How to Have Everything You Need When You Need It
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When you've passed thousands of cars on the Interstate, you've seen a whole lot of bumper stickers - most of which you've forgotten. But there's one I saw I've never forgotten. It was just five little words - words which weren't even that original. But as I passed that particular car, I glanced inside at the passengers, and suddenly the bumper sticker took on great meaning. A mother was driving and she had her child in the back seat. It was a little boy, who even with a quick glance, I could see had some severe mental handicaps. You know, this lady had a very challenging life, and I knew how she was handling it because the bumper sticker told me. It simply said, "One day at a time."
God has made His plan for meeting your needs very simple and very clear. One five-letter word sums it up. And one Bible story wonderfully illustrates it. It's in 1 Kings 17, beginning with verse 2. It's our word for today from the Word of God. God's prophet, Elijah, has just delivered an unsettling message from God to Israel's King Ahab - that it will not rain for the next few years. Well, that didn't make Elijah a finalist for "Man of the Year" in the king's book.
So the Bible says, "The word of the Lord came to Elijah: 'Leave here...and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.' So he did what the Lord had told him...The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." So, here sits Elijah in the wilderness, totally dependent on God for his next meal. Those ravens didn't bring a month's groceries or even a week's groceries. In fact, they don't even bring enough for a whole day. Okay, breakfast was there. Sure hope they show up again tonight for dinner, or I'll have nothing to eat. But with all normal sources unavailable to God's man, God has this surprising and creative method of meeting his needs. He "orders the ravens" in twice a day.
Now, if you belong to Jesus Christ, Elijah's God is your God; always making sure your needs are supplied, usually, like that bumper sticker said, one day at a time. Why only a day at a time? Well, to keep you close to Him...to keep you faithful, always asking, "Am I doing what I should be doing with what He's already given me?" And to keep you pure - asking, while you're waiting for the ravens, "Is there anything in my life that might be holding back God's blessing?"
God wants you to live His plan for your life in these little 24-hour, bite-size chunks called days. The Bible says, "This is the day the Lord has made" (Psalm 118:24)..."His mercies are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:23)..."Daily He bears our burdens" (Psalm 68:19). We're to live out our commitment to Christ by taking up our cross "daily" (Luke 9:23), and our "strength will equal" our "days." The strength you need, the provision you need, the grace you need, the answers you need, the help you need, and the encouragement you need - He's going to send you what you need on the day you need it and not a day earlier. So when you get all worried and fearful about what's beyond today, you're running ahead of your supply lines. Because you don't have tomorrow's "bread," tomorrow's strength, or tomorrow's grace until that day comes. So you're trying to carry tomorrow's burden with today's grace, and you're going to stumble.
So, where is what you need going to come from? From your Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides. How will He supply what you need? Oh, He has so many ways, but you can be sure that, as in Elijah's time of need, God has "ordered His ravens" to deliver it. And when will you have it? You can be sure you'll have everything you need on the day you need it. Until then, your assignment is clear - be where God wants you to be, doing what God wants you to do that day. Oh, and you might want to go open that window. His ravens are on the way.