My Baker’s Dozen

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Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. —Matthew 6:8 NIV

I called it my “Baker’s Dozen.”

I’d grown weary of praying for the same things—some for years—over and over and hearing not even a whisper of an answer. What was I supposed to do? Keep praying? Give up? I felt stuck in the Valley of Wait.

It wasn’t like I was asking for a million dollars. Things were getting old and needed replaced—like the roof, the pickup (our only vehicle), and the redneck porch—I mean, how many times can we build a deck using wooden pallets? The heating oil was getting low, I needed a new winter coat, and the paint on the kitchen floor, actually the subfloor, was chipped and stained and hard to keep clean. The throw rugs I used to cover it were showing their age (37 years). I didn’t even want to think about the aging equipment in my writing room.

So one morning during my quiet time I decided to take God at His Word. After all, doesn’t He tell us in His Word that He’ll supply all our needs? Don’t get me into the “Wants versus Needs” debate. I refuse to analyze to death a simple thing like a prayer request. Either God is Who He says He is or He isn’t. Either His Word is true or it isn’t. I chose to believe the former in both cases.

So I opened my journal and printed across the top of a blank left page “Needs.” Next I listed all that I’d been praying for. The list numbered 13. On some of the items I gave God a deadline. On the opposite page, I wrote “When and How God Provided” and numbered the lines from 1 to 13. This was my Jehovah Jireh page (see Genesis 22:14). Jehovah Jireh, or YHWH Yireh, translates “The LORD Will Provide” and means “God who will provide all of your needs.”

I rewrote the list on a sheet of paper, folded it up, put it in a glass candle dish, and set a match to it. No, I wasn’t throwing a hissy fit. In the Bible, things that were given, or dedicated, to God, were burned.

Then I waited. I refused to fret. I’d put the list in God’s hands, and He would take care of it. Period.

Eight months later, six of the requests had been answered. But God gives what we don’t ask for, too, and provides for needs we don’t even know we have. It just so happened that the payment I received for a writing assignment was enough to purchase a new laptop, printer, and external hard drive. No sooner had I copied all my files from the old laptop to the external hard drive when the old laptop gave up the ghost. When I first compiled my Baker’s Dozen, I hadn’t a clue. But God knew.

Five years later only one space remained on the “provided” page. I had no doubt that would be filled too.

If you don’t already, keep a Baker’s Dozen list and mark how and when God answers. You’ll be delighted and often surprised the way Your Father provides.

Jehovah Jireh, thank you for meeting all my needs. Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 7:7-11.

Additional Scripture to savor: Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 9:6–11, Matthew 6:25–34, Luke 18:1, Malachi 3:10

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Home Sweet Home

In My Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you. —John 14:2 NKJV

Writer’s block was never a problem after a visit to my daughter’s. I always came home with plenty of fodder.

One time the airlines lost my luggage. Another time when I wanted to change my return flight itinerary, they (the airlines, not my daughter) told me I could fly where I wanted, but my luggage was going to my original destination.

Another time I got three weeks’ worth of writing material:

  • Two formerly neurotic dogs she rescued from the animal shelter took a shine to me because I fed them on time. They woke me up every morning by banging against the door at 5:30 so I’d let them out.
  • Two cats—one that relieved himself on the bathroom floor and the other with an itchy skin condition and loose, fuzzy hair— liked to curl up on the sofa bed with me at night and chew my hair.
  • One autistic six-year-old turned on all the fans in the house or hid under the bed on his spacey days.
  • One three-year-old tyrant preferred not to wear pants (including underpants) on any day.

Then there were the spills and other accidents on the carpet in the family room, the endless laundry for a family of four that included the toddler who went through three or four outfits a day, meals to prepare, shopping to do, and a daughter who was recuperating from surgery and didn’t have the energy to deal with it all.

No need to wonder why, halfway through the visit, I plopped in the recliner at nine in the morning with nary an ounce of energy, wondering how I, a fifty-five-year-old woman well past her prime, was going to make it through the morning, let alone ten more days of this excitement.

Sometimes I was tempted to do nothing but sit and stare at a whirling ceiling fan or hide under the bed for an hour or two myself.

I sent my husband text messages daily: “Missing you,” “8 more days,” “PRAY!”

I called him every night at ten to hear his voice. I felt inadequate without him. Dealing with life with him around is so much easier.

And while I love my daughter and my grandkids, I longed to be home, in my own bed at night, in my own kitchen, using my own computer (oh, did I tell you my laptop crashed one week into the visit, and I had to use theirs?). I kept telling myself this was a gift—these three weeks with my loved ones who live seven hundred miles away and I usually get to see only twice a year.

But I still missed home. And I couldn’t wait to get there.

It was a good reminder of the journey I have here on earth. While I’ve got a loving husband, family I love dearly, a comfortable home, a few good friends, and a fulfilling ministry, I still feel out of place at times, like I’m not really home.

I long for the One who helps me through the rough times, who has promised never to leave or forsake me. I yearn to see Him face-to-face and lounge at His feet without a care in the world.

I’m a citizen of two worlds, and, while I live here and love the fulfilling life God has given me, I ache for the place where there are no tears, no pain, no frustrations, no bills, no dust, no meals to cook, and no separation from the ones I love. And I won’t have to worry about my luggage being lost in transport.

Someday, when we finally make it to the home God has waiting for us, we’ll feel like we feel when we walk through the door after three weeks away—we are home at last.

Dear God, thank You for the home I have now and thank You for the one I’ll have in eternity. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 14:1–4.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.