I was looking through some journals yesterday when I came upon an entry I posted last March. I’ve read it three more times since then. I can’t get over the way that God gave me such a powerful word just because I asked.
It began with this sentence: “Yesterday it ran out. The last of Mike’s severance from the school. There are no long term prospects for work; there are no unemployment benefits. There is so much uncertainty about our provision.”
Those days were difficult. A job loss is not ever easy to accept, but this one stung. A lot. For reasons I won’t rehash, it was personal and painful. We were hurting; we knew God was going to move and that he had a plan, but it was hidden from our clouded vision.
We were in the boat with him, but when we looked around we couldn’t see past the water lapping at the sides. We wondered if we had adequate resources for this journey.
Certain writers use words that connect with my soul. One of those is Emily P. Freeman. At the time I didn’t know much about her, but I occasionally popped into her blog. That day, she posted this wonderful piece about leftovers.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, Emily’s site isn’t a cooking blog. She was talking about “making lists and then shaking them in God’s face” as if to tell him what he already knows. And she helped me take a hard look at what was left over after a miraculous provision.
“Are we going to be okay?”
That was the question I had written out and was shaking at him that day. For thousands of years, God’s people have looked at one another and at him with that question.
Emily’s post inspired me to look at my concern in light of Mark 8.
Bread was his idea. He never needs to be reminded of our hunger. Time and again he had compassion for the physical needs of the crowd.
While the disciples worried about bread in the boat, Jesus reminded them of the excess after feeding the crowd.
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
I am so slow to understand, but I get it – there was more left over that day than the original meager offering.
It’s been a tough week in the world around us. The things that have happened in my backyard in the last seven days are unspeakable.
I’m more desperate than ever to remember you when I hold the bread in my hands and taste the miracle of your provision.
The pieces are broken; broken because there was a very real cost to meeting our needs.
Your body was broken for me. I am eternally secure with you. No man can ever change that.
Today I ask the same question in a completely different context, yet in the shadow of the former.
Are we going to be okay?
His answer hasn’t changed.
In Emily’s words (thank you, dear Emily, for sharing these words with me last March):
“This morning, I hear it, the invitation to hold the bread in my hands, to see my day with kingdom eyes, to feast on him, to move forward with the energy that comes from eating the broken pieces. This is My body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
I am sure I will ask the question again, but I pray that it will be with a desire to see with unveiled sight the places where he is meeting us with the broken bits that are offered so that we might become whole.
Whatever your needs, my friend, if you are in the boat with Jesus he’s got you.
Please take a few minutes to check out Emily’s original post here:
I highly recommend her recent book, Simply Tuesday. It is a beautiful encouragement to look for the beauty in the ordinary. All of her books are here: http://emilypfreeman.com/the-books
Please visit and “like” the Grace and Graffiti Facebook page here.
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Love your posts Lorraine even though I am always a little late getting to them ! This one I especially understand as I had the same experience as Mike from the same place I am sure! I had been there much longer though and it was indeed very personal and painful! It was 5 years ago and yet still stings a little at times and still struggling financially but know God will provide as long as I am willing to work with whatever he provides ! Definitely identified with your wise words and l look forward to subbing a great deal this year hopefully at another Christian school where God can still use me !
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your faithfulness in reading my posts. It’s humbling, but I believe God has called me to write.
Just remember that no matter what man does, even if they mean it to harm us, God will always use it for our good. Joseph’s life is a beautiful example of his sovereign care in this unfair world. Much love to you as you seek to walk in faith, dear sister.