Friday, May 5, 2017

The Provider of Favor

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to be “everywhere” at the same time, and no matter which way you turned it just didn’t cover the ground you needed to for that time period? 

Our focus was divided with several “storms” brewing in our lives.  Storms of the century flooded the entire city and pounded the streets for days. Several other storms were personal and the pending surgery of my husband was on the top of the list.  All needed our immediate attention, but physically and emotionally it was weighing heavily on us. 

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The Prayers of the Saints 

It had been over two months since my husband began bleeding from kidney stones.  Twice surgery had been scheduled and canceled due to heart issues.  Something had to be done and with a go flag waved from his cardiologist, hubby was put on the docket for the operation only this time the procedure would be done with shock waves (lithotripsy). 

We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. for the scheduled surgery of 12 p.m.  After the usual checking in routine, bloodwork and x-rays the staff escorted us to the surgery center. 

The operation was pushed back.  At 1:25 p.m. they took him into surgery.  As they were wheeling him out the bed hit the wall in the hall.  Laughing he said to the man in the adjacent room, “You saw that right?  You're a witness.  I’ll have my lawyer give you a call.” 

Looking over his right shoulder he held his hand up in the air to me signing “I love you.”  Taking him through the double doors he was on his way.  By 1:50 p.m. a nurse came to tell me that they had just put hubby under and he was ready for the procedure.  The prayers of the Saints were implemented as the Holy Spirit led the staff in the operating room. 

Behind Glass Doors 

Watching the surgical nurses from behind a glass sliding door, I paced the floor of the small room in which I impatiently waited for my husband to return.  Hoping to take my attention off what was happening I decided to sit down and pulled out the file of work that needed to be done.  

I tried writing and thumbed through several articles that needed editing.  When that wasn’t happening I tried working on a book review I was doing, all to no avail.  Finally I walked across the room and turned on the television set thinking there would be something on that could distract my thoughts for the next few hours. 

Before my husband left he was watching the Hallmark Channel, but it wasn’t playing movies but western television shows.  Not noticing what was on the set I went back to my chair and once again pulled out my articles.   

The Battle of Nerves 

As I was editing my work, the introduction music for a western was playing in the background, when the announcer gave the title of the program that was next in line to air.   It was called “Death Valley Days”.   

Not being familiar with it, the first thing I wanted to do was change the channel. I’m not a big fan of westerns even though my parents were; nor did I want to see shoot ‘em up scenes while fighting my own battle of nerves.  Besides, who wants to watch something called “Death Valley” while waiting for someone to come through surgery?  Not me. 

Preparing to turn off the television set the conversation got my attention, especially when one of the characters started talking about seed and creation.  This surely wasn’t something that would be in a dialog in today’s scripts, unless it happened to be a Christian topic. 

It Started with a Seed 

I was intrigued and sat down to listen to where the actors were going with this talk about “seeds” planted before man existed. 
He began sharing with his riding buddy how God had already planned for us before we were ever “seeds” for His Kingdom. 

His conversation walked his friend through the Garden of Eden as described in the book of Genesis of the Bible (chapters 1-3), and how God had planted it long before He ever created Adam and Eve. The point he was trying to convey to his companion was that those seeds of favor for provision were also meant for us before we were born. (Jeremiah 1:5) 

You see, every tree, plant and thing came from a seed.  Even Jesus would become a seed for mankind.  The plan of Jehovah-Jireh was to provide a way for us to come back to Him through the gift of salvation.   

God provides the seed, we plant (and water) it, but He produces the harvest in due season.  If we don’t do our part, He is not obligated to do His. 

Back to the story; it was about a young scientist from England who was on a mission.  For his entire adult life the botanist was in pursuit of a tree that he never saw in person, but had a pine cone from one through his research.  

His desire was to see the tree that once was a seed which produced pine cones like the one he held in his hand.  He said that there is so much for us to learn about where seeds come from and if God thought it was important, so did he.  It was his desire to tell the world about what he had discovered concerning the provision God had put in motion before the first human set foot on the earth. 

