Blessed be the Lord,
for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong? That happened to me recently. Everything – I mean everything – seemed to be going off the rails, but God carried me through so spectacularly that I want to share with as many people as possible.
It started on a Monday. I had just come back from a gathering of the Friends of Jesus Fellowship and I was due to give a pretty substantial presentation on Wednesday. I had budgeted time to put together the last few slides, but trouble began to brew when I was asked to help out with a research project. Of course, I agreed – I had two full days to finish the presentation, after all. But then, the research project became a bigger research assignment and a drafting assignment. As the day wore on, I could feel my anxiety building, but a voice in my heart said, The Lord will provide.
By the time I finished dealing with that assignment, it was Tuesday evening at 9. Still plenty of time. I opened up PowerPoint to finalize the presentation and … got a message from my husband. He was sick and needed me to come home. I felt a flash of panic – when would I be able to finish? -but, again, a voice in my heart said, The Lord will provide.
I stopped by the pharmacy for medicine and ginger ale for my husband and hopped on the train. Thankfully, the ride was smooth, and I was able to review my presentation notes and make a little progress. I arrived home at around 10, gave my husband the supplies I had bought, walked the dog, cleaned the kitchen and went upstairs with my laptop. I settled into an armchair, took a sip of water, opened up PowerPoint and … heard my son start to cry from the other room. An alarm sounded in the back of my mind when I saw it was 11:39, but the voice in my heart said, again, The Lord will provide.
After two hours, my baby finally went back to sleep, and I realized I needed to do the same if I had any hope of giving a coherent presentation the following day. I would go in early and finish in the morning.
I left home to head into the office bright and early … and had to make a stop to deal with my own upset stomach. It turned out I had gotten sick too. I was forced to make another stop at the pharmacy, and when I finally arrived at the office – chewing on Pepto-Bismol and well after the early hour I had planned to come in – I realized that in my frenzy over the content of the presentation, I had completely forgotten about the logistics. As I arranged for printing and flash drives and all the other details of giving a presentation, I started to get deeply concerned about the fact that I still hadn’t finished the last slides – and the presentation would be in just a few hours. But again, the voice in my heart said, The Lord will provide.
I finished the presentation and was able to meet with my co-presenter more or less on time so that we could travel to the office where we were presenting. Can I tell you that the presentation was probably the best I have given? Somehow, people were engaged and not-miserable despite the fact they had to spend over an hour hearing about compliance obligations. Can I tell you that it went so well that I got a positive note in my personnel file about it, which, to my knowledge, has never happened before in my life? The Lord provided, and he did so abundantly!
Readers, I was trying hard to do my best and to be my best – as an attorney, as a wife, as a mother. But it felt, as it sometimes does, that life itself was conspiring to undermine me. From little inconveniences to conflicting priorities to family obligations to unexpected health problems, it is so easy to be derailed. But sometimes, the Lord will use those problems to make a point to you, as he did to me, that bad things happen but that God is still Lord over heaven and earth. He knows what you need, and he will provide it. Trust in him for sustenance, and you will be sustained. It won’t always look like the sustenance I received, for which “miraculous” is not too strong a word. But God will take care of those who sincerely seek his kingdom and his righteousness. Jesus said it, I believe it and you can too:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.