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Archive for February, 2011

Meanwhile…

Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard…

I like the “meanwhile.”

I mean, sure, it’s bad.  Joseph’s brothers hated, attacked and then sold him.

And sure it looks like it’s getting worse – Joseph is sold as a slave in Egypt.

But there is something in that “meanwhile” that whispers “God is at work here.”

Even though it can’t be seen yet…

… and doesn’t make sense yet…

it can still be sensed.

“Meanwhile…” God is at work!

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daily bread

I’m listening through the Bible again this year. A couple weeks ago we got to that momentous occasion of Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt.  But before you can even say “Promised Land,” there they are, complaining:

So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.

I could go on.  Really, I could.  There are numerous complaints over the next 40 years.  Bad water, no food, no water, tired of manna & wanting meat, enemies coming, people of the land to big & too numerous and so on and so forth.

But this time through listening to these first complaints, something struck me.  Food and water are real needs.  Especially when traveling through a wilderness.  A wilderness simply doesn’t have provisions to take care of hundreds of thousands of people.  That’s why it’s called a wilderness!

Thus started a conversation in my mind/spirit:

Their needs were legitimate.

Yet their complaining was wrong.

But what were they to do?  They needed food and water!

Well, they could have asked…

They did ask!  They went to Moses and asked!

But they were being a bit dramatic about it, weren’t they?  They didn’t simply ask, they groaned and complained and exaggerated.

Okay. Point taken.  So what should they have said?

How about something like, “Lord, you have shown us that you love and care for us and that you are big enough to do anything. We believe you and trust in you and you have said you have brought us here for a purpose and that you are leading us to a promised land. But we see no food here. Please provide us the food we need to follow where you lead.”

I can see how that’s not complaining.  But really, “fill the need for where you lead”? Isn’t that like that whole “Where God guides, He provides” cliche.

Every cliche began as a truth.

Okay, I think I can handle that.  So instead of whining and complaining and exaggerating the circumstances or the need, I simply need to ask.  Simply ask for God to provide what I need when I need it for where He is leading me?

Yes. Nothing more, nothing less.  What you need when you need it.

That seems vaguely familier.

It certainly should.

Oh, yes! “Give us this day our daily bread!” That’s another prayer for what we need when we need it.  Daily.  Sustenance.  Wow! So Jesus basically taught us to pray how Israel should have responded in the first place!

Yes.  Pretty cool, huh?

Very.  Now, if I can just learn to pray that prayer earnestly and not complain…

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