Hard times…

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Scripture: Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing.

Observation: Here the writer speaks eloquently of God’s provision for his children who, having been blessed by God the Father, are a blessing to others.

Application: Over the years, I have visited a number of places where there is serious material poverty. And here’s one thing that has become obvious to me. As an American, I’m ridiculously spoiled. I have been so materially blessed, for so long, I can feel deprived very easily. I can’t afford a new car? A nicer house? A family vacation? A new smartphone? The horror! Lord, why hast thou forsaken me!!! I’m exaggerating, but not by much. I tend to have an outsized notion of what I “need”. And here’s the truth:

The Lord will occasionally scale back provision to help me rediscover gratitude.

It’s happened a few times over the years.We’ve had unexpected disruptions in our income streams, for various reasons. That ever happened to you? And in those times my family and I have had to scale back our standard of living. We learned that we could live without many things we considered “necessities” – like things mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog post. Did we enjoy it at the time? No. Did we experience some stress? Yes. But we have always had what we needed, if not everything that we wanted. And when, by God’s grace, greater provision has been restored, we have appreciated it so much more having had to do without for a while.

I know there are some of you who are in a season of reduced provision right now. You’ve had to scale back your material expectations – and it’s causing some stress. I feel you. It’s no fun. But our verse for today has some good news for all of us. We may have to do without to some degree, but we are not likely to find ourselves “begging bread”. That’s a promise from the Father.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are so good to us. Today we pray for the many people who are experiencing reduced provision in their lives right now. Those seasons are difficult ones, for sure. Yet give us grace to embrace a spirit of gratitude – whatever our provision may look like. For we know you will never leave us nor forsake us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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