From The Manse Window
EVERY Friday, I buy fruit in the market in Swansea. I love autumn because that’s when my favourites appear – crunchy Cox’s apples and big, fat, juicy President plums.
We are fortunate in this country that the harvest is always plentiful.
Now I’m no longer in full-time ministry and work as a freelance writer, money can be tight. It’s easy to worry about how I’ll pay the bills.
That’s when I need to remember that I’m living in a different place. In the kingdom where God has promised to supply all my needs if I trust in him.
But it’s not easy to trust when you don’t know where your next penny is coming from, is it?
Faith is something we grow in. The faith of Jesus’s disciples grew over the years, because they saw what he did, and learned from his teaching.
“I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty,” Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
What was Paul’s secret? Knowing that God was all he needed.
I’ve been reading about King David. His favourite son, Absalom, had declared himself king and driven out David and his supporters.
One day, David and his men are passing by a man who starts to curse them in the name of the Lord.
One of David’s men wants to silence him by cutting off his head, but David says, no, leave him alone.
Maybe God is speaking through this man, and if he isn’t then what this man says doesn’t matter.
That is perfect faith. In the midst of his pain, David trusts God and takes the rough with the smooth. He knows God will vindicate and restore him.
I confess sometimes I toss and turn, unable to get to sleep over money worries.
But if the Lord of the universe is my father, and if Jesus has promised to provide, then why am I worrying?
Perhaps that’s what we need to learn: there is always enough with God, but we don’t always know when it’s going to come our way. And we have to trust that he’s got it all under control.
In the past few months, I’ve been writing down all the occasions when God has provided for me in a special way.
For example, my Bible study group noticed that I was keeping my watch in my pocket because the strap had broken, so they bought me a watch as a thank-you present.
Sometimes if we don’t keep track of things we forget how God has answered prayer.
On days when I’m feeling anxious over money, I read over the list and reflect on how God hasn’t let me down. ■
Next week: Rev. Ian W.F. Hamilton tries his hand at graphology.