i really feel is…..aarrgg? 

hypocrite.

it sounds so harsh and i so want to tell all about why how i’m feeling is perfectly justifiable. 

and some things may be-if my heart wasn’t so selfish and  hardened against them i would be able to discern that.

but my heart has calloused over and there is no love there that i can conjure up.

so here i am.

telling the truth about it.

to the One who is safe to bear it all to…..and the internet? that feels a little….um…foolish.

but that is the truth of this heart of mine.

and the only hope is the One who died for love of me.

the One whose power raises the dead.

these words of Switchfoot have been such an encouragement.  they’ve been on repeat in my brain for over a week now.  (from the Lord i’m sure so that i’d process through this awareness of my sin straight to the gospel and who. He. is. )

i’m not copping out.

because He’s raising the dead in me.

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7


i keep forgetting to add this in….

this is part of a 31 day series on Provision.  To see the first post in the series click here.  To read the entire series click here and read backwards (the first post is listed last, the latest post is listed first-i don’t know how to change that. thank you for grace.)

 

things provided: art

 

all those years homeschooling, one thing i couldn’t teach my children was art.

we finger painted and colored with chalk and played with clay.  but there was no formal teaching going on.

my youngest struggled to find himself. 

What color popsicle do you want?

        What color do you think i should have? 

this sort of thing happened all the time.  i prayed and longed for him to first know how he felt or what he wanted, and then have courage to express it.

last year we (he and i) decided to homeschool one more year.  he just didn’t feel ready yet to join his brother at our neighborhood public school.  so i was in the bookstore buying some materials and i ‘stumbled’ upon an Art curriculum.  It looked like something i could actually be successful at using.  i stood and prayed and pondered for a bit.  i had enrolled my daniel in a ‘thursday school’ where he would take electives like art and spanish and pe.  but the Spirit nudged and i bought it.

lesson 1 was going along great until it was time for him to do the art.  the book didn’t tell him specifically what to draw or how to draw it here’s how to draw a bear-now you draw a bear.”  no, it taught a concept and gave freedom in applying that concept at the childs level. “Artist’s compose, here’s what it means to compose.  now you pick a few things to compose into a picture.” 

he sat and sat and sat and cried and begged me to just tell him what to draw. 

but i wouldn’t.

and i grieved watching him struggle so.

but finally he drew something.

and learned that he could.

and all year long this art changed him.

no…. not it changed him.

it drew him out.

and he grew in confidence and opinions and expressing of himself (and so yes, we experienced more conflict in the home)

but that was so worth seeing my guy develop more into who he actually was.

and it was the art that facilitated it.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

something in me began to look.  listening to a friend describe what she is learning about herself from taking an art class. watching my daughter and i and what comes out in the pottery class we take.  what happens inside me when i choose to begin to write here.

that same year of daniel and this art ‘class’, i did a year long study in Genesis and right away at the very beginning i see these words:

in the beginning God created….

and i look around and take in the art of the first Artist.

i listen to the freedom that brings a fellow studier; “i’m an interior designer.  when i create i am acting as His image bearer.  i never saw myself that way. i always thought my job was fluff compared to ‘things more spiritual’

over the course of the year this thing with art shows up everywhere.

over here is a book and a 31 day series on it.

an old Jars of Clay cd is put in the player and this song fills the car.

i win an art class via this blog and discover some art i have not been gifted with….which zeros in my focus and understanding of the art i have been made to create.  i am His image bearer after all.  

my understanding of art broadens beyond paint and canvas, and i begin to appreciate God’s creation and creativity in the world all the more. 

i begin to see how art can draw a person out-the person creating the art or the person experiencing the art another has created.

my son’s favorite subject now in school is art.  

and my vision has been refined and re-focused

to see the Art in Almighty God

and see the art in me

31 days on provision: a prayer

So… this picture really belongs at the top of the courage post and the Northern Red Fisher belongs at the top of this post.  oh well….i may change it eventually

May you experience joy after courage, wisdom for the needs of the moment, and when words are short on supply, may you find comfort and encouragement in the Psalms and stories of those who’ve gone before. 
          The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you His peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).
(numbers 6:25-27)

This week i pray you are provided the experience of
                     rest in the Fatherly care of the One who loves you deeply.

things provided: courage

i heard the news that the healing we’d prayed for hadn’t come.  i bent the knee and sat with my Father for a bit about it.  then i got up and wrote a card and gathered some things i thought would be a blessing.  but the note and the gifts were so close to my heart.  and i began to think about it.  what if they add to the struggle instead of bring comfort?  what if it’s all wrong?  what if they don’t get it? (i am aware of my odd-ness)  so i set it on my desk-and walked away thinking maybe i should forget the whole thing. the family gathered up to go out and last minute i mentioned that i had something to give our dear ones and could we just stop and put it in their mailbox on our way?  so we did.  and i prayed that the Lord would bring comfort.

i heard from a mutual friend just this past week what a blessing the gift was.  i shared how i tried to talk myself out of it.  she gave me a hug and whispered; “just keep listening to the Spirit-He directed and it’s good that you obeyed.”

 ……………………………….

