“You gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from the rock when they were thirsty. You commanded them to go and take possession of the land you had sworn to give them.” Nehemiah 9:15 (NLT)
Every once in a while God seems to align things perfectly for your situation. This week I feel as though God has been using the very thing I have been sharing with you on Sunday mornings to help me. As I was beginning to prepare for this week’s message I was rereading the passage in chapter 9 that we will be looking at this Sunday. It speaks of the way God cared for God’s people in the desert as they were being led to the Promised Land. God was with them every step of the way and God provided for their every need. As I studied this passage again, little did I know that it would bring great comfort to me and be exactly what I needed.
Debbie’s mom was admitted to the hospital on Saturday of last week with severe abdominal pain. We thought that it was a complication from her Lupus. They ran tests and some more tests and we began to become a little more concerned. On Tuesday we received a diagnosis of stage IV ovarian cancer. It was devastating news for the whole family. Debbie’s mom, Nancy, is one of the strongest women I know and I know she will fight. She has a great attitude and the doctors seem to have a plan. But it has taken some time this week to adjust to this news. Nancy will face chemo treatments for the next four weeks and then there will be a recheck. I know many of you have faced this type of news with family members, friends, and loved ones. It just plain stinks to receive such news.
Then I was drawn back to my reading of Nehemiah. The people of God are reminded about the time their ancestors didn’t even know if they would survive. They were uncertain about from where their next meal would come. Would they have enough to eat and enough to survive? They truly did not know which way to turn. Nehemiah reminds them that in this dire situation, God provided. He remembers with them that, “God gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from the rock when they were thirsty.” They may not have known the way, they may not have known where their next meal would come from, but they could count on God providing for the journey.
Life is full of unexpected journeys. Some of these journeys are full of joy and seem easier than others. Some of the journeys are into uncharted waters and full of twists and turns. God promises to be in the journey, to provide for our needs, and to lead us to the promised land of His good and pleasing and perfect will for our lives. I know that our family is taking the journey one day at a time right now. We are trusting on God’s provision for our every need. We are clinging to the promise that God knows the way and knows the destination. We will give God the glory, honor, and praise in every part of the journey.
I know that many of you are going through difficult times in your families. Please know that I pray every day for those who call St. Andrew’s their church home. I also pray for those in the communities we serve who are hurting. I pray for God’s provision for the journey and for God’s grace to be experienced. Our family would truly appreciate your prayers over the next four months. We know that God’s mercies are new every morning and we know he can rebuild the walls in our life.
I look forward to sharing more about this with you in worship this week as we finish up the series “Rebuild.” I can’t wait to see you in church!