Seasons are curious things. Just when we begin to feel that we’ve mastered the challenges of a certain era in our lives, God ushers in a new phase. This post was written during a time of great challenge in the life of our family. However, from our new vantage point, I can readily spot the abundant beauty which saturated those years. Be blessed today as you consider God’s unfailing faithfulness in every season of our lives…
I flip open the cupboard for the sixth time that day, peering into the shadowy recesses. And for the sixth time that day, the same jar of peanut butter meets my eye: Kirkland creamy, unopened.
And that’s it.
I want to sit and howl. Or better yet, lay on my belly, kicking and screaming like an indignant, stubborn toddler.
This was NOT how things were supposed to go. The correct game plan had already been carefully crafted: we trust God for His leading and direction. We step out in faith and obedience, fully believing in His miraculous provision. He shows up, meets our needs, and provides abundantly, magnificently displaying His great power and bringing Himself all the glory.
Remember, God? We had a deal.
But I’ve marched around this mountain before. In fact, the landscape looks uncomfortably familiar. Same shrubs and scrub. Same dry-as-dust hills. And last time we were here, Lord, remember how this ended? Not too pretty. These eleventh-hour rescues of Yours… not a fan.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy peanut butter. But come on, all things in moderation, right? And peanut butter does leave something to be desired after a time. All that sticky mess on the roof of your mouth with no milk to wash it down… ugh.
I much prefer leeks and onions.
And You promised provision, remember?
This manna business is getting old. I close the cupboard and move towards greener pastures.
Mounds of laundry greet me, each heaped up like the pile I carry on my back, the weight of the wrestling. I’m weary and I’m done.
A little quail in the mix might be nice, Lord. You know, something to break the monotony, the sheer struggle of it all. ‘Cause I know You promised, but I sure can’t spot any milk and honey flowing in this barren space. How long can I stomach this daily bread?
And you promised provision, remember?
It’s in that moment, the every-day, every-life moment of the common place that I need the revelation. I need the grace to understand the unspoken answers, because the silence is roaring in my ears.
I’m pairing up the socks, black with black and white with white. Piles of black and white are staring at me, and I’m wishing that life’s challenges could be compartmentalized so easily. Folded and neatly put away, each in its own tidy space. Formulaic. Simple.
I poke my finger through an unexpected hole. It’s high time for the charis moment, I think. The moment of grace. It’s been time for a long time.
Behind the breath of my veiled accusation, the revelation hits.
Who holds sovereignty here?
Is it me, with my mile-long list of wants and desires and dreams, handily camouflaged as needs? Is it me, with my hopes and plans and visions of how it all should run? Is it me, yearning for leeks and onions when what You’ve given is peanut butter?
What You’ve given. You have given. You always give.
It’s You. The sovereign One.
What He gives rarely matches our checklists. It rarely fits our grand personalized bill of expectation. But He gives. And in His sovereignty, He gives beautifully. He gives more than enough: our breath, our life, our joy, our peace, our hope… one gift poured out upon another. A continuous stream of unending generosity, liquid love.
But I, in my longing to wrest the crown and play the part, I demand from Him what I know I need, what He should know I need.
He whispers back, and if I choose to have ears to hear, I can hear the sound of His love calling.
Here is provision: what I have given is always enough. There is always more of Me, more than enough of Me, your daily bread. The Bread of Life.
The question is, can I look at that lone jar of peanut butter and embrace it as the more-than-enough provision of my all-knowing Lord? Can I say yes to the fresh supply of what I really need, rather than pine and whine for what I really want?
Everything in me defies the surrender; everything in me longs for the peace, the joy of complete capitulation.
I drop the socks and just muse the question.
There, in the space of quiet, I build an altar. Like the patriarchs of old, I’m taking the ground of this dusty, day-to-day earth, and I’m consecrating it as holy in the presence of the Holy One.
It’s You, Lord. You are sovereign. Be my enough today. I choose You, my Daily Bread.
And for my grumbling, complaining, whining spirit, reeking with pride and self-pity, He gives back the Divine Exchange: washed-clean eyes and a renewed, right soul.
The socks are folded in close packets, all jumbled on top of one another in a glorious heap of finished disarray. It’s supper time.
Hello, peanut butter.
Photo by Rachel Allene.