We visited the same church Patrick went to last week with our lovely newlywed visitors (the Child and her husband). I liked it. It was different culturally… The church is predominantly Nigerian and as such, the style of worship and preaching was different than what we are usually used to. But, it was very friendly and upbeat. It may not be where we call home in the end (though, who knows what God has in store for us), but I am glad to have experienced it.
The pastor was preaching on prayer and how our prayer lives can be modeled after Jesus teaching the “Our Father” in Matthew 6:9-13. That was all well and good. Two things that stuck with me were the importance of praying with your spouse and that God is our source. I am going to dwell a bit on the whole God is our source concept today.
It is easy for us to pay lip service and say that God is our provider, but I think a lot of the time, we (or at least I) still worry about every little detail and am not very trusting when it comes to many areas in my life that God provides in.
He has never let me down. In fact, we generally have an abundance of blessing, but I still worry and freak out.
For instance, I finally received my first paycheque of resident salary this Friday. FINALLY (yay!). We have been living since May with no income and things were starting to get tight. Mighty tight. And now the money is here. It is all leaving by the first of the month, but nonetheless, it was provided. Just in time for bills and all that good stuff. But, as I sat down to do our monthly banking today, I started worrying about money for the next weeks. Already. And it is good to plan ahead and be responsible. However, I really need to learn to trust that things come through, especially with God on our side.
Another instance is that I keep worrying that we will never find a church family and small group like the one we recently left. We miss them terribly and knowing that we won’t be back to the same routine come fall is kind of disheartening. But, the cool thing is that I didn’t know we would have something like that in the first place, yet God provided. And He has sent all sorts of colourful people out of the woodwork everywhere we have gone.
Over and over again, He provides and proves Himself, even though He doesn’t have to. And yet, we continue to worry. Silly humans. Silly Trisha.
The church we go to back home is almost always in need of something. It is a reflection of the community it serves. There is so much need and so much to give that there is almost always something else needed. There is just enough money to pay whatever bills or provide whatever ministry. Never extra. Almost always just enough. But, the power is always on and the church marches on. Because people mysteriously come out of the woodwork with donations or volunteer to do things they normally wouldn’t. Such a good example of how provision keeps you safe, but may not always be comfortable.
I have met so many people in the hospital who have significant disease and disability, who may struggle to do even the simplest of tasks. But, who manage.
Recently, I met a single man who had worked and lived on his own for many years. Now elderly and with a new diagnosis, his neighbor (young enough to be his grandchild) started helping him around the house and taking him to appointments. In fact, they have gotten s-o close, he thinks of she and her husband as his children. He has the family he never had. At the time when he needed it most. You can’t tell me there isn’t something big behind that.
The pastor today mentioned that sometimes God might let us keep having a bit of doubt about where means will come from so that we continue to pray and keep in touch with Him. He wants to hear what we need and wants to hear from us. This is a way He shows His power and maintains communication.
Staying in touch with God all of the time. Something we are supposed to do. But, honestly, do we always do it? I don’t. Especially in the really good times. Even though I know I should.
Some of the most trusting people who lean on God in every way have such a close relationship with Him. And no wonder. You need to know what he is at to keep doing what He wants. And to keep trusting He will provide.
I want that. I need that. But, it is something I need to work on. With His help.
The whole notion reminds me of the old hymn His Eye is on the Sparrow. I have always liked it…
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
There is just something beautiful about knowing you are as protected as the little birds. Even if you feel like you are about to get clotheslined. It is that peace only God can give. And I know He provides it for us if we ask.