Many of us have our favourite psalm verses. One of mine is in Psalm 16, because of its profound truth. I like its translation in the Good News Bible, because it flat-out “just says it”. Verse 2 says, “All the good things I have come from you.” And that is true. But there is more! The sum, the memory verse, is 16:5:
You, Lord, are all I have,
And you give me all I need;
My future (my life) is in your hands.
That verse is often the first thing I say to God in the morning; I cling to its truth because it orients my day, and in fact, orients me to His presence.
Think of it. God made each of us. None of us is alike. He is our Creator. He is our Provider. We, on our own, have nothing. He made us, He loves us, He provides. We kid ourselves if we think we are a self-made man or woman. Not so! It’s He who made me, not the other way around. This one thought anchors us in true humility as we approach the throne of His grace.
Think of how God provides all we need. The old truism, “that’s need, not just want” is something we often forget. His timing is different from ours, but He does provide - when we actually need it. Jesus tells us He knows what we need even before we ask. Then why ask? Once we’ve asked Him, we are more sensitive to notice when He answers, and we are more likely to thank Him and believe in His mercy.
Think of your future. We have goals and we may work hard to achieve them. But who gifted us with our natural aptitudes? Who added gifts of the Holy Spirit to keep us closer to God and to accomplish what we do? Who placed us in the world, with the background and understandings we have, with the desires to accomplish His purposes for our life? It wasn’t just us, folks! So, our future is in His hands. We can rest in this fact, working with a heart of faith and a peace that passes all understanding.
What a God!
I was almost reluctant to share this thankful bit of my faith life. I do not want to be insensitive to the wrenching worry and taxing anxieties that so many people are going through, especially now. “That may be fine for you,” they might say, “but my life and my future are freaking me right out. Where is your god – if there is one? Where is he, when I need him?”
Let us think about this: to know anyone well, you build a relationship, step by step, and you have to want to do that. If you have found a good friend, it’s a relationship of trust, a trust built upon one incident after another, sometimes in a way that you might not even notice at the time. You come to really know one another.
So it is with our relationship with God. It is a deep, wonderful friendship. It’s not about capital-R “Religion”. It is a two-way, intimate, loving relationship. None of us knows everything about God. But what He teaches you, you do know, and He guides you to love and trust Him. You say, “Yes, I want to be closer, I want to know more of You,” and He builds and deepens the friendship. You do come to really know Him.
God gave me my faith and my trust in Him in bite-sized pieces, some of them in pure joy, but many of them in hardships. I think of times when as a married student with kids, we had no money but He always made sure we were fed. At that time, I had no relationship with God; but He was there. I think of the horrible time in my life when I found myself in a broken-down marriage, worried about single parenting my children; but He was there. I think about how in my twenties, I had wandered away from God but He lovingly brought me back to Him, in an adult friendship. I think of how He patiently wrestled me into wanting a second family, and the utter joy when our little baby daughter came into this world. He knows me – because He made me, and He has both my past and my future in His hands. I am a thankful believer.
Bite-sized pieces can start any time. That’s what I want to share. If you are crazy with worry and don’t see any answers, it’s a good time to call on God. He has loved you all through this, even if you don’t realize it. He will get you through. Sometimes you don’t see that until later, but He will build the friendship, the faith, the trust.
You, Lord, are all I have.
You give me all I need.
My very life is in your hands.
If that weren’t true, with all the Covid uncertainties, I’d be freaking out.
~ Barrie McMaster