God Provided a Stamp
Today I needed to go to the bank to prepare some documents for the Chinese government. For the meeting I needed bring several official documents, stamps and proofs of ownership. This happens several times a year, but having moved recently several of these items were particularly difficult to find.
Last night I spend two hours looking in every possible location I could find. Fighting frustration and sleep, I finally gave up to try again in the morning. When I woke up, I continued the search for another hour before getting the kids started with school. At the end of all this searching there were two items still missing: a bank device to prove I can take my money out, and our company stamp that proves we are official.
After dropping the kids off, I was heading back to our apartment praying again for God’s intervention. I thought to ask God to send His angels to help the search. I had read Hebrews 13 this morning so the idea of entertaining angels unaware was still on my mind.
After getting back I returned to the search for these items. I started back with those areas I thought it should be because even though I looked several times in these places I still thought it should be there. No luck.
I turned on some worship music for my search – you know – trying anything that may help. The music was a wonderful addition to my search. I started to enjoy the time with God even though I was still trying to find the missing items. After about 30 more minutes, I turned toward the shelf I kept looking through, and right in front of everything was the official company stamp.
If it had been there the whole time, I would have had to move it out of the way several times to look behind it.
Where are All the Miracles?
Have you ever had one these moments? I had a choice. Get frustrated that I searched for several hours for something that must have been right in front of me, or thank God for moving into a place I was sure to find it.
Too often we explain away things that could have been God because there is not enough proof. If it wasn’t undeniably God, then we relegate it to a supernatural coincidence at best. While initially excited, I did feel a bit embarrassed claiming it was God.
Why is this? God is always at work around us. He is attentive and preoccupied with us as His children. There are probably over a hundred things He has done specifically for you today that you missed. We all have.
I think if we more quickly give Him credit for these things, we will start seeing more and more things He has done for us… and start seeing things that have no other explanation. It is a truth of Scripture, the one who has, more will be given. If we cherish what we have, we will be given more (Matthew 25:28).
God Expects Us to Believe He Will Do It Again
In Mark 8:14-21 the disciples started worrying about not bringing enough bread for a trip. This is even after they just saw God feed the 5,000 and the 4,000. Jesus questions their fear by pointing out what had already happened. They saw God provide miraculously, so they were expected to believe it could happen again. Jesus wants us to trust Him for what He has done in the past.
Cure for Our Love of Money
I mentioned reading Hebrews 13 this morning. There is a passage there I quote often in this blog, that caught my attention for a different reason today. The passage is verse 5: “never will He leave us, nor will He forsake us.”
It struck me in context with the rest of the verse. The author just finished saying “be free of the love of money” before implying the cure to the love of money is “never will He leave us, nor will He forsake us.”
For the last three years my family has been living completely on the loving support of friends, family, and a few kind “new friends.” Several times we have seen our money get close to running out before a last minute gift pulls us through.
The reason many have a love of money is because it is our safety net. As long as we have money, we can get the rent/mortgage paid, food on the table, and our Starbucks coffee fix. Not that any of these are bad, but it is easy to mistake who is providing for us.
Who gave you the ability to do that job that gives you the money on which you rely? How did you find that job? Are you really that much better than those still looking or just lost their job?
Will We Choose to Believe God to Take Care of Us?
All of these ideas come together for me because while I may have seen our money nearly running out, God has always miraculously provided. Where He has provided in the past, I can expect a similar provision as I continue to follow Him. His leading does not come without provision.
In fact money is of no concern to us as Christians, because, as we follow His lead, provisions will come because never will He leave us and never will He forsake us. Let’s be quick to thank God for all the ways He has provided for us and trust that He will continue to take care of us. We can trust Him.