To the Ministry Family Waiting for Daily Bread

waiting-for-daily-breadI’m talking to ministry folks who may be on the poor side of life right now. Those who are hungry and wondering where their next meal or week’s worth of groceries is going to come from.

Paul’s words in Philippians 4:12 express how so many of us feel, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Our journeys through ministry life bring us to those hungry places.

To you who have a bare pantry and nothing but condiments in the refrigerator. Don’t be tempted to rush out and solve this problem yourself! Psalm 37:25 tells us David’s testimony of God’s work for His children.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Lack of food can be a worry when you feel responsible and your kids are asking for something to eat. The Bible teaches us all Christians should make God and His Kingdom our first priority. Relying on God for food requires the rubber meeting the road and helps us practice what we preach/teach by living in faith.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6: 31-33

You fill in the blank for what seeking the kingdom of God is for you. You know your own personal need for Bible reading, the ministries you have (including your family), and the opportunities God places for you to be a witness for Him. If all of your monetary resources are dry stop panicking and stay busy doing God’s work. Be satisfied with that obedience and, as stated many times throughout this article, wait on Him to take care of you.

Ask and ye shall receive

Luke 11 gives us a great explanation from Christ about how God gives to His children,

 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; … If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:9-13

Simply ask, “God, you know we don’t have food for the week, will you please give us the next meal?” Then, wait in faith.

Give and it shall be given unto you.

My single mother worked hard cleaning houses and had just enough money for us to make it. Once I watched her go into our pantry and fill a box with food leaving our shelves nearly bare. She gave the food to our next door neighbor,  she was mean and hateful to her kids and had rejected my mother’s friendship with her.  Mom, in the middle of the night, left that box of food on her porch. Mom had the kind of faith that God would provide for us because we were His children. She taught me these verses:  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38. God always rewarded her generosity and we never were hungry.

God happily blesses those who give, especially those who give in His name, to His people in their time of need. Allow your heart to stay soft toward others. Even in your “poverty” it is good to be in the practice of giving.

A Side Note: One danger in ministry is we may have knowledge at times about who the givers and non-givers are in our church because we are involved in the church finances. Guard your heart against becoming bitter at other families that may not be giving and are faring better than you while you may be struggling to feed your family. God takes care of His servants, so keep your eyes on Him!

Expect only God’s daily provision.

In the account of Elisha’s life in 1 Kings God directs him to the brook of Cherith. He provides him daily meat from the ravens. Then, as the brook dries up He directs him to lodge with the widow and her son. Miraculously her empty containers fill daily with meal and oil with just enough for them to eat that day.

In the account of Israelites’ journey in the wilderness God provided manna for them to eat daily for 40 years!  There’s no question God can accommodate you, it’s a matter of when. In the Lord’s prayer it says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Daily bread, is what we are to pray for, nothing more, nothing less.

Fred and Christine, a couple we know, spoke about how when they were young Christians living in a tiny apartment on a tiny income. They met friends who lived downstairs and regularly both couples would be down to simple items in their pantry. Together they found out they could combine their resources and have a meal, one would bring a loaf of bread, another would supply tomatoes or meat and they would eat simple sandwiches and feast on fellowship. A little humility (admitting to a friend you only have a little) and a bit of creativity may create something delicious.

Don’t beg or broadcast, just wait in prayer.

Reading George Muller’s biography is a help to anyone needing encouragement in trusting God’s provision. He saw prayers answered for daily bread for the orphanage he owned in Germany. The food for the children would run out and each time they would pray specifically for that meal, God would uniquely give to them. When times were tough he would not beg or broadcast to anyone, he would pray. The best way to ask for what you need (like mentioned above) is to do it in your prayer time. Devote time you would ask others to pray for you into asking God instead.

Earlier I mentioned speaking with a friend about your situation in humility. Remember, that is not the same as purposefully dropping hints to other people expecting that they will hand you some cash or invite you over for dinner.  Worry often catapults us into asking others to take care of our needs instead of expecting God will. Always use your manners and courtesy, because ministry people do not need to be known as mooches. Prayer is most effective in these situations! When God answers your prayers, you cannot doubt His love.

Be wise with your money.

If you have ever gotten into the money pickle that leaves you with only pickles in your refrigerator then think about your money decisions that lead you to the money pickle… Making wise money choices can still leave you with no money at the end of the month to buy the last week’s worth of groceries, but being an unwise steward can also leave you with empty pockets to pay bills and buy food.

If you struggle in wisely managing your money:

  • Ask God for help!
  • Learn Biblical principles of money stewardship, do a Bible study or take a class.
  • Don’t stop tithing or giving in your local church.
  • Budget your funds.
  • Limit your splurges and stop spending needlessly.
  • Use what you already have.
  • Run from the temptation to use credit!

We err, as Americans, often in temperance (self-control) in this area of our lives and sometimes we suffer for our extravagance and make ourselves suffer needlessly. Dedicate some of your time to helping yourself become a wise steward.

In Conclusion

I cannot promise how God will feed you. If and when He does, praise Him and thank Him! Share your story of provision with others. AND I would love to hear your story, send me an e-mail and tell me what God has done!

