My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whiny Wednesday meets Jehovah Jireh

In the wee hours of first waking up I was meditating over my blog entry for today, wanting to focus on Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. Kelly's Korner Blog entry discusses Lent and I'm sort of in the same boat she is... I'm Baptist, Southern Baptist if you want to get technical about it, although I generally describe myself as "home-churched" or "more spiritual than religious". I tend to work more on relationship than religion and although I see my salvation as faith based more than works based. I definitely believe that if you have a relationship with Jesus that people will see that in your character. We take on the character of those we spend a lot of time with... you know, just like how Madonna developed a British accent by living in the UK.

So with that disclaimer, I will say that I do see the season of Lent as a Holy time and a blessed opportunity to focus more on this Jesus that I so dearly love and the examples of His nature that I want to model in my own life. We don't have a crazy lot of luxuries in our life and I don't have habits that I see as something I could give up in a sacrificial manner. But there is no doubt that there is room for growth in my life... and if there's anyone whose example I want to follow, it's Jesus Christ... and I don't think I exhibit the fact that He is in my life as much as I should. And if I'm gonna exhibit more of Him in my life... I've got to focus more on who He is...

And since it's Whiny Wednesday, even if it IS Ash Wednesday... and so often I complain about what I don't have...I want to meditate on Jesus as a Provider.

Jehovah Jireh means our Lord who provides. I've got to tell you honestly that I am not comfortable with these preachers whose message is based on a "Prosperity Gospel" and how... you can "name it and claim it" and it will be. I do believe that He cares about our needs but I know that my testimony has been one of living with very little and having my Daily bread... not always my weekly bread and definitely not monthly bread. I live paycheck to paycheck and that requires a LOT of seeking God, a lot of faith... my whole adult life, just about, has been a Loaves and Fishes miracle.

If you haven't spent your life going to Sunday School... or teaching Sunday School... or being immersed in the stories of Jesus... I would encourage you to read through this account from John 6:1-15 - although I believe it's recorded in all 4 gospels, the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four... at any rate... Jesus has a crowd following Him.... there's no money to buy food for them... and they find a little boy with five loaves and two fishes who is willing to share his lunch. Jesus breaks the bread and the fish and they are able to feed all of the people with 12 buckets left over.

I used to love having that lesson in Sunday School as a kid because inevitably, we'd have white loaf bread and fish sticks to demonstrate... and I loved both. (although it would have been awesome if my Sunday School teachers had thought to bring some tartar sauce)  It taught me that Jesus can take a very tiny sacrifice and make it into a huge blessing. He cares about us... he cares about our human needs. I believe Jesus had the power to make a feast appear - just like they did at Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter books. But instead of just manifesting something out of nothing... he took that tiny little sacrifice ... and blessed all those people. And there wasn't *just enough* there was MORE than enough.

I think it's also interesting that he doesn't take individual orders... did they want their fish grilled, fried or blackened? Did they want wheat or white bread? He gave them what they needed... until they were filled... and there was more than enough for everyone.

Would I rather have a fat bank account and a lot less stress in my life? Of course.... but having a life that continually presents needs that I can't fill myself... leaves me relying on a Jesus that I know really cares about what is happening to me. I see miracles every day... things that might be minor to others... things that others may take for granted... but things that I believe with all of my heart, happen because God is watching over me and protecting me from doing without. He takes my little bit of effort... and blesses it.

And because I have confidence in Him... it's easy for me to say to another believer who is in need, "I'm going to pray for you"... as I did on Monday when someone called me in tears about a financial crisis they were in... I don't know how it can be resolved, I didn't have any answers for them, but I knew that God was going to take care of them and meet their needs. I was faithful to pray.... sometimes that's the "loaves and fishes" that we bring... a small offering, a small sacrifice... that grows bigger through the touch of a Savior.

Phillipians 4:19 says, "and my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"  (NKJV)

I've quoted that verse hundreds of times and never noticed that it lists "need" singularly, not plural... and it includes the qualifier "by Christ Jesus"... if we had only one need... wouldn't it be salvation? and if we have only one way to salvation, wouldn't it be through Jesus Christ?  I have so much to learn. I'm going to dig a little deeper into this... and I hope you'll share with me your thoughts on the subject of Jesus as provider.

I think the inevitable conclusion, at least for me, is to have confidence that He will provide, accept what He gives and let it be enough for me.

My "whines" for the day? Here goes....
1. My back. Oh, my back. I know I often say that the pain has changed... and it does... just when I get used to it hurting one way or another... there's a new kind of pain. Maybe it's because I adjust my movements and the way I sit and so forth to adapt to how I hurt... and that puts strain on another area. I don't know, I just know it won't let me out of it's grip and I am weary of it. The past two weeks have been particularly painful.

2. Our dentist appointments went well... but... Austin has to go back to have some cavities filled and I have several things that I need to have fixed. We're going to do what we can, when we can on me...  but Austin is covered under the State for the next year and we need to get everything taken care of while he has good dental insurance. It's hard for me to miss work to take care of these things for him so I've got to work out some logistics that get him where he needs to be.

3. I've got a ton of upper respiratory congestion. It's aggravating and worrisome because these things so quickly turn into pneumonia or bronchitis and I just don't know that I can deal with something else draining my energy.

4. I couldn't get my doctors appointment for Thursday morning changed to yesterday so I will be late for work on Thursday. I can't NOT go, however, because my blood pressure has continued to be high on the medication I'm taking and it would be foolish not to get that under control.

I think that's it. Austin had a four day weekend so I imagine he'll be slightly grumpy when I wake him up but that's ok. I can handle him. It's Wednesday already! To God be the glory! Have a great day, y'all. Let me know what you're doing differently in your life between now and Easter. Love and hugs!