Cure For Worry
God has taught me a lot about gratitude over the last year or so, and he’s also reminded me in a million ways that He will always provide for my needs.
It seems we live from crisis to crisis, but He shows up in each one in a different way. I guess that’s the point, that we get to know Him more personally by experiencing all the different facets of His character.
One day I felt compelled to start documenting all my stories of God’s faithfulness, showing how He showed up and displayed a different side of His character each time. When you read my stories, you probably think, “Wow. She’s seen God come through in so many awesome ways. I’ll bet she never struggles with her faith.”
I think the same thing when I reread them. “Wow. God, you’re so amazing. How could I ever doubt you.”
Yet somehow I still struggle. I still wake up in the middle of the night and fret over things to come, over unresolved problems, over things I can’t control.
I recently finished a Bible study that weaves the whole Bible together into one continuous story. I loved the bigger picture it gave me, especially when it put so many stories into the correct chronological order. The beginning of the study focused a lot of attention on the beginning of God’s covenant with Israel, and then it spent quite a bit of time following the Israelites.
The story that challenged me the most, and continues to challenge me daily, is the one about the manna. God used manna, a special bread that literally fell from the sky every morning, to provide for their most basic need. He provided it on a daily basis, and he made sure no one gathered more than they needed for their family for that day. Those who tried to gather extra and store it only woke up to find a moldy, nasty mess the next day.
He taught them dependence on Him. It was a trust issue.
That’s the issue that hit me between the eyes. I looked back over the last year of our lives as my husband walked through unemployment. Though we didn’t live in abundance, we always had enough. God sent daily manna in the form of unexpected checks and cash, meals out with friends, a free refrigerator filled with food, and He prepared us ahead of time with a larger than normal tax refund.
We always had enough for each day. So why did anxiety continue to rob me of the joy I should have had?
Because I wanted more. I wanted to gather more than enough manna for the day so I could save it for tomorrow. I didn’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. I wanted to have enough in savings to cover the next unexpected emergency. I wanted to live with the security that we’d be okay for a few more months. I wanted to pay all the bills, take care of the extra medical expenses, and still have some money left. I wanted to show that I’m responsible with money and that I live within my means.
That’s all good according to the Dave Ramsey philosophy. That’s what we all should be striving for. Good stewardship. Wise financial planning.
But it created an anxiety in me that didn’t need to be there. It made me focus on my own self-sufficiency rather than on a deep trust in God’s provision. It caused me to see the manna drop from the sky and not be grateful for it. It wasn’t enough because it couldn’t cover tomorrow’s needs, as well.
God provided absolutely everything my family needed on a daily basis, in ways that only He could provide, yet I complained because it didn’t leave anything extra for tomorrow.
Then I read the passage about God’s instructions to the Israelites to gather only enough manna for the day. Those who gathered more just had a mess to deal with the next day. They didn’t trust Him to continue to provide each day, and I guess I didn’t either.
It’s all about trust and gratitude. I am learning to start out each day thanking God for the blessings and provision right in front of me. Tomorrow there will be more, but I have to wait till tomorrow to see what they are.
Today I am thankful for the manna, God’s perfect provision for my present needs. Financially. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically.
For today, it is enough.