REFLECTION FOR TODAY
One of my favourite passages of scripture is in Deuteronomy 8:2-5; 10-11 in which God tells his people, the Israelites,
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.”
The story of the Israelites during their 40 years in the Sinai desert is invaluable because it reminds us that God works in such a way that it is always for our own good by allowing us to experience what feels like lack, or He presses us to the edge of our need so we are dependent on him for help and provision. In this, we discover His love, His faithfulness, and that He is our true Source.
This passage is also a reminder that without struggle we can become entitled, ungrateful and forgetful about the origin of our provision. We may somehow think that our goodness has earned us blessings, our hard work has granted us favour, and we can become complacent about our trust in the Lord.
But when trials precede blessings, we’re more likely to recognize the Source of our blessing. We become more grateful for the blessings we’ve received—and we no longer think we earned them. We know they came from God’s hand; we fool ourselves if we think they have come from our own.
The humility that comes from us having to cry out to the Lord is a good thing, even though we’d really rather avoid it. Even though it’s often been uncomfortable, in my own life, the times when I have been forced to rely on His care have been some of the most spiritually fruitful times of my earthly journey, and they have also been the times when I have grown the most in character and faith.
No matter what material possessions we attain, the wisdom and humility that come from learning to trust and rely on God are priceless.
Are you currently going through a time during which you have to trust God for your provision? Just as He was with the Israelites, He will be faithful to you. He will care for you. This is not the end of your story.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, right now things feel uncertain and I am afraid. I don’t know how I am going to make ends meet. I don’t know how you will provide but I know you will care for my needs because I am your child and you are my faithful father. Amen.
(by Shana Schutte – edited NW)