And yet the more it is I that provides, the more God lets me do it on my own to show me my need for Him. He calls Himself my provider. He is the giver. I am merely a conduit through which He works to do His will here on earth.
I frequently catch myself saying yes to projects that I don’t have time for now. But if the project has a time limit on it, then it is hard to say no. And that, my friend, is another area my lack of faith gets exposed.
It is because I worry whether I’ll have enough work later to carry me through that I feel pressured to say yes so that I may make hay while the sun shines. Or so says the old proverb. And yes, there are seasons to make hay while the sun shines, and seasons to plant before the rains come. It is wise to recognise the seasons.
But it is also wise to recognise your limits, and to recognise that ultimately it is our Heavenly Father that provides. Jesus says: “Do not worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will worry about itself.” Do you believe that? I do. And even as I say I do, I need to pray: “Lord, help my unbelief!”
In our modern non-agricultural world we too often think in industrial terms. I “make” my living with such and such. I “make” money. I “build” my business. We would be a lot healthier thinking in agricultural terms. I “sow,” I “grow,” I “harvest,” I “steward.” The farmer recognises his seasons.
The farmer also recognises his lack of control over much of the farming process. He doesn’t control the rain, the growth, the amount of the harvest, or the growing season.
Imagine a farmer with a farmers market by the road. He sells tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. He sells out of tomatoes. The customer may be sour at him, but all the farmer can do is say: come back tomorrow, and I may have some more. He doesn’t control when the tomatoes are ripe. He just picks them when they are.
It doesn’t matter what the customer thinks, the farmer can hold on to his peace. He did what he can do, and he doesn’t have to stress about the customer beyond that.
In construction, there are seasons too. But there is not as obvious a limit to what the contractor has to give. I recently worked with a contractor to try and see if we could improve his company and take it to the next level. This contractor never said no. If someone said that there was a roof to be done, and he would get the contract if he could start on it next week, he said yes. Even if he had already promised others he would do their jobs next week.
He was so desperate for profit, and so cash strapped that he dared not say no to a potentially good contract. It is not hard to guess what that did to his business. The irony is this, the more desperate we are to provide, the more likely our decisions will be fear driven. And the more we operate in fear, the harder faith is.
The more we work out of fear and desperation the more exhausted we get. And the more exhausted we get, the more desperate we get. It is one vicous cycle of fear and exhaustion.
We need to take time out to rest, refresh, and to remind ourselves that God is my provider. What will it take for you and me to take God at His word?
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6: 33-34 NLT
I constantly have to remind myself of these truths. I can trace most of my worst business decisions to this one problem. The inability to trust God for tomorrow.