As I'm sure you have experienced by now, fearful people have descended upon our grocery stores like locusts leaving empty shelves in their wake. I went out the other night to get some potatoes, rice, and lettuce and couldn't find any at two stores. The next day, thank God, the store I went to was pretty well stocked and I got what we needed. While I like to consider myself a person of faith and level-headed, I must say that seeing these essential items once so available, unavailable, I was a little shaken.
While I have counseled everyone to have faith and to trust in God, I found that I needed to take my own prescription. "But" the objection rises, "I have a wife and four children at home, I need to make sure they are fed." We won't dwell on the fact that I like eating too or that we already have more food in our pantry than people from some nations eat in six months.
Time for the gut-check...do I believe that my family and I are provided for because store shelves are full? Are stores my security? Stay with me now, this is a gut-check for you too. What if all the regular sources of food were gone? How would our needs be met then? Let me ask this, is God dependent on stores to provide for His people?
Many times through the years I have marveled at the power of God displayed in His provision for His servant, Elijah.
1 Kings 17:3-4
"Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 "It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there."
Elijah was cut off from every source of provision, there were no grocery stores for him to go to. Then the God of all creation summoned the ravens He created and commanded them to take food to Elijah. God can communicate with birds, did you know that? When God wants to make His will known to anyone or any creature, He is able to do so. These ravens, doing who knows what at the time, heard the summons of their Maker, understood the command and off they went to gather provision for God's servant.
The question I had to ask myself at the store was, "Do I believe in this God?" I say I believe in God. I tell people that God knows everything and that God is great. Do I really believe it? Do I believe that God will and can provide for my family and me whether or not the supply-chain of food continues or not? I am sure that amongst the many things that God is doing right now through the Corona-virus is testing us to see if we really believe that He is the God we say we believe in. I am afraid that perhaps we have been more talk than reality as it comes to faith. Faith that does not trust in a trial is weak faith at best and maybe no faith at all.
I thanked God the other day as I walked through another store that had more food in it than some regions of the world. But I am more grateful for the God who is so great that He can command birds to bring my family and me food if He so chooses. Great trials call for a great God and God is great. I want to call on us to believe in the God of the Bible, the God who does supernatural things, things that defy reason. If you are His, then you have His promise to provide for you as He does the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?