It’s wonderful when people stand up and tell amazing stories about how God has supplied their need. I love it! When we bought a business, many years ago, the first year was a real struggle, but every time we had a need we prayed, and God came up with the goods every single time. As we went over into year 2, the scene changed, and our prayers were no longer answered in the same way, and we were really struggling. Then as we entered year 3, we came up with new ways to make the business much better, and when we sold the business after year 6, we realized it hadn’t done too badly at all, in spite of the external pressures. What had been happening? Year 1, God taught us that his provision is enough. Year 2 we learned to seek his face and not just his hand – do you still love me when you can’t see the evidence? In Year 3 God demonstrated his wisdom and showed us how to run the business more effectively.
As I read Genesis 26 I see a similar pattern in the life of Isaac. He was born into plenty, the inheritor of all of Abraham’s wealth. Then the famine took hold. Was he going to look to the world in Egypt to meet his needs, or was he going to hold on to the promise that God had given to his father, and now renewed to him? It was important that he stayed in the land and learned to trust the God who would provide for all their needs. There were plenty of struggles, where I’m sure Isaac wondered if they were ever going to have enough water to supply all his family, workers, animals and crops, but then finally God led him to a good site where they dug yet another well, and came into a season of peace and prosperity.
Life does go in seasons, and God wants to teach us different things at different times. It’s no use fighting it, and the quicker you learn the lesson, the sooner you come into a place of peace, ready for the next learning curve. When struggles occur, the best thing to do is not ask God questions of doubt like, “Why me?” “Are you really there?” and “Do you really care?” Instead ask questions of faith – “What do I need to learn?” “Have I something to repent of or change?” and “Who else can I bless?” Ultimately, whatever the outcome, “Over to you God, not my way but yours”. You may have a testimony to tell, or not. That’s what real trust is about.