provision

Mundane Manna {ex16:11-12}

Photo © Unsplash/Evi Radauscher

Photo © Unsplash/Evi Radauscher

In Egypt
God's people ate their fill
of meat and bread.
And in the wilderness
God's people ate their fill
of meat and bread.

For forty years
—14,600 days and nights—
God revealed to the Israelites
not that He could feed them in the desert
but that it was He
who had fed them in Egypt.

For God, the manna wasn't miraculous.

It is no harder for Him
to make bread rain from the sky
than it is to make
wheat stand in the soil or
dough rise in the bowl or
the crust appear in the oven.

God miraculously provided
for His people in the wilderness
no more or less
than He had in Egypt.

We should stop wondering
why God no longer works miracles and
start asking why we still consider
anything in this life
mundane.

 

God gives us all the right things.

God gives us all the right things.

1 Chronicles 4

About 20 years ago, author Bruce Wilkinson made two verses of 1 Chronicles 4 famous with his book, The Prayer of Jabez. Who knew that a genealogical chapter of the Bible could produce something so lucrative? I remember the book well. Though I never actually read it, I remember the firestorm it caused in the Christian church. Many people were excited about it—going to their weekly group study about Jabez to learn how to garner some extra wealth from God. And an equal number of people were extremely opposed to it, shocked that any Christian should ask God for more.

God can restore everything.

God can restore everything.

2 Kings 8

Since I didn’t end up commenting on her in chapter 4, I’m glad the Shunammite woman is back again. You remember her: She was the gal who (along with her husband) built a room in their home for the prophet Elijah. And, in order to repay their kindness, Elijah told the childless couple that they would have a son. This obviously delighted the woman, but it was clear that she didn’t want to get her hopes up. What I really loved about her, though, was what she did when her son died of a head injury several years later. The woman went immediately to Elijah and said, "Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I tell you, 'Don’t raise my hopes?'" (2 Kings 4:28)

God changes fortunes in a heartbeat.

God changes fortunes in a heartbeat.

2 Kings 7

A few years ago, our water heater unexpectedly broke, and after some consultation with a plumber, we realized that we would not only have to get a new water heater, but a water softener as well. I just hate it when that happens! If you don’t have money in savings, unexpected expenses like that can really get you down.

God thinks differently than we do.

God thinks differently than we do.

2 Kings 4

Well, this whole chapter was about how God worked miracles through His prophet Elisha. The one that really stuck out to me, though, was the very first story about the widow, her two sons, and the olive oil. Just before creditors were going to come and take her boys into slavery because of their debts, Elisha told her, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side." (vs 3-4)

God will take care of us.

God will take care of us.

1 SAMUEL 26

David was God’s anointed man for king. The problem? There was already another man in that position. The "logical" thing for David to do would have been to figure out how to get Saul off the throne. After all, as long as Saul was still king, David couldn’t assume his rightful position as God’s anointed. And I wonder what thoughts and emotions must have run through David’s mind as the saga with Saul dragged on and on and on.

God is tenderhearted.

God is tenderhearted.

RUTH 2

I really saw a picture of God in this chapter, coming through in the tenderhearted nature of Boaz. From the text, it’s clear that Boaz was a man of the Lord—and at a time when the majority of Israel was heading down the wrong path. When Boaz arrives at his fields, he greets all of the harvesters with a blessing from the Lord. (vs 4) Later, he praises Ruth for her commitment to Naomi and calls upon God to bless her because of it. (vs 12)

God is extravagant.

God is extravagant.

JUDGES 17

What a quirky little chapter. Out of the blue, there is a story about this guy named Micah. He was a thief—having swiped 1100 shekels of silver from his mom. (Who steals from Mom?) After he heard her pronounce a curse on whoever had stolen the money, he fessed up and returned it. In turn, she was so worried that the curse would follow her thieving child that she had some of it melted down and made into a little idol that Micah kept in his house. His "god" would hopefully protect him from the curse.

God gives the best.

God gives the best.

