Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rise Up O Men Of God"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 15:26-27 – He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." (NIV)
My little terrier mix dog, Chewy, is a bottomless pit. He hops up and down excitedly as I place his bowl on the feeding mat. His grub vanishes in milliseconds before I've eaten a few bites of my own dinner. Then, he's at my feet anticipating a crumb to fall to the floor. After dinner, while I'm watching the evening news, he wants to cuddle. He sits at my feet with a big doggy smile on his small face. When I pat the seat next to me, he's up in a flash, placing his paw on my leg, adoration shining from his dark eyes.
In the same way that Chewy looks to me for a hug, or comfort, or a meal, we ought to look to our Saviour Jesus Christ when it comes to trusting where our next meal will come from. For some, that's an ongoing concern. I know that it was for us when my children were young.
I can remember when we had more month than money. While my husband worked two and sometimes three jobs, the children changed to play clothes after school and helped in the garden with weeding and picking, and in the kitchen with canning the vegetables.
When I pulled fresh-baked loaves of bread from the hot oven and placed them on the back porch to cool, the girls covered them with a crisp, clean dish cloth. But what the children loved best was rolling the leftover bread dough into balls that I fried in oil, drained on paper towels, and rolled in sugar to make doughnut holes. Of course, while they were still warm, most of them disappeared into young mouths, along with a glass of milk from the neighbour's cow.
When a generous neighbour's husband bought her a new freezer, she gave us her still-working old one. Thank God, that freezer chugged away for many years filled with beef, chicken, and cuts of pork that other wonderful neighbours provided at reasonable cost.
During those years, God blessed us with an abundant garden and the ability to can quarts of vegetables. At the time, I didn't fully understand that all this was God's way of caring for us. All I knew was that we worked hard and had wonderful neighbours. Although it was often difficult to squeeze the mortgage out of my husband's paycheques, it usually got paid within the grace period. Admittedly, many days were spent in prayer asking God for help.
So, what's the point in telling you all this? Simply this: God answers our prayers right on time to meet our need. Sometimes, it's with an unexpected miracle, like the much-needed gift of a freezer. Other times, it's with an abundant garden. Still other times, it's with the ability to take what is on hand to make something delightful, like sugary doughnuts. Whatever happens, it is often God's way of answering our prayer — sometimes through the thoughtful, kind actions of others. All the ways that God blessed us still stagger my imagination.
Let us be sure to thank God for His timely answers and provision.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord God, for all the many ways that You've provided for us when we were clueless that the wonderful things that came our way were You answering our needs. Thank You again, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.