Give us this day

Give us this day

Jan 09
Give us this day

Over the last several weeks, God has been telling me to wait.  It’s been a recurring theme throughout the messages He has laid on my heart lately.  So I’ve chosen to try to live it out for 40 days.

To start the new year, our church has chosen to fast together and pray for the church.  I am elated at what I see God doing in this church and in His people there.  I couldn’t be happier with the family that He has chosen for me.

For my fast, I have chosen to abstain from personal purchases for 40 days.  The fast began on January 5th.  Today is January 9th and already I’m seeing just how challenging this is going to be.  However, I’m also seeing the payoff – I’m getting to see how God provides for me and takes care of me.

Up until now, if there was something I wanted or needed, I bought it.  Assuming I could afford it, of course.  I have indulged myself in ways I never began to fathom or comprehend.  Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t just thrown money around or been wild with it.  I’m a pretty careful and considerate spender.  I wait for sales, I save my money, I budget and plan ahead.  But in the midst of all of that, it has been about ME.  I gave things to myself.  I rewarded myself.  I took care of myself.  While that was never what I was thinking – I’ve always tried very hard to be grateful and to thank God – it is what I was practicing.

What I have learned in just a few short days is that I don’t really wait on God for anything that I could take for myself.  If I want to see a movie, I can just buy a ticket and go.  Please don’t misunderstand – there’s nothing wrong with that.  You can even glorify God and be grateful to Him for providing you with the means to buy the ticket and enjoy the film.

But I wanted to experience something different.  I wanted to WAIT on God.  To depend on Him.  To know His providence and see the ways that He takes care of me.  I can’t do that when I’m taking care of myself.

I hope this makes sense so far, because I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job of explaining it.  Maybe what I’m really saying is that I wanted to see what God could do in my life without using money.  I was just about to say that there are some obvious things that I can’t avoid, but even as I say it I’m seeing ways around them.

Perhaps it would help if I shared what God has already shown me in just 5 days.  Things I never would have discovered if I hadn’t stopped buying things.

One of my favorite personal indulgences is to buy an order of biscuits and gravy for breakfast from the deli near where I work.  It isn’t a very healthy choice, but it’s cheap and I really enjoy it.  As part of my fast, I decided that it was a purchase I had to stop making.  So imagine my surprise when there are biscuits and “gravy” (in the form of a beer cheese soup) that appear at my house Tuesday night for our lifegroup meal.  I hadn’t told anyone about my fast, or that my favorite morning meal was part of it, so I knew it wasn’t planned or coordinated (one person made the biscuits, leaving from work early to go home and make them, while another person made the beer cheese which made a great fondue for the biscuits).  In other words, God provided what I had denied for myself.  By not buying it for myself, I left the opportunity open for God to give it.

Something similar happened yesterday morning.  I told Kim that I’m down to my last package of Pop Tarts for breakfast.  She reminded me that there are plenty of grocery stores between our home and where I work.  I said that it just didn’t seem right.  While there would be nothing wrong with stopping and picking up some food for my breakfast, it just didn’t “feel” right somehow.  I chose to wait.  As I was driving to work, I prayed for God to feed me and to reveal to me His will for my purchases.  I asked Him to provide breakfast and to prevent me from buying it for myself.  While I didn’t have a problem with buying food, I really wanted to be faithful in my fast as much as possible which meant I needed to wait on God before rushing to the store.

While I was praying, my phone rang.  It was Kim, calling from Panera.  She had stopped to buy bagels for her coworkers and had used her rewards card.  This purchase “earned” a reward – a free order of oatmeal.  God provided my breakfast for tomorrow.  For free.  Furthermore, in doing so He reminded me that I have a box of Quaker oatmeal packets at home.  I had completely forgotten about them.  Then when I arrived at my desk at work and took out the last package of Pop Tarts, I discovered two packets of oatmeal that I had overlooked.

By not shopping for myself, by not trying to take care of my own needs via purchases, I have opened myself to seeing God at work.  He is feeding me.  God is meeting my needs rather than me filling them myself via purchases.

In only 5 days, God is already opening my eyes to see Him more and more.

There is a stack of books on my nightstand by my bed.  I love to read!  It occurred to me since my fast began that every book I have cued up to read is a book that was either given to me or loaned to me.  In fact, the two books I’m reading right now were both suggested to me and loaned to me – I didn’t ask for either one.  I am enjoying them both immensely.  God provided my reading material.

Tuesday I faced a conundrum.  Kim called and said that one of her students was selling Girl Scout cookies.  I have placed an order every year without fail.  I concluded that while I could buy the cookies, eating them would break my fast – if I bought them then I’d have to give them away.  I decided not to place an order this year, but I might make a donation instead.  It wouldn’t surprise me if God brought me some cookies in these 40 days.

Regardless of what comes, it will all be a gift because none of it will be something I made happen for myself.  This morning as I’m enjoying a free oatmeal, I am so grateful to my God for providing for me.  He is my God in every sense of the word.  He cares about me.  And He gives so very generously.

I don’t love Him because of what He gives to me.  I love Him because of who He is, for His very nature.

Thank you, Father, for allowing me to see and experience You like this.

2 comments

  1. Kim Taylor

    Now you can share how someone brought you cookies after you waited and didn’t buy the Girl Scout cookies.

    • Yeah, the day after I turned down Girl Scout cookies, my boss brought some sugar cookies to work. Over and over and over again I’m getting to see God’s providence. All I have to do is wait.

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  1. Give Us This Day: The Blessings | Taylor, Made For Him - […] year I chose to fast from personal purchases.  I chose this because I wanted to really experience the ways…

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