I call it my “Baker’s Dozen.”
Back in December, 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 vs. 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 choose to believe the former, in both cases.
So I opened my journal and printed across the top of a blank left page, “Needs.” Then 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 had put the list in God’s hands, and He would take care of it. Period.
Eight months later, six of the requests have 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 in May was enough to purchase a new laptop, printer, and an 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. In December I hadn’t a clue. But God knew.
As far as the unanswered half of the Baker’s Dozen list, I have no doubt that those blanks will be filled, too.
Jehovah Jireh, thank you for meeting all my needs. Amen.
Special-Tea: Matthew 7:7-11
More tea: Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 9:6–11, Matthew 6:25–34, Luke 18:1, Malachi 3:10