"I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread." -Job 23:12
we went to a different church this morning. there were only 16 people there, including the four of us. i judged it immediately. wondering what kind of church could it be with only 12 people. wondering how can there be any spiritual growth with only 12 people. wondering what kind of service can you have with only 12 people. god saw my heart. i'm sure he wasn't pleased. i felt him say, "you are what is wrong with christians. you are why people can't see me. you are keeping people from finding me." it stung. really bad.
it hurt for the obvious reasons of seeing something inside my heart that is ugly, unfinished and unholy. but it also hurt because it dug up the root of why i felt the way i did. judging this church before i even was part of it. and the underlying sting was that i don't trust god. i mean, i do, on occasion. and especially when things are going good. but when its a sunday morning and only 12 people are sitting in the chairs i don't believe that he is going to show up.
a woman came up just to speak of prayer requests needed and people who are in need of some help and then she said it. the thing i needed to hear. the thing i've needed to hear for four years, maybe more. i don't even remember the context of why she said it, but she said, "i don't know. because maybe if he gave us what we needed six months in advance, we wouldn't rely on him for our daily bread."
you see, for four years, i've wrestled with god. always dealing with the financial aspect of being a missionary. i can tell you the embarrassing conversations i've had with him. like, "How can you send someone a life calling like this and then not provide the funds to do what is needed?" or "I could be in the states right now making crazy money doing something else but i chose to follow you here and this is what i get?" ugly, right?
but when she said that, that maybe we wouldn't rely on him for our daily bread, it screamed at me to what i've specifically been questioning god on for the duration of our time in the dominican.
if that didn't about knock me out of my chair, the pastor steps up to the podium and his first line is, "i don't know why i need to say this, but this is just something that has been laid on my heart. god is our father. he thinks like a father. even when we pray and pray and pray for something for a long time, if god knows that it isn't what is best for us or is more than we can handle, he's not going to let us have it."
it all made sense. right there. there may have been times in my faith when i questioned if there really was a god or what if we're all wrong and this god that we love really doesn't exist...but right then, our god was the god of moses. the god of the old testament. it was as if i was standing on the mount with a burning bush speaking to me. i know, without a shadow of a doubt that god is present, with us at all times. yearning for conversation with us. desiring to give us his best. wanting us to know that he is as close as our own skin. and above all that he is faithful. for four years i've struggled to know the reasons that we've never made our "A" budget or that supporters come and go. but for four years, god has planted seeds and allowed weeds to grow here and there and then pruned them away and then let the plant grow some more for this exact day that we decided to go to a different church. that i'd be sitting in that chair so sure that god wasn't going to show up. that perhaps he was doing something else more important. but right there, in that moment, god was waiting for four years until i was ready to hear what i needed to hear...
"I am your daily bread."