“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26 (NIV)
This morning, I was a woman with a plan. I envisioned reaching new heights of productivity and speed, accomplishing my work goals for the day, getting in a quiet time, cleaning, exercising, checking off all of the phone calls and appointments on my to-do list—all with joy and energy.
Then, I used the last slices of bread for toast and lunches. I used one of the last diapers to change my baby girl. I pulled out the ingredients for my crockpot dinner and realized it’s pretty hard to make salsa chicken with tortillas when you actually don’t have any tortillas or cheese.
Change of plans. I rushed around the house throwing into the diaper bag the supplies needed for a grocery store trip with children—goldfish crackers, notebook and crayons, books, juice.
Normally, I like to plan out my shopping trips the night before, pulling out all the coupons I think I’ll use and discarding ones that are 3 months out-of-date. Then, I like to prepare my list while going about my day, making sure I’m not forgetting anything.
Not this time. I grabbed my unorganized coupons, my car keys, my children, my bag of things to entertain them and off we went. Shopping. In the rain. With sleepy children. Without a list.
The worst part of this whole story is that I was just at the store yesterday. I ran in just to get a gift and the milk that would help “tide me over” until my real shopping in two or three days. And now I had to go back again the very next day. I quietly prayed that none of the cashiers recognized me from yesterday as the crazy woman who can’t stay out of the Wal-Mart.
It’s one of my life dreams to shop just one time a week and that’s it. Clearly, I’m not there yet.
But this impromptu shopping trip reminded me that time with God should never just be a once-a-week affair where we stock the shelves of our heart and live off the supplies for a while.
Instead, in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask Him to “give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, NIV).
Today. Not tomorrow or the next week. Just for today, Lord, provide what I need. In this moment, fill me up and sustain me. Give me the encouragement and provision I need for the here and now in my life.
This daily dependence is something the Israelites had to learn in the wilderness between Egypt and The Promised Land. In Numbers 11:5, they complained to Moses, “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic, but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes.”
In Egypt, it was no big deal to swing by the farmer’s market for some fresh veggies and then pick up some fresh fish from the docks.
In the wilderness, however, they ate manna. Lots and lots of manna. It was bread from heaven, sweet, and miraculous. God sent it every night, not so they could store it for the future, but so they could eat just enough for that day. Exodus 16:21 says, ” Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away” (NIV).
At first, not all the Israelites obeyed God’s commands. They tried to store some of the manna so they wouldn’t have to gather it every day. Their goal was to make one shopping trip for the week, not daily excursions to the Wal-Mart. But, the food they stored overnight rotted and was infested with worms.
Daily dependence on God. It’s the overarching message of Scripture.
David wrote in Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (NIV).
Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:24: “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him'” (NIV)
God is our portion. He is more than enough for us in every situation, but we need to depend on Him for His presence, His encouragement, His strength, His provision, and His guidance daily, and even more than that–second by second.
Sometimes I think that my planning or my productivity can be enough, that in my own strength and ability I can make it. But, that’s just when I have a day like today, when all of my well-laid plans and my confidence in my self are destroyed.
All I can do is place my to-do list, my perfect plans, my work schedule, my bank account and bills, my kids all at His feet and ask Him to “be enough. Lord, I am not enough for any of this, but You are my portion and the strength of my heart. So, I depend on You today and You alone.”
Then tomorrow, I’ll go to Him again . . . and the next day . . . and the day after that. Because this Christian walk of ours is a daily journey of dependence on God.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King