Jennifer's getting a little R&R at the beach this week and asked me (her husband) to share with you something the Lord spoke to me recently while she's out verifying that SPF 50 is in fact all it's cracked up to be. But, before I can share the word with you I have to tell you a story first:
As a father one of the great burdens I bear is the responsibility for making sure that my kids are as prepared as I can possibly make them to be successful out on their own when it's time for them to leave home and, for me, that last step before "Go forth and conquer!" is a college degree.
Given the cost of college and the size of our tribe that's no small objective and one that was eating my lunch until a couple of years ago when, while at church, the Lord spoke to me and said "I'll take care of it." Upon hearing those words the elephant that had been riding shotgun on my shoulders got up and walked off and I was thinking "Cool! God's going to provide and I don't have to worry about this anymore."
Well, that was then and if we fast-forward to today we've got two in college and financially it's been, shall we say, "interesting". Although some remarkable things have happened I've not exactly been a pillar of faith and it was while I was out jogging the other day and thinking about money and excusing myself for taking on a general posture of austerity with regard to extra giving due to our circumstances that the Holy Spirit appended my thoughts with "for they still had not learned the lesson of the loaves" - and immediately I was convicted.
You see, I've been reading through Mark lately and that verse is Mark 6:52 and it comes after Jesus feeds the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fishes in verses 37-44. This event is immediately followed by Jesus telling his disciples to go ahead of him by boat to Bethsaida. That night, while the disciples are in the boat struggling against the waves, Jesus comes walking by them over those same waves and when they see him they panic! Jesus tells them to calm down and when he gets into the boat with them the wind dies (verses 45-51). It's at this point that scripture says "the disciples were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened".
The Holy Spirit was telling me that I had made the same mistake as the disciples! I had forgotten God's word to me and the fact that He watches over His word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12) In all three situations God had clearly spoken His intentions and we summarily got overwhelmed by the circumstances (only five loaves and two fish, lots of wind and waves and too little money for tuition), doubted his word and had our hearts hardened. Rats!
So, I took advantage of the grace offered me though the Holy Spirit's conviction and repented and now, by faith, in the face of our continued need, we are going to start giving extra again. We are going to actively affirm the Word of God in our lives through giving when reason says that we should be saving. I haven't a clue as to how that provision will come but I'm returning my family to our front row seats to watch the show because the One who initiated the promise is faithful and He will do it. (I Thessalonians 5:24)