His Presence Before His Provision (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Miriam)

“YOU WILL SHOW ME THE WAY OF LIFE, GRANTING ME THE JOY OF YOUR PRESENCE AND THE PLEASURE OF LIVING WITH YOU FOREVER.” Psalm 16:11

One evening my husband Jim and I were sitting at our kitchen table visiting with a friend when she said, “I’d rather have His presence before His provision.” God used those words to speak truth to my heart that night. We had been experiencing some really difficult days that month as we trusted the Lord in the area of provision. Wasn’t it neat of God to use this “unplanned” visit from our friend to remind me that His presence in my life is more important than His provision? I sometimes get so overwhelmed by what I don’t have in the way of material things that I forget what I do have – my Heavenly Father’s presence with me moment by moment. Don’t get me wrong – I would love both at the same time; however, it is my desire that I would choose His presence first.

Interestingly enough, during this difficult time when we struggled more than ever before to make ends meet, I also felt God’s presence more than ever before. Though I cried harder than I have cried in a long time over our financial situation, I also felt unspeakable joy which could only come from the presence of the Lord in my life. He spoke to my heart as I spent time in His Word. One morning as I read from Psalm 62, I was encouraged by these words in verses 7 and 8:

My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

What a precious thought! I can pour out my heart to the Lord. He is my Refuge and my Rock. He won’t let me down. God not only let me experience His presence through His Word but also through family and friends, words of encouragement, notes and gifts. I experienced His presence through divine appointments He brought our way like the friend who shared that statement at our kitchen table or the time we “bumped” into a friend when we stopped at the “wrong” gas station and that friend not only encouraged Jim verbally, but also slipped him a monetary gift.

Most importantly, I have experienced God’s presence as Jim and I have shared these difficult times with our children and reminded them of God’s faithfulness to our family. We have been able to help them see God’s goodness and faithfulness to our family through some awesome, teachable moments. We have prayed together as a family and then seen God answer those prayers. Sometimes the answers are not what we had hoped, but they are answers nonetheless.

How about you? Would you rather experience His presence before His provision? Do you know what it means to truly know God as your refuge and your rock? In a world where much of life seems uncertain and shaky, I encourage you to put your trust in the Lord, who is our Rock and can be trusted. Spend time in His Word daily so you can come to know Him as your refuge just as I have.

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