DAILY DISCIPLINE #22
By Colleen Donahue
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1
It was 1974 and I was living in Amsterdam, Holland (now called The Netherlands). Christian Corps owned a small hotel back then and I was one of the staff privileged to be there running it. I learned many things during my year there but one little experience stands out for me that I will never forget -- insignificant to anyone else but very important to me.
It had to do with my new shoes. Prior to moving to the Netherlands I had been a university student and like many students money was not in abundance - especially for things that weren't absolutely necessary. But I felt a new pair of dress shoes were in order for my new job at the hotel. I saved until I could buy the ones I wanted. They were dark blue - not leather - but fashionable for 1974. I just loved them and enjoyed dressing up in order to wear them.
Shortly after I'd moved to Hotel Centropa, a family came to stay with us for a few days. They were missionaries on their way to India. Everything was going smoothly on their journey except for one thing - Sue had left all her shoes in a taxi in New York City leaving her with only a pair of impractical sandals. I remember how quickly Sandy and Evy (coworkers at the hotel with me) brought out their many pairs of shoes for Sue to try on. None of them fit. I didn't say anything. After all, I only had 2 pairs with me - one pair of old ones and my brand new blue ones. I really had none to spare. That night I couldn't get to sleep and I knew God was speaking to me. He wanted me to offer Sue my new shoes. But what would I wear? I didn't have money enough to buy another pair and I surely couldn't wear my old worn shoes with a nice dress! Things went round and round in my head until I finally gave up. At breakfast, I would bring them out. Hopefully, she wouldn't fit into them or wouldn't like them.
The next morning, we all had breakfast together and then Sue and her husband prepared to leave as they were flying to India that day. I felt terrible because I had not brought my shoes out for Sue as I had promised God. I really did not want to part with them! But time was ticking away and it was now or never. As they prepared to leave I said "wait" and ran for the shoes. I asked Sue to try them on. Not only did they fit her perfectly but she loved the style and color. Very grateful, they left with Sue looking quite nice in my blue shoes. Despite the fact that I would miss the shoes, I was glad I had obeyed and there was a great relief inside.
That very day we had a visitor from a church in the neighboring town of Harlaam. Several members from that church knew Evy (a Dutch girl working with us) and wondered if she could use some clothes. Evy accepted the bag and off they went. She went straight to the living room and laid everything out for all of us to have a look. The bag had many nice things but the real treasure was what looked like a brand new pair of black leather shoes - top quality, and very fashionable. Sandy and Evy each grabbed a shoe, in hopes it would fit. Neither of them could fit into the shoes. Then both of them handed their shoe to me - "You try them on!" It was truly a "Cinderella fit". They not only fit beautifully but they were four times the quality of my blue shoes and a nicer style! God had not only provided Sue with the shoes she needed through me, but He had prompted some lady to donate a new pair of shoes to a missionary bag that would be delivered on the very day that I needed a pair! That was to be my very first lesson in knowing.....
GOD AS MY PROVIDER
It is hard for those of us that live in the Western world to believe that God will still supply physical needs such as food, clothing, money etc. We are so efficient at supplying our own physical needs that we never (or rarely ) look to God for the practical things of life. God has been relegated to supplying only our spiritual and emotional needs.
But this is so contrary to a God who wants to supply ALL our needs according to HIS riches. It will only be too great a blessing for anyone of us to be someday in that position where the bank account has failed, the backup support person is gone, our stocks have crashed, or a computer has just taken over the job that was so secure. It's then that "they who trust Him wholly - will find Him wholly true!"
GOD'S PRACTICAL PHYSICAL PROVISIONS
Day 1- Did the Israelites in their 40 years of desert travel ever lack anything?
Day 2 -If we follow God fully and obey His laws completely, then He has a bountiful blessing to bestow on us.
Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Pick out all the physical and practical blessings God has promised.
Day 3 -God provides for man the very environment he lives in and all life that forms it.
Nehemiah 9:6 / Psalm 36:7-9
Day 4 -Who provides for rain and fruitful seasons?
Genesis 27:28 / Leviticus 26:4,5 / Isaiah 30:23
Day 5 -Although we look to our parents or employers for food and money, is not God the real provider, silently working His plan behind the scenes?
Day 6 -Can God be counted upon to give us "our" food and drink?
Psalm 36:8 / Psalm 104:27-28 / Psalm 136:25 / Psalm 147:9 / Matthew 6:26
Day 7 -God has not just provided for us in a general way. He has made notes on the tiniest details.
Day 8 -Although man has set up his own systems of financial security in old age, God has already provided for these special years for those that will trust Him.
Day 9 -He has not only provided for our "golden years" but for the time after that as well.
Matthew 25:34 / John 14:2
Day 10- Can God even provide us with physical protection when we need it?
Day 11- Like a mother that keeps one eye always on her child at play, so God provides TWO watchful eyes over our life at all times!
Genesis 28:15 / Psalm 121:4
Day 12- There are times in our life when we are in such a mess that the only way out is to be delivered -- literally picked up and out of a thing. God provides that at appropriate times.
Psalm 91:3 / Psalm 140:7 / Isaiah 31:5
Day 13- Our Father seems to provide naturally for us the very things the rest of the world seems to be chasing after.
Day 14- What does God provide for you when you are going through difficult trials?
Psalm 37:23-24 / Psalm 91:15 / Isaiah 43:12 / Hebrews 13:5b-6
Day 15- Divine companionship and the Lord's nearness is perhaps God's greatest "physical provision" for us.
Psalm 34:18 / Psalm 145:18 / I Corinthians 1:9 /Revelations 3:20
Day 16- It usually is never a question of - "Will God provide?" But rather "Are we willing to believe and accept what God wants to give?" This is certainly true of physical healing.
Isaiah 53:5 / Hosea 6:1 / Mark 3:10 / Luke 6:17-19
King David perhaps says it best as to how good a provider God really was and still is....
Day 17- If we live our life obeying God and trusting him fully, what will be the result?
Psalm 34:9-10 / Psalm 84:11 / Psalm 103:5
Day 18- How is it that God can be such a good provider?
Psalm 50:10-12 /Haggai 2:8
Day 19 -What was David's testimony at the end of His life?
Day 20 -"But" you protest, " All these things happened in the old days!"
Psalm 102:27 / Malachi 3:6a / Hebrews13:8 / James 1:17
Day 21- Although men love "savings accounts" and hoarding things for rainy days, Jesus warns us not to lay up treasures on earth. He will provide for us as our need is today.
Matthew 6:19-20 / Matthew 6:25-34 / Matthew 10:9-10
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL PROVISIONS THAT GOD HAS FOR US?
Day 22- What does God give when we feel utterly weak and helpless?
Deuteronomy 33:27 / Isaiah 41:10
Day 23- He provides us with answers when we need them.
Isaiah 64:4 / Zechariah 13:9 / Luke 11:9
Day 24- So often a little encouragement can see us through something hard.
Isaiah 41:10,13 / Matthew 14:27 / Matthew 17:7
Day 25- God provides us with the security that someone knows our every step and nothing can happen to us apart from His will.
Day 26- There is wisdom available as we need it.
Proverbs 2:6 / James 1:5
Day 27 -He gives us real peace.
Leviticus 26:6 / John 14:27 / John 16:33
Day 28 -He provides us with a Father's care.
I Peter 5:7
Day 29 -He provides us with an inheritance far richer than our own families could give us.
Day 30 -Since God has provided us with so much, what are we commanded to do?
Matthew 10:8b / Luke 6:38
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