Growing up, we had an hour ride to and from the Christian school we attended a few towns over. We listened to A LOT of Brooklyn Tabernacle CDs during that time! My sisters and I always sang three part harmony to as many songs as we could find in our range. It's funny how, as a child, I really didn't understand the intensity of the things I was singing, yet, in my adult years, the words have been deep consolation in time of doubt or worry and a voice of reason when I needed it. The words to one song have come to mind over and over as the Lord proves Himself faithful in my life and in the lives of those closest to me. It's called More Than Enough (click to listen), and it goes through the names of the Lord and what each means. It's the first two lines that usually come to mind when I see the Lord's provision and care.
"Jehovah Jireh, my Provider,
You are more than enough for me!"
So many times the Lord has not only provided for me, but He has shown that He can, indeed, be MORE than enough. On numerous occasions, I can recount my mom sharing a story of the way the Lord provided for us after moving to Dallas, Texas, the place she says may as well have been Africa to a young mother who had never been so far from home. She said that she usually gave my older sister a dollar to put in the offering plate at church, but this particular Sunday, she only had a $10 bill in her wallet. She knew it was the last $10 we had until my dad got paid at the end of the week, so she wasn't going to be able to give any to my sister. However, as she played the piano, she looked to the front pew to find my sister pulling out that precious $10 bill and dropping it into the offering plate. She says she spent the rest of the service in tears wondering what we would do to get by until Friday. But, God proved faithful. EVERY SINGLE MEAL that week, someone either brought by food, invited us to their home, or took us out to eat proving that the Lord doesn't need finances to provide.
I can't even type it without getting teary eyed (I am my mother's daughter), even though I've heard it and shared it more times than I can count. Yet, so many times in my life, when faced with uncertainty, I have STILL doubted the Lord's faithfulness. I can remember multiple times in my adult life that I have said the words, "Lord I know you can," but silently questioned if He really would. In my first blog, I mentioned a book I was asked to read by the leaders of my first mission trip to the DR. The name of the book is The Circle Maker, and that book changed the way I pray. It taught me that the Word says to come "boldly," but I was not only coming to the Lord with weak prayers, I was coming with skepticism. The author went as far as to say that many of us pray prayers that we, ourselves, could answer so that we don't allow ourselves to be let down when God doesn't come through with what we were asking (insert conviction here).
I really started to study the verses on prayer, and, I realized that if I knew something was in accordance with the Lord's will, then I was going to start praying expectantly. I'm not going to pretend that it's been easy or that I haven't defaulted on my end of the deal, but I will say that every single time I've done it, the Lord has come through "far more abundantly than all that *I* ask or think."
Most recently, God has been so visibly present in one of the ministries I work in. Since COVID, we have seen God's hand on our endeavors in mighty ways! However, I can see how easily we could have missed out on the blessings He's given had we not asked Him for big things. He has brought women back to us after losing them to their addictions and the streets. He has brought finances to us to provide for the ministries we feel He's calling us to step into. In His own timing, He's brought back dreams that seemed to have slipped through our hands, and they are even better than we dreamed the first time!
But, let me tell you, it never comes by us just sitting back and asking Him to work. It always takes action on our part. The second part of the verse I quoted above from Ephesians 3:20 says, "according to the power that works in us." We have to be willing to surrender to whatever it is God is asking of us. Sometimes - many times -in the life of a Christian, that call to surrender comes with sacrifice. I don't know about you, but I've given up a lot in my years of being a Christian. Many days, it would be so easy to "waller in my misery" (as my mom so eloquently puts it) and allow the things I think God has asked me to give up drive me to a place of misery and defeat. But, when I step back, I can ALWAYS see the blessings He's given me in place of what He asked me to give up, and they are so much MORE than what I even asked for!
Jehovah Jireh always provides. It's not always when I want it, how I think it should be, or even what I asked of Him. Many times, it's not at all what I'm asking because He loves me enough to give me what I don't even know to request. Regardless, I am working on praying bold prayers and praising Him in the highs and the lows because I know that "He who calls *me* is faithful" ...and it's always more than enough.