I want to say a big thank you to John King over at Smoking Newspaper and Bill Jones at I Was Thinking the Other Day About... for their guest posts this week!
And I want to give a shout out of congratulations to Wesley for winning the book giveaway!!! I hope you enjoy reading Don’t Smoke the Newspaper and Other Lessons Learned by a Pastor. And if you didn’t win, you can check out the book on Amazon.com here!
On Thursday morning, I pushed a cart all around Wal-Mart. It was already feeling a bit crowded and crowded to me is like narrow and close to others, like an MRI for someone with claustrophobia. My heart beats a little faster, I’m certain my temperature shoots up about 5 degrees and I feel like I could just sit down on a random store bench and cry.
But I survived with a cart nearly overflowing, shopping for my family, for church events, for prayer group breakfasts, shared meals, and Operation Christmas Child. My massive list had been divided into five sections for all that week’s events.
Then I had to go back the next day.
Because while I had seemingly put every item on the Wal-Mart shelves in my cart the day before, I hadn’t bought all of the necessities for the prolonged power outages carried along on the wind and rain of Hurricane Sandy.
I was an optimist, hoping the storm would turn or move north or simply disappear off the radar.
So, I reluctantly went back. Two trips to Wal-Mart…Two days in a row…With a 3-year-old… Pressed in on every side by every other person in my town also rushing the aisles for water, canned goods, paper products, and batteries. One friendly guy (not an employee) scaled the now-empty shelves and reached to the far back to hand down the last four cases of bottled water to those of us waiting below.
When I arrived home from picking my other daughters up from school, I loaded the cans of soup into the cabinet and piled the water in the laundry room. One of the girls yelled that her drink spilled and I reached my hand across the kitchen counter to yank off a paper towel….
Only to find that it was the last one on the roll. A quick search through our pantry revealed no hidden stock of paper towel rolls.
I was completely out.
That’s right. All of that shopping, and I still didn’t have everything I need.
Sometimes life feels just about that way. Fill up, consume, search, receive…and still we long for more, still there is the desire, still there is the need.
Perhaps we’ve tended to certain areas, all of our energy and sweat-browed focus exhausted on just getting through this one challenge. Then we finish. We make it. And we realize all that we’ve ignored, the other needs now screaming out for attention.
One crisis ends, another arises. Storms that never made it onto our radar suddenly threaten. Or maybe, like me, you’ve squinted your eyes shut to the possibility, choosing optimism ….or willful blindness.
We’re needy folks. Like baby birds sucking down the prize worm, we so quickly lift our heads and scream for more.
And it’s not that our needs are always imagined or that like spoiled consumers we’ve mis-defined “needs” and “wants.”
Sometimes it’s just because we’re thoroughly dependent on a Dependable God, aware of our insufficiency, surrendered to our out-of-control state and trusting in His guidance, mercy, care, and provision.
This week, I’m not sure what kind of power and Internet outages I might experience with the coming storm. You might not hear from me as “regularly scheduled” or maybe I’ll happily be online for regular devotionals. Just know I’ll be up and running as soon as I can.
In the meantime, here’s a verse for the week to remind me of all that God provides to someone as needy as me and that I can give praise and be true deep-down grateful for each need He satiates.
And that I needn’t scream in fear and desperation—because He’s provided before, He will take care of me again. That’s what gratitude does. It gives us peace.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer 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. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King