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.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

For we walk by faith, not by sight. —2 Corinthians 5:7 RSV

Years ago I took a leap of faith and resigned from my full-time job—a year after I first sensed God nudging me to do so.

For that year I wrestled. How did I know it was God’s voice I heard—and not echoes of my own desires? And how on earth, if I quit, would we make ends meet?

I believed God was able to provide—it says so right in the Bible: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). But it’s easier to believe a verse like that after the fact. And there’s a difference between “is able” and “will.”

This is where the rubber met the road.

After much prayer, I submitted my letter of resignation—and immediately the yearlong wrestling match ceased, and the tension evaporated. My shoulders felt as though a massive weight had been lifted. Why did I wait so long?

But my decision was tested—in an area where I least expected and cared most about. Three months after I received my last paycheck, my husband began a round of medical tests. This is a man who, in thirty years, took perhaps fifteen days off work due to sickness. And here we were, facing the unknown—in health, in job performance and hence employability, and in our future. Add to that all the missed work hours due to doctors’ appointments and medical tests that reflected in his paycheck.

God will provide, I told myself even when, in the spring, we received several past-due notices.

 “Wait until our income tax refund comes in,” I promised them all.I knew we could catch up because we got a bigger refund since my income had decreased. By May we were all caught up.

God continued to meet our needs. Editing jobs came just when the property taxes were due or the heating oil was low. The grant money our son received for college increased. More opportunities for freelance writing and speaking came. A change in our health insurance policy provided better benefits, including dental and vision—we both desperately need new eyeglasses—without additional cost for us.

I learned more than to trust God, more than what it means to be sure of what I hope for and certain of what I don’t see (Hebrews 11:1), more than how God blesses obedience. I learned to wait on God. Patience (ugh!) was cultivated in my impatient soul. And this, perhaps, was the most important lesson of all.

As I look back on that year, I don’t see lack. I see God’s provision, protection, and presence. He truly is able to take care of all my needs, able to handle anything that comes along, able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), able to mold me into what He wants me to be (Philippians 1:6).

Are you sensing God’s nudging? Don’t be afraid to step out in faith because, you see, where the rubber meets the road is where God will be.

Dear God, You are just awesome! Amen.

Read and reflect on Lamentations 3:21–26 and Philippians 4:6–7.

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