"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
October 16, 2019
We are often a people of comparison, even thought we'd like to think that we aren't. We compare our looks, weight, careers, finances, homes, cars, church, ministries, blessings, answered prayers, problems; and lives in general. The truth is, when we do this, we often feel as if we come up lacking.
Over the years I have heard people say, "Compared to what they're going through, I guess I really can't/shouldn't complain." But does their problem make yours more insignificant or less difficult to handle? The magnitude of what you're dealing with may not be as big as what someone else is going through, but that doesn't mean that you don't need God's intervention as much as they do.
It's kind of like comparing a watermelon to an apple. They are both fruits, both healthy, both beneficial, both tasty. Just because the watermelon is larger doesn't mean that the apple is insignificant or of lesser value. You can only eat them each one bite at a time.
We can do the same thing when comparing testimonies of what God has done. We are thankful, but sometimes it may seem less important compared to that of someone else.
Recently, my sister, Janie, and I were talking about this. I had shared with her about a miraculous healing that a good friend had received. Then shortly thereafter our church was significantly blessed financially; which was desperately needed to help finish our remodeling so we can get final inspections and permits. She mentioned that she had a testimony that "wasn't as big as the others".
Devin needed shoes and after looking at a couple places, they prayed before going into the third store. They found him a pair that was on sale for $20 off. The store was having a buy one, get one half-price off sale. They walked by some belts, but the original price was more than Janie wanted to pay; and she didn't see the second sales sticker. The sales clerk let them go ahead and buy the belt for half off the sales price. Then another cashier told them that they qualified to spend the wheel. Devin did so, and they got an extra $4.00 off the price of the belt. They ended up paying $4.50 for a $34.00 belt.
I asked her, "Really, is it a matter of big and small answers to prayer?" The lady needed healing, so God provided healing. The church needed finances, so God provided finances. Devin needed shoes and belt, so that is what God provided. The lady who needed healing didn't need shoes and a belt, and Devin didn't need healing. God's provision is equal to our need!
I want to reiterate that last statement and want you to really get it: God's provision is equal to our need! Always!
When David faced Goliath, he didn't need 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed him. He needed boldness, a slingshot with smooth stones, and the know-how to use it. On the flip side, when Jesus was teaching the 5,000 and they were hungry, a slingshot and smooth stones were not what they needed; they had no giants to slay. They were hungry and needed food.
When the lady with the issue of blood came to Jesus, desperate after twelve years of seeing doctors and spending all that she had, she didn't need water turned into wine; she needed healing. But when Jesus was attending the wedding with his mother and they ran out of wine, they didn't need healing; they needed wine.
When Daniel was in the den of lions, he needed divine protection; not walls to fall down and crush the enemy. But when Joshua was leading the children of Israel, God told him to march around the walls of Jericho so that the walls would fall and the city be destroy; they didn't need protection from a bunch of hungry lions.
When there was famine in the land and the widow was almost out of oil and flour, she didn't need raised to life; she needed provision. God sent Elijah to her and until the end of the famine, her pitcher of oil never ran out and her barrel of flour never went dry. But when her son died, the oil and flour wasn't needed at that moment; he needed raised back to life.
Do you understand what I'm saying?! God's provision is always equal to our need!
No need is better or bigger than the other. It is not more difficult for God to heal a disease that has no cure than for Him to lead you to a sale where you can get a $34 belt for $4.50. The Creator of the heavens and earth loves His children and it gives Him great pleasure to provide for all of our needs.
Never feel as if you have no testimony or as if what God does for you is insignificant or not worth mentioning. Whatever God does for us is always praise worthy! Our testimony may be exactly what someone needs to hear to build their faith and encourage them to believe for their need.
I remember a time several years ago when I was feeling discouraged, exhausted from work, and just plain down. I approached the last stop light before getting home, and knew from the pattern that it would be turning yellow very soon. I was sure it would turn before I got there. It was a left turn, and no one was close to the sensor, and other cars had been waiting in every other direction. Normally, it gives 3 seconds in that case, turns yellow for 2, then red. I didn't make any great prayer. In fact, I didn't think of it as a prayer. I just knew it would turn before I got close enough, and disgustedly said, "Oh, God." (thinking "...one more disappointment..."). The light stayed green. I kept going, but ready to hit the brake any second. It waited till I was halfway through the intersection to turn yellow.
It seems like one of those tiny miracles. But at the time, it was what I really needed. I needed a reminder that God is there with me, even when I'm tired, even when I'm discouraged, and even when I call on Him in disgust.
Hash brown Potato Soup
1 (30-ounce) bag frozen hash browns
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces Velveeta
1 package cream cheese, softened
Place frozen hash browns in crockpot. Pour chicken broth and cream of chicken soup over the top. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Cut the Velveeta and softened cream cheese into chunks and add to the soup. (They will melt better if both are cut up into chunks.) Cook for an additional hour, stirring occasionally so the Velveeta and cream cheese will melt and mix into the soup.
** If you don't have cream cheese, you could add in 8 ounces of sour cream into the soup at the very end before serving; mix well. You can also fry up bacon and crumble, then add into the soup.
If you are short on time, this soup can be made in a large pot on the stovetop. Make sure you stir often after adding in the Velveeta and cream cheese (or sour cream) to keep it from sticking to the pot.
My nephew's wife asked her kids what their favorite bible stories are. Her son answered that he loves the stories about creation. Her 5 year old daughter said that her favorite is the one about James and Jones.
Another story about the same kids: A couple weeks ago, her 8 year old son prayed that God would clean his room or send an angel to clean it. When he finished praying, he went in to look and see if it was done.
Always leave people better than you found them.
Hug the hurt. Kiss the broken. Befriend the lost. Love the lonely. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon