Page 306 found me at work early doing the morning cleaning and building prep while the place was empty and quiet. Once the building was ready for the day, I spent some time going through correspondence from the missions we help support and then updating our missions bulletin board. As I worked on that, I had an extended phone call discussing details of some prayer teaching I will be doing for a church on Saturday. A few more boxes of books arrived today as I gear up for the ICOM display, so I checked to make sure they were printed correctly then added them to the collection to take to Lexington in a couple weeks. So much of my book and resource inventory had been depleted over the summer that I’ve had to order some of almost everything for this conference at a cost of over two thousand dollars just for books and printed material. Add to that the cost of display space, housing, food, and travel, and a significant investment is being made in putting prayer-based resources into the hands of people who will use them. Seeing so many of the expenses come due all at once is something that both puts my faith to the test and amazes me at the provision of God as I do the work He has given me to do.
The rest of the workday was spent on preaching/teaching material as I continue to prepare for a first through third grade Bible class I teach on Wednesday evenings, the prayer teaching I’ll do Saturday morning, and the sermon I’ll share Sunday morning. While it is a lot to keep sorted out in my mind, I very much enjoy the opportunities to preach and teach. After work I grabbed a late lunch then headed home where I was able to unwind a short while before we headed out for a family hike at Potato Creek for the evening. Today’s photo was one of the last ones I took at the park this evening before heading home. It was a beautiful reminder of the satisfaction of a completed day and the peace that comes from spending time with God. The entire walk, other than the three snakes that I didn’t see until I had run each of them over with Susan’s wheelchair, was a beautiful stroll through a piece of God’s creative handiwork.
As I think about the day, my mind reflects on how God continually provides what I need even when what I want and seek after is different than what I need. When I first began giving away the books I have written, people would often ask how I could do that. My response then continues to be my response now, “It’s really not difficult. The books have been God’s gift from the very beginning so I view them as belonging to Him. So, they are His books that I am giving away at His direction. When I run out of copies of the books, I simply go to God and let Him know I’ve given away all that He had provided. So far, He has always given resources to get more every time I run low.” It may be an easy response to give but it is not an easy response to live. I can tell you that the more I trust Him and the more I see Him come through for me when I live by faith, the easier it gets to believe He will continue to provide whether I can see how or not. Many times I think we take over ownership of the things God has given us and because we grasp them tightly in our hands we have no room to receive more from God than what we already have.
I pray that we would be faithful in doing the work God calls us to and in trusting Him to provide for that work. I pray that we would be excited about opportunities to teach God’s Word to others. I pray that we would not let the distractions of life keep us from seeing the beauty of God around us. I pray that we would recognize the source, and ownership, of every good gift that we have received. I pray that God’s gifts in our life would be held loosely as we share them and use them for the benefit of others.