JUDGES 11

My dad used to say this about marriage: "God gives the best to those who leave the choice with Him." I can wholeheartedly attest to the truth of that statement. For those of you who know me and my husband, it may come as a shock, but when I met David, one of the first things I thought about him was that I could never date him. He just wasn’t "my type." Or so I thought. As it turns out, God knew my type a lot better than I did! Go figure!

Perchance to Dream {gn40}

Photo © Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

Photo © Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

If Potiphar
had believed his wife
Joseph would have been put
in the ground

not in the prison
    /which was Potiphar's prison/
    /probably below his house/

which he was then put in charge of
    /because Potiphar wasn't going to let/
    /a false rape allegation/
    /deprive him of his best help/

Potiphar knew Joseph was innocent
but was content to let him languish
    /God knew Potiphar was spineless/
    /but wasn't content to let him starve/

Sometimes
the concessions of weak men
may be all the justice
we can procure
but the God of our fathers
keeps sending dreams

 

God is highly efficient.

God is highly efficient.

DEUTERONOMY 26

It seems like we can't go very long in American culture without asking the social questions: How much should the government play a role in the day-to-day lives of American citizens? Should the government provide universal health care? Should the government take more money from the rich and give it to the poor? Should the Federal Reserve print more money to cover our expanding debt?

Minimum Wage {gn31:4-9}

Photo © Unsplash/Rod Long

Photo © Unsplash/Rod Long

Now Jacob undoubtedly was a wise guy
who'd certainly crafted a few clever crimes,
yet Laban still planned to leave him high and dry,
proceeding to alter his earnings ten times.

But there was a Witness who saw all these things,
and He had a masterful plan up his sleeve—
to stealthily, secretly pull a few strings
and give Jacob more wealth than he could believe.

Poor Laban was waging an ill-fated war:
Whatever he gained, Jacob always had more.

 

He Saw {gn29:31}

genesis-gods-love-he-saw-poem.png

The much-invisible and
       quickly-forgotten
Lord of heaven and earth
       is often like a Mama
       Bear who
saw her cubs being
       mistreated and went
       to war. The fierceness
       of the pain
that pierced God's heart
       when he saw his
       precious
Leah discarded, unwanted,
was surpassed only by
       his resolve to
not let abandonment be
       her habitat, to prove
       that there was Someone
       who
loved her more than life itself.

 

An Ordinary Life {gn24}

Photo © Unsplash/Patrick Fore

Photo © Unsplash/Patrick Fore

Nobody plans to win the lottery.
Not really.

The unexpected doesn't arrive
when it's expected.

Nobody goes to the well for water
supposing to find a husband instead.

And nobody who goes to the well for a wife
imagines the answer
before the Amen.

Instead, we assume an ordinary life,
quickly forgetting (did we ever know?)
that ordinary
is the largest part of extraordinary.

The miracle always comes
in the midst of the mundane,
the exceptional
in the midst of the everyday.

In a world conceived by the Supernatural,
there are no natural moments.

Even if you're
on your same way
down the same road
to the same well
with the same jar
in the same shoes you were wearing yesterday
and every day for the last ten thousand days,

this is
no ordinary day
no ordinary shoes
no ordinary jar
no ordinary well
no ordinary road
no ordinary way.

Expect.

 

God is the only Savior.

God is the only Savior.

NUMBERS 21

There’s no way to write a blog about Numbers 21 without talking about the poisonous snakes. Oh, the snakes. Here’s how the story reads: "Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, 'We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.' So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, 'Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.' So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived." (vs 6-9)

God has a tender heart.

God has a tender heart.

NUMBERS 20

In this chapter, we see part of what it means to say that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children. It doesn’t mean that God arbitrarily punishes children who have wicked parents. It doesn’t mean that He "takes out His anger" over sins committed by the older generation on the younger generation. It does mean that the evil tendencies and influences that children grow up with have an effect on them too, and often, they repeat the same behaviors and hold the same attitudes as their parents. (Look no further than our own society for modern-day examples of this.)