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Posts Tagged ‘God provides’

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

 

Houseplant lovers know that different ones require different care. There are low-light plants and then there are those that won’t thrive unless the sun is gleaming on them most of the day. Some prefer diffused light near a south or north window or their leaves will burn while others relish the afternoon western sunbeams.

Those exposed to the sun the most often need to be watered the most. You can tell when they are parched. Their leaves droop dramatically. Others you have to stick your finger into the soil to determine their need for water.

Some cacti and succulents will absorb and retain water.  They relish the water they get and store it up so they always have enough, even in drought times. But they need the bright sun all the same.

Low light plants thrive with a  slightly moist soil. They need steady applications of filtered sun and smaller amounts of water regularly to keep the roots dampened. In fact, too much of either will thwart their growth.

Many plants need more water when they are young or newly transplanted into a different soil or pot. Once their roots are well established and can retain what has been given they do just fine with less.

What sort of plant are you, spiritually speaking? Are you always in need of God’s light shining on you or you will not thrive well? Do you constantly need His Word, worship, praise music, quiet time, prayers of others and other spiritual stimuli to keep you going?

Or, are you a low-light plant? A little of God’s mercy and grace goes a long way, however you do need it regularly…in small doses. Too much is a bit overwhelming. Sitting in the corner or off to the side of the window is fine with you.

Perhaps you are a cacti. Not to say you are prickly… but you thrive best with the brightness of God shining constantly in your life and still have the ability to store up His Word for times of need. You can take a lot of heat, too.

The point is, God created you and He knows your needs. One plant is not better than the other. An ivy should never think it needs to be a cactus nor an orchid think it should be an air plant. All make the world (or the home) a better place. All absorb carbon monoxide and produce oxygen. All add green lushness, vitality, and  a peaceful beauty to a room.

We thrive best in different environments. My plants rely on my knowing their needs in order for them to thrive and grow. How much more so does our loving God, the Master Gardener, knows what it takes to keep each of us alive in Him?

I found a message from God today while tending to my plants. Where will you find Him?

 


The internet is the new mission field. At Campus Crusades of Canada’s The Life Project, our free articles and devotionals glean a readership of 500,000 plus a month.  But as with any missionary organization, we are funded solely through the donations of ministry partners. Find out more about my work as a writer and editor at  http://www.juliebcosgrove.com/missionary_support.html

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ID-10067177I stared at a freezer full of the same ol’ stuff I’d been eating for weeks on end. Veggie burgers, frozen vegetables, skinless chicken breasts.  I opened the fridge to the same stuff. Reduced fat this and that, no-calorie dressing, salad bags, zero-fat Greek yogurt. Sigh – Losing a pound or so a week on this healthy diet gets monotonous at times. I crave French fries, grilled cheese, a chocolate shake, Alfredo pizza, Mexican food. Lord, why does all the good stuff have to be so bad for me, so high in calories and ssoooo tasty? When I was younger I could eat it all and not gain an ounce.  I grumbled under my breath, grabbed a protein drink and some celery stalks, and slunk to the couch to read my assigned Bible passage.

Half way down the page, my mouth opened into a large “o”.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”  (Numbers 11:4-6)

When God told them through Moses that pork and shell-fish were a no-no, did they complain as well? Possibly.

I’m no different. I can continue to pig out on fast foods and shell out my money on prepackaged meals, or choose to buy healthier, fresh food choices and exercise more. I can be thankful for what God provides from the earth for my nourishment, or crave the sugary, fatty, salty, and carb-laden man-made things that I can’t or shouldn’t have and grumble about it.

The Hebrews had herds of animals with them and money to buy grains and fruits as they wandered past other nomadic tribes in the wilderness. But did they consume them after the first were tithed to God? The BIble doesn’t say. It does say that God gave them manna –  the bread of the angels – to be their wholesome daily supplement. Each daybreak they were provided just enough for one day, except the day before the Sabbath when the Hebrews received two day’s worth of manna so they wouldn’t have to labor on their commanded day of rest.

What was God teaching the Hebrews? Two things. Rely on Him each day and He will provide what we need, but not necessarily what we want.

He wishes to teach me the same thing.  In my diet, as in every aspect of the rest of my daily life, I need to rely on Him to provide my needs.  I shouldn’t whine because I can’t eat or buy certain things. But unlike the Hebrews, I am still in Egypt.  In today’s pre-packaged, credit-happy world, it is way too easy to buy more than we make, eat three times a day what people used to consider an occassional treat, and waste more time on useless entertainment like Tv, video games and social media sites than ever before. How easily we can become enslaved!

I need my Lord, each day, to help me choose between what He wants to provide and what I want to grab or grumble about having.  Promised Land up ahead or stay in Egypt.

Maybe it would be easier if God isolated me from the world and gave me the food I should eat to lose weight each day at daybreak – just enough for that day.

Give me this day, my daily bread.. but, not the doughnut, Lord.

Nah, like the Hebrews, I’d probably grumbled about that as well after a few months.

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?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I hung a bird feeder on the little tree outside my apartment patio. The landscape beyond it slopes down towards the next unit of apartments below. Today, while my coffee is dripping, I watch as doves waddle up the knoll towards the feeder. No hurry. No worry.

Did they know the squirrel had been there picking through for the sunflower seeds, and in the process, had scattered enough seed on the ground for them to fill their little bellies?

Even though it was a cold, wet morning– up they came. I imagined them smacking their lips in anticipation, if they had lips. They were that sure there would be seed waiting for them.  Quietly and calmly they approached, as if knowing just what they needed to stave off the chill of the day lay on the ground–waiting only for them.

Am I that way with God’s blessings? Do I patiently approach the throne, trusting He has cast them in His perfect timing? Do I have the faith of the turtle doves, and the wisdom, to detect His favor towards me? Or am I rushing up the hill, panting, out of breath. Do I get there at the wrong time, become anxious, then ask God, “Where are You? Why haven’t You answered my prayer?”

He has – it may be in process, as a squirrel who has just leapt out of my sight to scatter the seeds of faith and hope I need to make it through the chill of the day. Manna to sustain me through whatever comes my way. God always provides.

Take a lesson from the doves. Watch today with calm anticipation to  see how He acts in your life. Then in faith, waddle peacefully towards it, confident it is there, especially for you.

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