Wednesday, May 16, 2012

He Gives Me Everything I Need

The Lord is my Shepherd.  He gives me everything I need.

                        ~Psalm 23:1

We read this Psalm in our homeschool on Tuesday.  A conversation then followed between the kids and me.

"What does God say he will give us?"

"Everything we need."

"Everything we want?"

"No.  He gives us what we need."

"What do we need?"

"Food.  A place to live.  Clothes."

"Do we have everything we need?"


"What about if we had a tiny house, just enough food for each meal and only a few changes of clothes.  Did God still meet all our needs?"


"What about if we lost our home and had to live in a tent?"

A lot more thinking on their part.  In the end they agreed that even a tent qualified as a shelter.

"What about if we lived in a mud hut with only one bed for all of us, one chair, one outfit each, and just enough food to survive?  Is God still meeting our needs?"

This one required a bit more thinking on my kids' parts.  They agreed on the shelter and clothing part, but weren't so sure on the food part.  They finally agreed that yes, God was still supplying all our needs even then. 

It's a tricky thing, taking this verse to the extreme.  I was thinking about a blog I read last week over at Nesting Place.  A group of bloggers took a trip with Compassion International to Tanzania.  This particular blog talked about a 15 year old Tanzanian boy who lives in a mud hut with barely anything to call his own.  They didn't have any food until Compassion stepped in with a sponsor family.  Yet he is happy and says that he has everything he needs.

Then there's me.  I have a beautiful home.  More than enough food.  More than enough clothes.  Furniture, toys, medical care, the opportunity to home educate my children, the opportunity to stay home with my children unlike so many other mothers.

So why is it that this extremely poor 15 year old boy can be so happy and content with his life while I often struggle with wanting more?  I want a new cutting board because mine is getting old.  I want a new pair of jeans because mine are getting frayed.  I want a new lamp because mine tilts to the side and I have to fiddle with the light bulb to get it to turn on.  I want to sell this house that fits our family perfectly and move where we could have more land and live near other children so my children would have neighborhood friends.  

God has supplied every single need that I have in abundance.  

I believe the secret to happiness and contentment is gratefulness.  To daily thank God for his blessings.  When I first wake up in the morning before I get out of bed, I lay there and thank God for a new day.  Before I fall asleep at night, I lay in bed and thank God for all the ways that he blessed me throughout the day.  

Rather than dwell on my leaning lamp, I thank God that I have a lamp at all.  Rather than dwell on my jeans that are starting to show wear, I thank God that I have the means to replace my jeans when they finally give up the ghost.  Rather than dwell on what my house doesn't have, I thank God for providing us with a house at all, let alone such a nice house 4 doors down from my parents, 5 doors from my Grandma and 6 doors from my inlaws.  I thank God for providing awesome Grandparents for my children and that said Grandparents like to spend time with my kids.

No matter where I live, no matter if I have one hundred outfits or one, enough food to feed an army or only enough for one meal a day, God gives me everything I need and I need to be thankful for what he gives.

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