Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jehovah Jirah (God my provider)

Today I heard this story of Elijah and how God was his provider.

 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the LORD came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
 Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

(1 Kings 17:1-16 ESV)

I have heard this story many times and it is one of my favorites.  I was always amazed at how God provided daily oil and flour for Elijah, the widow, and her son for over three years.  But, today, I really focused on the fact that God provided for Elijah one day at a time.  This is a lesson the Lord has really been trying to teach me.  Last school year our family verse was:

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

This verse follows a list of things that we as humans tend to worry about.  Things like where we live, what we will eat, and what we will wear.  As a rule, I am not a worrier, but this past year moving to PA and then back to MI there were many times that I was distressed and struggled to place my trust  in the Lord.  Of course, the Lord was ever faithful to me.  If you have read my previous posts about our move to Pa and our time there you know God has been good to us, even when I didn't place my complete trust in Him.
Well, as we returned to MI this time, I wanted to not worry and to trust God to provide us a home.  So, I decided to only look at one day at a time.  To really trust Him for that day, and any future days he had for me.  I wasn't really sure how that should look.  I mean, I knew I wasn't going to find a new home unless I looked for one.  But, I also didn't want to push my own plans in finding a home.  So, we started getting the word out that we were looking for a place, and we started looking here and there and everywhere.  Doors started opening for us.  We looked at a handful of houses and none of them were quite a match, but as time went on we wondered if we would find a place that would be a good match.  Last week we looked at several houses, and each of them was a home we could make work.  But this one was a little small, and that one was a little pricey, and this one was a little far to drive, and so on.  But, we decided maybe we are going to have to settle for something.  We had four houses in the works and none of them was exactly what we wanted, but all of them would have worked. 
So, Friday I was waiting for call backs on them all, and I was praying and thinking and wondering which house it would be.  I just didn't feel like any of them was the right one because I had this feeling that we were going to rent from someone who needed a renter just as much as we need to rent (a similar situation to that which we found ourselves in in PA).  I also kept having this feeling that our rent was going to be lower than we budgeted for.  So, as I am praying and thinking I get an email from Jeremy.  He just happened to check to see if there was any new listings on Craigslist (there had not been anything new in days).  It was about noon, and there was a new posting at 11 of a house in Dansville  (perfectly located for us).  It looked perfect and the price a lot lower than we had seen for anything we looked at.  I called and immediately I knew that this was the one, and I could tell that the woman on the phone felt it too.  I got of the phone and called Jeremy and before the day was over we both knew, and the owners also knew that we had been blessed by God to find each other.  The owners needed to rent their home out right away, the last tenants had moved out and they needed to cover their expenses.  We of course, needed a place right away.  By Saturday morning we signed a contracted and got keys.  I have been laughing and giddy all day (if you know me I am not a laughy, giggle person).  But, I am just so amazed at God  and His timing. 
He has everything planned for us, and if we can trust him one day at a time He will give us the peace and joy that only comes from Him.  Today, God not only provided a home for us to live in here, but he also provided a great family ministry for us.  The kids and I are going to be doing Good News Club once a week as an after school program.  We are so excited to see God provided for us, and also for CEF and the children we will serve.
So, we are back Michigan and so excited to see what Jehovah-Jirah has for each day ahead.