Skip to main content

The empty roll

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 4:19 NLT)

If you have ever been in the bathroom, looked over at the toilet paper holder, then suddenly come to the realization someone used the last of the white stuff long before your arrival, you know that moment of panic that what you "need" is not at hand! I can recount this one time that my youngest grandson went off to use the facilities and then he just never came back - for a long, long time. When we went to look in on him, my older grandson found him crying fitfully. When he asked why, the simple answer came to light - there wasn't enough toilet paper to finish the job and he didn't know what to do - where to look or who to ask. 

At that moment, the greatest need he had was for just a few more sheets and there were none on the roll. Needless to say, he had no clue there were three extra rolls immediately under the counter in the cabinet! He could only see what was right in front of him, not ever thinking someone would have "prepared" for this very need. We are sometimes like that in much bigger issues in life - only able to see what is right in front of us and not ever thinking the need may have already been supplied.

Our "supply" often gets overshadowed by the "need" we perceive and the "immediacy" by which our supply is at hand. We often don't "go looking" for what we have need of simply because we expected it to be where we always found it in the past. When our supply isn't immediately at hand - in the familiar places we always go to find that need met - we almost panic. Panic has a way of shutting us down to the possibilities that are just outside of those "normal" places we look, though. Panic drives us inward, counting on nothing more than we can calculate or figure out on our own. The issue with panic is that it cuts us off from the supply that has already been prepared in God's foreknowledge of what it is we would need at this very moment.

God isn't going to leave us a breadcrumb trail to our every supply, but he does give us general "patterns" by which he supplies our every need. For example, he reveals some things to us through the simplicity of his Word made alive when we open the Bible and just seek an answer therein. He also sends gentle winds to cause a change in our course just enough to point us in the right direction on occasion. When we don't get the subtle promptings, he might send bigger ones that really get our attention - like an immediate downturn in the market that affects our investments and gets us to look beyond what we are able to accomplish in our own efforts.

The first step to having a need met is to acknowledge we have the need. This is often the hardest steps because it often requires us being humble enough to ask. My grandson didn't want me to discover him sitting in need of some wiping material - he was just at that awkward age of not wanting his grandma to see him without being clothed. So, he sat in worry and anxious panic - thinking he'd never be able to figure this one out. He didn't so much mind it when his older brother came along - which is why I sent him to find out the whereabouts of my little buddy. I knew he needed something, but I didn't want to intrude unless he asked. God isn't going to "intrude" in our lives, but he often sends someone or something into it to open the door to the need being met.

We learn to look beyond our immediate needs being met when we are challenged a little to "look beyond". We can see so much here and now, but until the need becomes urgent and the door is opened for us we don't discover the bounty of what has been "laid up" for our "future need". God might just challenge us now and again with an empty roll, not because he doesn't care about our need, but to help us look beyond what has been our common "go to" to have our need met. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean