I could get used to vacationing all year long. The most recent trip was just last week and a fairly unusual vacation for us. Instead of all four kids, sand, and waves, Aaron and I chose to sleep in the city and trek the great outdoors during the day -- Denver, Colorado, why not?
The days leading up to the trip I was ready. I went expectant. And, I was exhausted. Like running the last leg of the race with the finish line in sight, I just put one foot in front of the other until the last boarding call to freedom. It. was. glorious.
Being in the mountains just makes you feel closer to God. The stillness, the peace, the lack of cell reception… The blissful autonomy was a gift inserted into our grossly busy schedules. But even fancy dinners and five-star hotels couldn't keep us from pining for the everyday lives we lead. Until about Wednesday… and I was ready to head back to the airport.
I woke up once again feeling behind the eightball. The to-do list felt neverending and the very real demands and commitments I am responsible for put my mind into overdrive. You can probably relate.
We need time with Jesus, we need to put in some time on the treadmill, we want to be invested in our kids, we have commitments at church, we are cultivating our marriages, schooling kids, cleaning house, maintaining friendships, getting the car washed, and, and, and…
As I laundry listed this all to my husband through a mouth full of toothpaste, I couldn’t believe my mini-meltdown, and so soon after being filled up and refreshed. The only word I could relate my feelings to was overwhelmed.
“Aaron, I just feel so overwhelmed and vacation didn’t ‘fix’ all the pressures I returned to.”
He was sweet to pray for me, but the reality was he didn’t have much time before his own workday started. So a quick kiss, a hurried pep talk, and I was standing there deciding what to do first.
When life is busiest, I need to get the stillest.
When life is busiest, I know to get the stillest.
Be still and know that He is God. I took a deep breath, found the quietest place I could, and closed my eyes in commune. Two stories came to mind.
First, the Israelites wandering in the desert and questioning whether they could really trust their God. Being hungry and tired, they looked ahead and became anxious about where their next meal was coming from. God attempted to assure the wanderers of His provision and faithfulness by requesting they only take enough manna for that day. Instead, some faithlessly disobeyed and kept extra only to find their manna spoiled with maggots. The rotted food placed the Israelites in a position of vulnerability where God was finally able to prove He would provide. Then there was Elijah and the widow.
Elijah was already famished when he finally arrived in a town the Lord instructed him to visit. A random widow gathering sticks is who Elijah knew to call upon for his physical hunger to be met. Her heart had already been prepared by the Lord to feed him, but the reality was she had just enough oil and flour for the last meal she’d ever cook for her and her son. She knew death was imminent but risked it all for a God she didn’t know. Scripture says just enough oil and flour for the day’s next meal was provided. It wasn’t overflowing, but every day, over and over, there was just enough.
My husband and I finished our curtailed convo later that night. With my husband being the breadwinner, he resonated with provision equating to monetary needs. For me, my time is most valuable. So, feeling like God hasn’t provided enough time for all He’s required of me is often my biggest hurdle. I can be like the Israelites. I can say I trust God but then behave in a way that hedges all my bets and buffers me from loss. I can forget that “just enough” is exactly that -- all I need for right then.
I can say I trust God but then behave in a way that hedges all my bets and buffers me from loss.
I can forget that “just enough” is exactly that -- all I need for right then.
I asked myself the same question Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 6. Maybe you want to ask yourself, too.
Amanda, or __________________, why do you have so little faith?
The word used for faith here refers to two concepts: trust and belief. Jesus knew the disciples had placed their faith in Him, but they still acted in ways that lacked trust and belief when certain situations arose. So, He reminds them how he takes care of the insignificant birds and wildflowers. He reminds them that they can truly believe He is trustworthy.
The same struggle true in the Old Testament showed up in the New Testament and then tormented me in my modern-day bathroom. There is a temptation to think God is not trustworthy enough to provide just enough. But, God’s provision of “just enough” is meant to build our faith. It’s not intended to force us into fear.
God’s provision of “just enough” is meant to build our faith, not force us into fear.
From Old Testament to New, we see He is trustworthy. Enough was always provided for God’s people. The quail always came, the clothes never wore out, the manna descended, and the oil and flour replenished. I rested in knowing that what God provided would see me through. God hasn’t demanded too much of you and I or made things impossible. He has given you and I a chance to vulnerably trust Him and see just how trustworthy He is.
For your success and His glory,