My husband likes surprises, so last Saturday he made sure that the first family picnic for our daughter Hannah will be memorable. Shortly after we picked the perfect spot and parked the car at the local forest preserve one by one the surprises began to unfold. I had no idea that the trunk of a car can hold so many things: a tent, foldable chairs, foldable bed, blankets, portable generator, electric pan, toaster, silverware, and a cooler full of ice, water, soft drinks, ready to cook chicken, vegies, bread and snacks. My husband thought of everything! As I watched my husband’s care and love in action I could not help but think to myself that this was such a reflection of God’s character and how He feels about us. While reclining in the sun I was reflecting on God’s provision, I thought of Psalm 23 and the journey of the Israelites in the
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” Ps 23:1
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” Ps 23:2
“He leads me beside still waters.” Ps 23:2
“He restores my soul…” Ps 23:3
“You prepare a table before me…” Ps 23: 4
“My cup runs over…” Ps 23:5
It pleases God to take care of His children. Not only here on earth but also the Lord is preparing a place for us in Heaven. - "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" Ps 23:6 and “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2 God likes a good surprise too: His provisions come in unexpected ways, He takes the least likely and uses them to do great things for the Kingdom, and He extends mercy when we least deserve it. The greatest of all is God giving up His only son to die in our place, so we may spend eternity with Him. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
The second thought that was running through my mind was how quickly we forget and take God’s provisions for granted. The Lord delivered the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt with an assurance to take them to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. “And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.” Ex 3:17 He was not only their deliverer and provider but also a shelter like no other. As long as the Israelites stayed under his covering they were protected, taking care of, lacking in nothing. The moment they stepped out under Him, all kinds of troubles followed.“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” Ps 27:5
My husband turned an ordinary Saturday into a day of peace and fun but most of all priceless family time. It was a day away from the everyday stress and mandate. He also says that knowing how to live a happy life is an art. There is truth to it. God’s word clearly says that Jesus came so we may have abundant (plentiful) life. For some of us is a matter of learning how to trust and rest in Him, so we can experience the promise. For others is a question of noticing the blessings and be thankful. In this life we go through seasons some happy and some sad, it’s how we grow in statue and spirit. We have a choice – be thankful as Kind David in Psalm 23 and praise God for who He is or live in ignorance of His provision and love. I pray that God will touch our hearts and awaken them to the teaching of His word and help us to apply it daily for “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Ro 8:28
Walk with God and glorify His name.
My prayer is that this will be a place where you find hope and nourishment for your soul.
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