 

yesterday we received an invitation for a Harvest Party in the alleyway this evening.  There would be a Chili Cookoff * Pie Competition * Pumpkin Carving * Smores at the fire pit * Games * and more!  No we didn’t need to bring anything, just come!  The kids really wanted to go.  We’ve never met these neighbors-they are down the street, on the other side of the alley from us. 

we went.

the kids carved pumpkins, we joined in the sack race, wheelbarrow race, and 3 legged race.  We voted on our favorite chili, pie, and carved pumpkin.  The kids decorated cookies.  We drank hot cider and made smores around the fire pit.  We met some of our neighbors and their friends.  We had a great time. 

……………………………..

Life just takes courage.  it takes courage to share my heart with someone, and courage to meet new people.  it takes courage to take the bag to goodwill-trusting that i really don’t want what’s in it.  courage to engage with family who don’t get or really even like me.  courage to parent these children.  courage to go where Jesus sends me.  courage to answer the knock at the door.

but i’ve decided fear is a joy-sucker.  i could have just scrapped the gift idea and settled for praying only.  we could have stayed home tonight and enjoyed just each other’s company.  but we would have missed out. 

There are many commands that say “do not fear.”

but when i need courage-i am thankful for this one; Whenever i am afraid i will trust in You. 

when i am afraid, i pray

and He provides me courage.

things provided: cloud of witnesses

view from Cassia Lodge, Uganda

view from Cassia Lodge, Uganda

the friend who’s marriage isn’t getting better.  we talk of the need for hope even if…. there must be hope even if it never does.

my pastor is struggling with an attack on his health.  we’ve gathered as a church and laid our hands on him and prayed for healing and relief.  he’s been to doctor after doctor after doctor.  he’s taken a leave to rest and remove stress.  and healing isn’t coming.  what else is left to do?  what now?

the earth heaves and groans and fires burn and floods engulf and hurricanes and tornados destroy.  it’s not stopping.

……………………

In Hebrews chapter 10 we are told we have need of endurance.

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay. Hebrews 10:35-37 

and then we have Hebrews 11-that great hall of faith. 

By faith Abraham……Isaac……Jacob……..And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, ofDavid and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated  (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.  Hebrews 11:32-40 

THEREFORE hebrews 12 begins…

since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

For He is faithful. 

…………………….

if all the Hebrews 11 life stories weren’t enough….. if Jesus’ example wasn’t enough…..

i read of Biddy Chambers.  when Oswald was ill she was given a word, a strengthening word straight from the Lord; “this sickness will not end in death.”

he died.

i read of Arthur and Wilde Matthews and the green leaves the Lord brought forth in a time of severe spiritual and physical drought as the last of the CIM missionaries to escape communist china.

i read of Amy Carmichael who thought she would get well-believed the Lord would heal so she could return to the work she loved of caring for and rescuing children from sexual slavery in hindu temples.

she didn’t get better and remained bedridden for 20 years before her passing.

Detrich Bonhoffer- imprisoned and killed by Hitler.  multiple assassination attempts failed.

Paul in prison, John exiled.

What have all these witnessed?  His faithfulness…..even there.

they pen chapters entitled: “Thou Art God when i can’t Understand1.”  and “Thy Calvary stills my questions.2” and real words like “She could only pray that the Word of God in her dazed mind might find its way to touch the aching emptiness in the pit of her stomach.3”  

i read odd books i sometimes wonder.  they talk of deep suffering often of God’s people.  but i don’t read them to focus on the person’s suffering, or even the person’s ‘faith’.  no, it’s because these books speak of a power and hope and strength that is beyond them.  and don’t we all need that?  These witnesses have witnessed it.  and so they can cheer us on as ones who know and understand all too well the temptations and encumbrances and sins which so easily entangle.   they speak of the enduring victory of this Author and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the hero in their stories.

this is what the great cloud of witnesses knows.

He is the hero, He is the faithful one.  He is our hope and our joy. 

The words they share are endurance building. 

so that i do not grow weary and loose heart.  


1Green Leaf in Drought Time by Isabel Kuhn; 2 Rose from Brier by Amy Carmichael; 3Oswald Chambers Abandoned To God by David McCasland p. 258

 ……………………….

this is part of a 31 day series on Provision.  To see the first post in the series click here.  To read the entire series click here and read backwards (the first post is listed last, the latest post is listed first-i don’t know how to change that. thank you for grace.)


things provided: Father

Matthew chapter 6 repeats the phrase “your Father in heaven” 12 times.

 12.

times.

in just this one chapter.

i think Jesus might have been making a point?  

Father. 

in heaven.

He knows what we need, and He wants us to get that.  so He calls Himself our Father.  

sometimes our earthly fathers can give us a glimpse of Him.

sometimes they can’t even in the least way.

and when that’s the case?  

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,
Whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him.
A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation. psalm 68:4-5

 and when we’ve broken down?  this man shows us what our heavenly Father is like.  because whatever happens, we must finsih our race too. 

 


I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6


this is part of a 31 day series on Provision.  To see the first post in the series click here.  To read the entire series click here and read backwards (the first post is listed last, the latest post is listed first-i don’t know how to change that. thank you for grace.)


The Lord, a Provider and Deliverer.

What to do when i dont have words of my own?  how about i let David speak today:

A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

Psalm 34

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