Sunday, February 23, 2014

Here I Am, Now Provide

So even this is a new record for me. 3 AM! AS I lay wide awake in bed wondering why I cannot sleep and feel so wide awake I was reminded of a story where a young boy would hear someone calling his name in the middle of the night, night after night. His mentor recognized what was going on and told him that the next time it happens say "here am I". So I did that and the words "I will provide" came to me.

For the past few years there have been two songs that go thru my head and I listen to in my car repeatedly when I am all alone. The first song is "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas. That has been my favorite all time song as long as I can remember. The message is "carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you get done, lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more". The other song is "Bring The Rain" by MercyMe. It starts out " I can count a million times, people asking me how I can praise You, with all that I've been thru. The question just amazes me, can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in you."

So what do they have to do with "providing"? There have been two distinct times in my life. Those times when I have ran "to God" and those times when I have ran "from God". As I get older the times running "to God" become more of the standard. We all do both! It doesn't matter who you are, you can't fool yourself into thinking that you are always in God's perfect will, or that you have never called out to God for help in times of distress. Somehow God always provides.

A few years back when I turned my back on God, my wife, and my family, the first song "Carry On My Wayward Son" was on repeat in my car CD player. You see as a young boy I too once said "here am I" to God. He never said that his love was conditional. He loves us know matter what we do. It was His love that kept me from going deeper in trouble that I did on my own. And it was His love that kept assuring me that he had peace for my weary soul, and when I was tired of running from Him, that he would give me peace and rest to restore my soul. My wife prayed everyday, all day, for me even when I would not talk to her. Finally when she worried and fought for me all that she could, she just gave her grieving over to God and he provided a way for me to see the escape route he had already planned for me, and he provided the love in her heart to take me back.

Over the past several years it has been no secret that my I have struggled with multiple health issues from heart attacks, bypass surgery, colon surgery, strokes, more brain issues, you name it. I've been told how to eat better by almost everyone including that I should stop drinking soda, stop eating salt foods, stop eating desserts, and on and on. All of which I never did on the first place. I'm a water drinker who doesn't like sweet stuff anyhow. Everybody has had some advice for me even though the Doctors kept telling me it was simply genetic, and I happen to be the lucky recipient of all of the bad ones. I think of Job and how all of his friends told him that God must be mad at him for doing something wrong and that's why he suffered so much tragedy in his life. When all along God was the very one who was proving to the devil that Job would love Him and praise Him no matter what. Because that's just who Job was.

The song "Bring The Rain" goes on to say "maybe since was life has changed, long before these rainy days, it's never really ever crossed my mind. To turn my back on you oh Lord, my only shelter from the storm, but instead I draw closer thru this time." Now I haven't had accusers like Job in my life, but I have had Doctors tell me that I should never work again because it would be unfair to the employer. I have people tell me that they don't know how I can ever work because they see me when my body goes under attack, and what if that happens at work. This week I got some great counseling from a pastor who said "so what". So what if I try and it doesn't work out. At least I tried and I am no worse off than I already am. Then he showed me in the Bible how I don't have to worry about whether "I, me, myself" can do it. God will "provide". There's that word again. Provide!

No matter what the circumstance, being able to do the job, or not, God will provide. I think of Abraham and his son Isaac, and how God tested Abraham by sending him to the altar with no lamb to sacrifice. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice no matter what the price. Even if it meant his own son Isaac. Then what seemed like at the last minute, but really in God's plan all the time, a ram showed up for Abraham to sacrifice.   Abraham kept telling Isaac that God was going to provide the sacrifice all along. Did Abraham really know all along that God would do so, probably not. But his faith that God would provide was all that God was looking for.  From this test, God made Abraham the father of many nations.

So back to me right now. Do I know that God will provide good health, a sound mind, and whatever it takes to go back to work? I have no clue. But I do know this, that no matter how, He will provide. What's the worst that can happen? I end up relying on Him 100%? I already am. The outcome either way is not going to change who I forever am in God. The key word there is "forever". Always have been and always will be.

Now back to you. Everybody has things they go thru and trials and tests. Ask yourself, "what is it that I cannot do for myself that I need God to do, or provide for me?" Then tell God what you need and "forget about it". Just keep moving forward in the direction that He puts in your heart to go. And see if he doesn't provide for you too.

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