Thursday, February 5, 2009
God's Provision - Our Gratitude
Here is an interesting verse:
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Timothy 6:6)
Our culture generally doesn't like godliness. And it especially doesn't value contentment. We live lavish lives, full of discontent because there is always someone with more...
In this period of my life with an unusual amount of reflection, Patti commented that she thought my problem was with lack of contentment. "God has blessed you again and again," she said. "But you always wanted more. That is why you continually pushed further and harder."
Wow, that made me think! Especially because it was true!
Yesterday I ended up wondering if God would ever come through miraculously for us today. For me, specifically. Yet He has blessed me beyond comprehension, both materially and with wonderful relationships. And my response is to be grateful. And content. We are living on 40% of what we made before. And we need to cut that in half again. Yet we have all we need and more. And if we would compare downwards, instead of upwards, we see that we are still blessed beyond measure.
Check out these facts:
Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world).
640 million live without adequate shelter,
400 million have no access to safe water,
270 million have no access to health services.
10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5.
Look at today's Bible story. The Israelites have just experienced one of the greatest miracles of history. They sing and dance and worship. Then, shortly after, they are whining again, about not having any food.
God provides. Miraculously. Here is the story...
"When the layer of dew had lifted, there on the wilderness ground was a fine flaky something, fine as frost on the ground. The Israelites took one look and said to one another, man-hu (What is it?). They had no idea what it was.
15 -16 So Moses told them, "It's the bread God has given you to eat. And these are God's instructions: 'Gather enough for each person, about two quarts per person; gather enough for everyone in your tent.'"
17 -18 The People of Israel went to work and started gathering, some more, some less, but when they measured out what they had gathered, those who gathered more had no extra and those who gathered less weren't short—each person had gathered as much as was needed.
21 -22 They gathered it every morning, each person according to need. Then the sun heated up and it melted. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, about four quarts per person."
God provided enough.
But not too much.
It involved diligent effort.
But no one was to be a workaholic. There was margin and balance in their lives.
Each family had enough for the day. It was miraculous provision. And it went on for 40 years.
Contentment in God's provision.
Gratitude for God's provision.