America Is No Eden 

As the two men gazed over the beautiful landscape they were about to embark upon, Josh, his hiking companion asked,  

“You know Davy, I was just wondering. That uh, Garden of Eden … where do you suppose it was?”   

Looking around at the wonder of great outdoors the journeyman replied,  

“It could have been right here Josh ... the Garden of Eden could have been right here!” 

Finally realizing his dream to find that certain “seed tree”, the botanist expressed,  

“I wish I had the time. I’d climb this tree and examine every inch of it.”

In reply, his sidekick along for the journey proclaimed,

“After what you’ve been through, they aught to name it after you.”   

Flattered by his friend’s announcement, David turned and looked at his buddy responding, “Well now, I’d be honored.”   

Of course history records that the Garden of Eden wasn’t in America, although it’s a grand thought.  However the “seed” part about God making provision long before we would need it was correct.  Here’s what I mean. 

Never Comfortless 

It is written in the Holy Bible that Abraham was a man who experienced the favor of God on his life. He called on Jehovah-Jireh as the God who would provide what he needed whatever the circumstance.  As the seed of Abraham through Christ Jesus, we can call on Jehovah to do the same for us, and that’s what I did through prayer.  The favor and blessings God promised him are ours as well. (Romans 11:17) 

Another way God meets our needs other than materialistically is emotionally.  Although it looked like I was holding it altogether, in reality I needed emotional support and hugs of hope wrapped around me for strength.   

In prayer I had shared my feelings and “fears” with my Savior.   

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)

Jehovah-Jireh promised in His Word that He would never leave me (Hebrews 13:5) and would provide comfort in times of need. (John 14:18) 

Normally I would have already been in the surgery waiting room, but had asked if it was alright if I could remain in the prep room because I would be waiting alone.  God caused the staff to grant me unusual favor in remaining with my husband, and where he would return after being in the recovery room following surgery. 

They were about to take my husband into surgery when I noticed a woman wheeling a man into the out-patient surgical wing across the hall.  It was a former neighbor of ours we met twelve years ago that volunteers two days a week at the hospital.  I had hoped to see her, but she had no idea we were there. 

Calling out to Marcy she turned around and asked what I was doing there.  Pointing to the room where my husband was lying, she walked over and said with a grin, “You again.” 

She was well aware of how many times we have been in the hospital over the past two years, and every time I needed her to boost my faith God provided Marcy to speak words of encouragement into the situation.  Without a second thought she placed her hands on my husband’s arm (making sure not to disturb the I.V.) reminding God of His promises in Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2: 24 by quoting “By His stripes you are healed and made whole.” 

While visiting with us Marcy explained that she and her husband had called on us at home the day before, but we didn’t hear her over the shop-vac in the garage.  God honored her kindness for checking on us, even though she didn’t receive an answer until the following day. 

Receiving my hug she left, comforting us with words of affirmation and agreement in prayer.  Before we were ever born God knew that this time we would need ministering to and not the other way around.  He placed Marcy, my husband and I in areas that we wouldn’t have ordinarily been in, yet we were. 

Look Up 

It was 3:28 p.m. when I resumed my strut around the hospital room.  Peeking out the door I scanned the area looking to see if my husband was in the recovery area.  My heart was full of joy when there he was in a room to my left.  He was still sedated but his hands were moving up and down.  Quickly two nurses curtailed his flailing arms and he became calm. 

“Look to your right … look up … look up!” I quietly said hoping that he would see me standing just a few feet from him.  You see, this is an ongoing effort on my part.   

My husband has a habit of not looking up when he’s mowing the lawn or concentrating on something.  I’ll be waving and calling out to him but he doesn’t see or hear me, so in order to get his attention I have to literally stand in front of him.  

Suddenly he began to wave.  “He’s awake!  Praise God, he’s awake.” I thought as my prayers were being answered one by one.   

