Monday, March 13
I [God] will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
I cannot count the number of times I have asked that same question; “Is God even here right now?” As a child I often heard “God will provide” as if it were some magical mantra. In first grade, when my father was in seminary, this concept went from abstract to a very concrete reality. My dad was a full-time seminary student, working part time. My mother was home with 4 children (2yrs-14yrs). As Christmas approached, money was scarce. Seminary tuition for dad and private school tuition for 4 kids was due, along with rent, food, car, etc. There was little left for milk much less Christmas.
My mother, being “fed-up-with-whining-children” declared “if you all can behave for the next 5 days, we will have pizza on Friday.” We quickly shut up. Mom was certain she would not have to keep this promise. Well, Friday came, and we had been very good. Where was this magical pizza to come from when she could not afford a gallon of milk?
That day, my father went to pay his tuition only to find a zero balance, his tuition paid in full by an anonymous donor. He raced home, grabbing the mail on his way in, to discover a plain white envelope with no return address with a $100 bill inside, wrapped in plain paper. The paper said, “Merry Christmas.”
We had pizza for dinner. And there was greater appreciation for God’s providence around the table that night, as well as a lot of wondering about those anonymous people who supported us as my father fulfilled his call into ministry. God provided for our needs in most unexpected way.
I continue to wander, displease, challenge, and anger God. I continue to shout, “Where are you?!” And when I stop shouting and listen, I can hear that still small voice that says “I’m right here. I never left. I will see you through this.” And I rest in that miraculous reality.
Faithful God, remind me daily of your presence in my life. Help me to trust that I am not alone but am held close in your arms. And that you know my needs even in the small moments of life. In Jesus name. Amen.