Friday, September 30, 2011

Do You See What God Provides?

There are times I share with you the difficult things in life. I do this because God has told us that we will have suffering in this earthly life.
1 Peter 4:12-16 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (ESV)
I also share those tough times to give you hope. Hope that God is with you through the difficult times, and hope that this life on earth is temporary. When I mention these things it reminds us we are not alone in our suffering, Jesus endured much more suffering than we will EVER know, and we can support one another through our sufferings. It’s nice to have a friend by your side when life seems overwhelming.

However, today I want us to look at the contrast of those tough things we go through, up against the way God takes care of us. Let’s just look at few verses where He promised He would provide for us.

Phillipians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Matthew 6:30-32 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (ESV)

Luke 12:6-7 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV)

Luke 12:22-23 22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. (NIV)

How many of us have truly gone without the things we need? Before you answer, think about it. Have you ever gotten to the point that you have had NOTHING to wear (ladies, I’m not talking about you gained a couple of pounds and your favorite jeans feel uncomfortable, or you’re tired of wearing the same things over and over and over. I understand.), the clothes on your back are ALL you have?  Have you ever been without food for a day (not because you chose too), or two, or three, because you didn’t have enough money to feed yourself? Have you ever had to sleep on the streets, in your car, or in a shelter because you didn’t have a home? I have to say NO to ALL 3 of these questions because my God is faithful and has ALWAYS provided for my NEEDS!!

He even provides for my wants. I would like to share 3 stories of how God has intervened on behalf of my family, to provide for us in miraculous ways, just in the past two or three months. Before I even start I want you to know, I give Him all the praise and glory for what happened in each incident! I hope these encourage you!

God’s House
This past summer our younger son, Colton, was preparing to transfer from a community college to the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He had all paperwork completed. He had been accepted months prior.  He had even registered for all of his fall classes and had his schedule. The company he had been working for in Midlothian had worked out a transfer to Denton, so he already had a job. God was working everything out. We just had one problem, where was he going to live? His financial aid covered his tuition but not housing. There was no way he could work enough hours to pay rent on an apartment and still get his school work done. We simply had no idea what we were going to do, we just kept praying that God would provide something. Classes were to begin in about 3 weeks, when a dear family friend who had been having health issues was admitted ICU. So our family went to see him. Because of schedules we all saw him at different times. Cecil and I saw him early in the day. We casually talked about getting Colton ready for school. Later Colton visited him and the man asked if Colton was ready to go to UNT. Colton said yes, but that he was very stressed because he didn’t have a place to live. The friend then told Colton that a family member lives close to UNT and has a cottage behind their house that they might be willing to rent it to him while he attends UNT. Within 2 weeks Colton and his best friend moved in. It is perfect! The rent and utilities are just what college students can afford. We know that God provided this! He is so good!

The Apple Miracle
For several months I have been having some issues with my computer that I have just dealt with. I am an Apple person! So to get it fixed I had to take it to the Apple store. I get it there and begin to tell the Genius, Bryan, what the problem is, “The screen only works when it the laptop is open about 4-5 inches. It has gradually gotten worse. At first the screen would go off when it was opened to about 90o. As I would close it, the screen would come back on. Now I can only open it like 4 or 5 inches. I can’t work with it like this.” So Bryan begins to look at it. He realizes that the battery doesn’t work and I have to keep it plugged in. There is also a USB port that is broken. I say, “Bryan, I don’t care about getting those things fixed, I can deal with those things. I just need the screen to work.” I’m talking to him about how I know I can’t afford to get the whole computer fixed, that I’m just limping this one along until I can afford a new one. We talked about how much repairs like this usually cost and if he could get it fixed for less, how much could I pay. Strange question, I’m thinking. I call and talk with Cecil about it. When I get off the phone, Bryan pulls me over away from the rest of the people and says I got approval to fix all the problems on your computer for half what it would normally cost. At that point I begin to cry. He then tells me he is throwing in a battery for free. All I could say was thank you and Bryan you are a Godsend! When I returned to pick up my computer I have to tell you I was in shock. They did much more than I ever realized they were going to do. It looks absolutely brand new! So I waited for Bryan to finish with a customer. He came over, I again thanked him, this time I let him know I felt God had directed him to do this for me. I hugged him and left. I pray that God will continue to use Bryan if he is a Christian. If he is not, I pray God has allowed me to plant a seed.

Insurance Does a Good Thing
Last week I had to take Colton to the doctor. I step up to the counter to check in. I get my checkbook out and get ready to fill it out when the lady behind the counter tells me to wait. She says, “There is a credit on the account. Let me make sure it is a real credit.” So I wait…then she says, “It’s a real credit.” She explains that the insurance company paid for the physical Colton had a month ago. Of course, at that time I paid the co-pay.  So she applies it to that visit. Once again God’s timing is perfect!

These are just 3 examples of the way God works in our lives each and every day. The main thing is we have to be aware of what He is doing. Recognize that God is at work, performing miracles in our lives everyday.

Now I’m going to ask you for a favor. I would like you to think of a time when God intervened on your behalf, and provided for you when there was a need. Please leave a comment here to share with everyone or send me an email. I can’t wait to read your stories!

Living in Grace,

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