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How God Provided: Meat for Our Freezer

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

As a ministry mama, I don’t work, I stay home with our four kiddos and my schedule stays full as it is. Sometimes I really want to do more to make money for our family so we can update a few things here and there but every avenue that I have attempted at home has left me with expending too much time, neglecting the kids, and getting little in return. So, I have come to grips with the fact that God does not want me to work even in doing something from home so I have also accepted that at this time I cannot be the one to add to our bank account. So, God does it for me!

A friend of mine works at Trader Joe’s and received some meat, and she was so kind to share some of it with our family. It was a simple gift from heaven, a few texts, and a knock on the door. Simple delivery. I love when God’s gifts are so quick and obvious!

God provided:

  • 2 packages of chicken thighs

  • 2 packages of ground turkey

  • 12 packages of chicken legs

  • 17 pounds of beef

So, as God filled our freezer He also provides for our finances. The meat added up to around $96.00. We will be able to save money in our groceries now and maybe we won’t get to replace some of the things I would like to, it may just buy some new shoes for the kids or something like that.

We never seem to run out of needs and God never stops running out of solutions to provide for them. He’s a good God that loves us so tenderly. I am so thankful that I am His child!

How God Provided: Clothes for Our Son

It’s amazing how God provides in mysterious ways! Just last week we saw God provide for our oldest son, Uno’s need for clothes. He, being the oldest, usually is the one that we buy new clothes for even if they are just “new” to him from the thrift stores. Our daughters have been provided for from about five different families in our church and we have tubs of clothes in our garage waiting for them to be old enough to wear them. Uno, however, has a pair of winter boots, a couple of shirts, and maybe a few other miscellaneous items in his tub…until now!

A month ago when I was packing up the winter clothes and getting out the summer clothes I noticed he was down to the bottom of his tub with all the winter clothes he had worn this year going into the tub for our second son, Dos. It would remind you of how the widow woman who Elijah saw felt when she noticed she was down to the bottom of the barrel with her meal and oil that morning. I began praying and telling God about Uno’s need and asking Him to provide.

We thought nothing of it when we were on our way to find some jeans at the store when my husband mentioned something to our neighbors that were outside. “Oh, we’re just going out to buy some clothes for our son before we head out on vacation,” my husband said. Then, bam! What do you know, God prompts the neighbor lady to go inside and bring us something…

When we returned from the store the doorbell rang and as we swung open the door, there she was with her arms stacked high, almost higher than her face, with boy clothes! God’s answer to my prayers was right there. She has two older boys that had outgrown the clothes and they were sitting in their garage waiting to be given away to charity. Well, God’s charity was shining down upon us when He provided so much!

When God provides so generously I am always reminded of the verse that my mother would quote to my sisters and I as children,

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38.

I can’t count the times that God has impressed on my heart to give away our children’s clothes. There have been times when Uno had outgrown clothes and Dos had not grown into them yet (they are 18 months apart) and God has burdened my heart for a single mother that needed clothes for her children. I have gone in and taken a majority of the clothes and given them to that mother. I can’t help it, I just feel like sometimes it’s a waste to have things sitting in storage when they can be used for someone else’s child.

If Jesus came back tomorrow would I wish that I had obeyed when He had placed that burden on my heart? That’s why when I’m impressed to give I do… I want to be obedient.

When we see God’s principles work, like when we give away clothes and then we receive clothes for our children, then we cannot question the principle outlined in Luke 6:38. The clothing stacked up in our neighbor’s arms were the evidence of “pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” He now has clothes up to size 14 when he wears size 7.  Whether they will be in style in 7 years may be a different story!

If I could encourage you in one way through this testimony it would be, do not doubt God’s ability to keep track. He repays all things, whether good or bad. It’s been said many times that God is never a debtor. While we should give without expectation of receiving, we should be looking for God’s provisions and being thankful for them. The times we hold back and give begrudgingly are times we rob ourselves of abundant blessings!

Even ministry women, that are on a budget, with little to give can find themselves in a battle of generosity vs. holding on to their substance while on their knees praying to God to meet their needs. Remember God’s Word says in II Corinthians 9:6-8,

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 

God not only loves a cheerful giver, He provides abounding grace for you to be able to “abound to every good work.” In other words, He gives you plenty of grace to do plenty of good toward others. He will prompt your heart to give. Then, in time He gives back to you. If you recognize His abundant blessings and glorify Him for it, then you will have a story to tell just like we do.

The next blessing you can give is sharing with your children how He has provided and He cares for them by answering your prayers. They need to know He cares about the needs they have. When you share stories like these, you are not only exercising your faith, you are passing it on to the next generation. You are setting up stones for them to look back on and to see and remind them when they need to trust again, that God has come through in the past and He will do it again.

When God provides and answers our prayers it becomes a stepping stone of faith that leads us to the next step.

  • Will we trust God to provide the next need?
  • Will we be waiting in anticipation to see how He does it differently this time?
  • Will we spread the praise to those around us?

Our neighbors are unbelievers that God worked through. That is nothing short of a miracle. You just never know how God will come through! He is so good!