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When You Feel Like You’re Barely Making It - Encouragement for Today - August 30, 2017

  • 2017 Aug 30
  • COMMENTS

Erin Odom

August 30, 2017
When You Feel Like You’re Barely Making It 
ERIN ODOM

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’” Exodus 16:4a (NIV)

I’d never heard of persimmons. The advertisement said they were fruit, and it said they were free; that’s all I needed to know.

I emailed the anonymous poster and said I would take her up on her offer for free persimmons.

When I arrived at the stranger’s home, I cautiously walked up the brick steps to the front door. Before I could knock, two women — one middle-aged and one elderly — opened it.

“You must be the lady coming for the persimmons,” the younger woman said, smiling.

“Oh, yes,” I answered. “Can you tell me what exactly you do with them?” I blushed.

I didn’t want the women to know I’d never even seen a persimmon, much less cooked with one.

“Oh, all kinds of things!” the younger woman said, laughing. “We love to bake cookies, muffins and cakes with them.”

The ladies let me take my pick of the fruit, and I filled the box they set out for me. They then offered me several slices of fresh-baked persimmon pound cake.

Those women never knew how that box full of persimmons would go on to provide a persimmon muffin breakfast for our little family during a season of financial hardship.

God is the Great Provider. I’d known that since childhood, but I didn’t truly recognize His personal provision for our every need until I was in my early 30s. I had two children underfoot and one on the way, a husband who worked several extra jobs on the side, and an income that still didn’t cover all our expenses.

It was a desert season. The tunnel looked dark, and I couldn't see a way out.

Yet, I look back now and see how we richly experienced God’s presence during that time. With a burgeoning belly, a baby on my hip and a toddler wrapped around my knees, it wasn’t uncommon for me to open a near-empty refrigerator and whisper prayers wrapped in thanksgiving: Dear God, You will meet our every need. You have never failed us. You are in control.

Our family learned to trust God during that season of need. I started looking at and crediting each and every incident — from sale items at the supermarket to the box of persimmons — as God’s provision for our family.

Like manna in the wilderness, the Lord provided again and again and again.

The manna or “bread” from Heaven in Exodus 16:4 wasn’t necessarily what the Israelites wanted, but it was what they needed: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’”

When my family was in need, God proved that we truly lacked nothing. Perhaps we desired more, but just as the Lord had provided for the Israelites in the desert, He covered our needs as well.

When I remember that all things come from the Lord, it enables me to practice contentment in every season. Expressing gratitude with each small gesture moves me from a state of just barely making it to more than just making it — if I let it.

Dear Lord, help me remember You are the Great Provider. Open my eyes to see Your provision in both times of plenty and in times of want. Cultivate a deeper faith in me during seasons when I feel like I’m just barely making it — both emotionally and physically. Help me be content despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you struggling with contentment or even stuck in a cycle of financial frustration? You’re not alone. In More Than Just Making It, Erin Odom tells the story of her family’s breaking point, as well as their comeback. It took hard work, creativity and faith in God’s provision to reset their bank account as well as their hearts. You can do the same. Learn how to rise above your circumstances with money-saving tips, and reimagine the good life as God designed it, outside the myth of the American Dream.

CONNECT:
For more practical tips on how Erin saw God provide food for her family, sign up for her free 5-day eCourse — Eating Well on a Budget.

Enter to WIN a copy of More Than Just Making It by Erin Odom. In celebration of this book, Zondervan is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, September 4, 2017.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are some areas of your life where you’ve overlooked God’s provision? Take a few minutes today to look around your home and consider all that the Lord has provided. Thank Him for meeting your needs.

© 2017 by Erin Odom. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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