Friends in Need 

Three minutes later I was back to waiting by myself, when to my surprise a cardio rehab buddy of my husband and his precious wife were out in the corridor talking to the nurses.  They came into the room and more hugs were received with open arms. 

When Don asked me where my husband was I pointed to the recovery room.  He leaned over and made eye contact with him.  “I guess he’s okay.” Don said after hubby stuck out his tongue at him in jest. 

A minute later the post operation room doors were closed. Apparently our little interlude was a no-no and they quickly put it to an end.  It didn’t matter, because by 3:45 p.m. they had enough of his wisecracks and with smiling faces they brought him back to the room.  No worries, they hit the wall again on his return!

Jehovah-Jireh Provided You 

Throughout the past few years God has also provided for us in another manner, and that is through you … our readers.  There have been times when the words of faith from you have encouraged us so much that our hope has been renewed.  Your love and support is such a blessing. 

Provision comes in many forms, but they all started from a seed being planted along the way. Sometimes financial, healing or material needs are provided for, and every now and then a need is met through people simply loving people.  

Need Supplies? Plant Seeds. 

So what is your need today?  What things are you praying for from Jehovah-Jireh the God who provides?  If you have a need, it’s time to sow a seed. 

There has never been a time that God has not shown us favor in sending people or positioned us in the right place to receive from Him.  The Apostle Paul wanted fellow believers to know that God would supply all our needs.  He wasn’t only referring to financial needs, but meant physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental necessities as well as anything else you can think of for that matter. However, we have to do something first … sow seeds for the harvest to meet the need.   

“…And my God shall supply all your need according to His
riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV) 

When Paul made this statement it came as a result of the seeds they had sown that pleased God.  Most people miss that part and only want the favor of God without sowing into His Kingdom.  It doesn’t work that way. 

Now read the complete statement Paul wrote in the correct context. 

“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:18-19 NKJV) 

The first seed is planted through prayer; seeds of fellowship and friendship with the Lord.  Jehovah-Jireh provides for needs when we care about His seeds, whether it relates to the ground itself, animals or people. To the Lord, they are all precious in His sight, but only His friends and family are highly favored.  Do you fall into that category? 

This Week’s Challenge:
Seeds of Friendship 

It’s spring in the States; a time when people plant seeds for a blessed harvest in fruits and vegetables. Maybe in your part of the world it’s fall or winter and the regular planting season has come to an end for you this year.  That may be so, but to tell you the truth, every season is a great time to plant seeds of friendship for the future. 

David Douglas learned the power of seeds and how important they were in changing the world around him.  Just as seeds are the key to growing plants of any nature, seeds of friendship are vital for growing the Kingdom of God. 

Our challenge this week is to look up and see where God would have us plant new seeds of friendship in our community.   

First - sow fresh seeds of friendship with the Lord through fellowship in prayer.  

Second - let God direct you through the Holy Spirit to the person in which He would have you develop a friendship with by showing genuine concern and kindness toward them. 

Every time we have moved we made it a priority to meet our neighbors and merchants in the area.  There’s a reason for that. 

By showing ourselves to be friendly in any situation, God the Provider has brought wonderful people into our lives that will agree with us in prayer or helped us in whatever we needed at that given time.  Sowing seeds of friendship brings in a harvest that money cannot buy, especially when you’re in the hospital all alone waiting for a loved one to come through surgery. 

If you’re in need of God’s provision, Jehovah-Jireh is the provider of favor. He is the only One who can provide the exact thing for the situation.  He will comfort, encourage, inspire, while bringing hope into a circumstance through His unfailing love and grace (unmerited favor) for the journey. 

FYI Tidbit 

After doing some research, I learned that the program Death Valley Days aired 452 episodes about true stories of the old American west, particularly the Death Valley area in California and Nevada. 

As his friend Josh Tavers had spoken, England named the tree after the Scottish- American botanist David Douglas in recognition of his contributions to the science of botany. We know it today as the Douglas Fir Tree.  



If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, Jehovah-Jireh the God who provides favor!

“I Am the provider of  favor.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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