Human nature, which was as strong in the prophet as in the rest of us, would have preferred to be able to count sacks of meal and barrels of oil.
It would have been pleasant to go into some spacious store-room, and, looking around on the abundant provision, to say: "Soul, thou hast goods enough to carry thee through the years of famine: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."
But this is not God's way; nor is it the healthiest discipline for our better life.
God's rule is day by day.
The manna fell on the desert sands day by day.
Our bread is promised to us for the day.
As our day, so will our strength be.
And they who live like this are constantly reminded of their blessed dependence on their Father's love;
They are led back again to the life of the little child ;
They know nothing of those temptations to self sufficiency which work ruin to the rich - as the growth of the southern seas silently eats away the bottoms of the mighty vessels which defy the storms, but become the prey of myriads of minute insects, working always out of sight.
If God were to give us the choice between seeing our provision and keeping it ourselves, or not seeing it and leaving Him to deal it out, day by day, most of us would be almost sure to choose the former alternative.
It gratifies our sense of importance to count up our stores, our barrels, and our sacks;
It invests us with so much superiority to our neighbors; it gives such a sense of security.
But we should be far wiser to say: "I am content to trust Thee, Father, the living God, who givest us all things richly to enjoy.
Keep Thou the stores under Thine own hand...
They will give me less anxiety...
They will not lead me into temptation...
They will not expose me to be jealous of others less favored than myself...
And those who live thus are not worse off than others;
Nay, in the truest sense, they are better off—better off...
Because the responsibility of maintaining them rests wholly upon God...
And they are delivered from the fret of anxiety...
The strain of daily care...
And the temptations which make it almost impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
If God guarantees, as He does, our support, does it much matter whether we can see the sources from which He will obtain it?
It might gratify our curiosity; but it would not make them more sure.
They are as really in existence, and beneath His eye; and they will as really come safely to our hand.
The main thing is to understand the precious promise, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Then let us go on doing our duty, filling our time, working out
the plan of our life.
We may be as free from care as the birds, that have neither storehouse nor barn.
We may laugh as merrily as the child, who comes in from school to eat, and goes out again to play, and is utterly thoughtless about its next meal.
We may be entirely destitute, our pantry bare, out of money, exhausted, our means of livelihood gone.
But our Father has ample resources:
His are the cattle on a thousand hills; and His the waving corn-fields, and the myriad fish of the ocean depths;
His hired servants have bread enough and to spare;
He has prepared a supply for our need, and He will deliver it in time, if only we will trust Him.
It is impossible to tell whose eyes may read these words;
But if they should be read by those whose one aim it is to be independent, let them consider what they mean.
Do they mean to be independent of God, or of men?
In point of fact, they will live to see that they can be independent of neither.
And the serious question presents itself, Is this a worthy aim for those who are the bought slaves of Christ?
Surely we are meant to be stewards;
Not storing up our Lord's money for ourselves...
But administering for Him all that we do not need for the maintenance of ourselves and our dear ones, in the position of life in which God has placed us.
And our only worldly aim should be to lay out our Lord's money to the very best advantage...
So that we may render Him an account with joy, when He comes to reckon with us.
If, on the other hand, these words are read by those who are dependent on daily supplies...
With little hope of ever owning more than the daily handful of meal, and the little oil at the bottom of the cruse...
Let them be comforted by the example of Elijah. "Be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5).
The bottom of'the barrel may have been scraped to-day...
But on going to it to-morrow there will be just enough for to morrow's needs.
The last drop of oil may have been drained to-day...
But there will be more tomorrow, and enough.
Anxiety will not do you good;
But the prayer of faith will.
Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of.
He who lit life's flame knows how much fuel is required to keep it burning.
Throw all responsibility on God.
He who gave His own Son will with Him freely give all things.
Do not listen to the arch-liar, who bids you distrust and despair:
He has never yet been justified by the event;
His prophecies have always proved false;
His insinuations are simply beds of rank and poisonous stinging nettles...
Do not lie down in them, but trample them beneath your feet.
Oh that we might learn, though it be in the school of privation...
In whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content;
And to be able to cry, with one of Elijah's compeers, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me."
For thus saith the Lord God of Israel: The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
~F. B. Meyer~