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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

He knows - and that's enough!

It is no secret that 2014 was a difficult year for my family and me.  My younger daughter's having been diagnosed with the most aggressive type of cancer in one of her breasts was, of course, the major issue, and we are so grateful to God that she has completely recovered; and to many praying, and well-wishing, friends who supported her (and us!) through so many months.

The other issue of some importance has been our search for a suitable property in S.W. France, in order that we might fulfil the tasks to which we believe the Lord is calling us in that area.  It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were led to an appropriate house, at a price we could afford, and in the very commune (village) that we had, long ago, decided would be the place in which we would like to live if we were ever to make a more permanent move to France!  Hallelujah!

At the moment, my Bible reading for my personal devotions (aka "Quiet Time) is in John's account of the Gospel story.  It contains a well-known record of an event - one that is also recorded by each of the other evangelists.  Up on a mountain-side, Jesus looked at the thousands who had come to see, and hear, Him.  Then aware that they must be hungry, He turned to Philip (one of the Twelve) and asked, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" (John.6:5).   The somewhat pessimistic response was that, even if they had the full wages of a manual worker for about seven months, it wouldn't be enough to provide even a mouthful for each of the crowd!  By the way, if we take the current UK 'living wage' as £8.00/hour (a little above the recommended amount for those living outwith London), and base it on a 40-hour week, that comes to a staggering £67,200!  We can well understand why the only practical solution, as far as the disciples were concerned, was to send the people away to the surrounding villages in order to purchase provisions for themselves! (see Mark 6:36).

By the time John was writing his account of that well-known episode in the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus, he had realised that Jesus had asked the question only in order to test Philip for, "He Himself know what He would do." (John 6:6).  He planned to perform a miracle, and feed the entire company of some 5,000 men, plus women and children, until each was fully satisfied - and have a basketful of fragments, left over from the meagre rations with which He had started, for each of the Twelve!

Last year, I read one of the biographies of George Müller.  Here was a man who often rested in the comfort of those words that John wrote about Jesus.  During the middle part of the 19th century, he cared for literally thousands of orphans in the city of Bristol.  He had no regular means of support, and he never once was know to make an appeal for funds, yet all of the needs of the orphans - and the cost of building specially-designed houses - were constantly met.  The staff in the homes often faced desperate situations but, as they began to pray about the particular difficulty, their leader would always say: "The Lord is testing us.  I don't know what we'll do, but He knows - and that's enough!"   On every occasion, the need was met - often in quite amazing ways.

Sometimes, you and I face situations that seem to be impossible - whether an aggressive cancer, or a much lower budget than had been anticipated for the purchase of a house.  The challenges seem so great, and we are unable to see any resolution of the problem.  We can do no better than to continue to place the matter before the Lord.  He Who fed a hungry multitude with so little can also meet our every need.  You and I may often be perplexed, but He knows - and that's enough!  The poverty of my resources is more than matched by the provision of His grace.

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