So, don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear” (Matthew 6:31 NLT)?
Friend to Friend
For years, I struggled with the anxious “what if’s,” so my solution was to buy lots of extras of anything and everything. My goal was to be prepared for any uncomfortable or uncertain situation that came my way. In fact, I had a magic three-word phrase that gave me permission: just in case. As I accumulated my just-in-case items like extra toiletries, kids’ clothes or snacks, I found a sense of security in those stockpiles. In fact, those extras propped up the illusion that I had control over my life. Yet, I didn’t actually have control, I just had a closet that was full of stuff and a heart that was full of anxiety and fear.
When we’re faced with one situation that we can’t control, a natural default is to go overboard with what we think that we can control. Excessive stockpiling can be a control-loving behavior when it is motivated by the desire to control any future discomfort or inconvenience by gathering more than what is needed.
To be clear, gathering extra isn’t a sin. In light of bad weather or crisis events like what we experienced during the pandemic, it’s good to prepare for emergencies. But for everyday life, it’s helpful to ask yourself if you’re gathering extra for an emergency or is it exposing a control-loving behavior that you need to address? Our stockpiles should never be our source of security.
Today’s Truth highlights Jesus’ reminder to us to not worry about what we’ll eat, drink or wear in uncertain times because God will take care of us. However, if we’re not confident of God’s provision, we may try to create our own “insurance against uncertainty” and stockpile whatever we question whether or not God will provide. As Jesus continues to teach, the chapter ends with Jesus teaching us not to worry about tomorrow. Such an important reminder for us to embrace today!
In Exodus 16, the Israelites got upset because they’d recently left Egypt and worried that they were going to starve in the desert. They’d forgotten that God miraculously freed them from the Pharaoh’s tyranny and parted the Red Sea. One would think that the Israelites’ memories would be longer than that, but apparently not.
In Exodus 16:4, God announces that He would send food from heaven to feed the Israelites all they needed. This proclamation is stunning especially since the Israelites were whining that God should have let them die in Egypt. How dramatic, right? Yet, God was faithful even though they were not faithful to Him.
As God sent manna, one of the coolest aspects of this miracle is that everyone has exactly as much as they needed: “Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Each family had just what it needed (Exodus 16:17-18). Let that settle on you for a moment, especially if you’ve got a provision situation of any type on your mind. God knows exactly what you need, how much you need and most of all, He knows when you need it. God takes care of His children at all times, especially hard times!
Perhaps you are wondering about the line between having a healthy supply or if you’re stockpiling because of fear. Ask God about it. Also, you can begin praying before you shop and ask God if you need it because He’s given you the means of buying it or if you’re buying because you’re afraid that you won’t be able to get it again in the future. God cares about providing for you, so invite Him to speak to your heart.
God, thank You for taking care of me each day. I pray for the discernment to know the difference between preparation and fear-based stockpiling. I choose to trust that You will be faithful and provide what I need, how much I need and when I need it.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What’s the difference between a healthy supply of everyday needs or emergency planning and excessive stockpiling?
As you reflect on God’s provision for the Israelites and Jesus’ teaching, what takeaways can you draw for your life?
More From the Girlfriends
Are you facing a problem in life that you just can’t fix, no matter what you do? Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Let go and let God.” But it’s easier said than done. Is it possible that giving up on what you can’t change is God’s path to peace for your life? In Surrendered, a six-week Bible study of Jesus in the wilderness, Barb explores Jesus’ time of testing and contrasts it with the Israelites’ failures in the wilderness.
As you learn from Jesus’ example, you’ll discover six principles that will equip you to let God lead you to victory despite your circumstances.
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© 2022 by Barb Roose. All rights reserved.
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