I’ve just helped myself to a couple of squares of chocolate – mmm – fruit and nut, my favourite! Actually, although I do really enjoy chocolate, I can make a large bar last for months. Yes, really, months! For the most part, so long as I have some chocolate in the fridge, I am content; it’s only on the odd occasion that I go and nibble a piece or two. More than a couple of squares, and I feel a bit sick, so that’s quite enough. But if I didn’t have any in, well, that would be another matter…
Snacking. We take it for granted. Yet it amazes me that for the vast majority of human experience, eating what you can where you can get it has been, and still is for many, a matter of sheer survival. Being able to fridge-pick is a very great privilege, and if you can do it, you are one of a small minority.
Joseph knew only too well that left to their own devices, his family would be scrabbling for sheer survival for the next five years, while he had the whole Egyptian larder to pick from. He desperately wanted to provide for them, to ensure their survival (Genesis 45:9-13). I wonder if the brothers were a bit reluctant, for in verse 12, he seems to have to persuade them. But thinking about it, we naturally take pride in being self-sufficient as adults; being dependent on your little brother was not a prospect they would have looked forward to. It is so much easier to give than receive!
I wonder if that is why we feel so reluctant to trust God for all our needs. He promises again and again to meet all our needs, yet we cling to the concept of providing for ourselves. If we saw our job as God’s means of provision, then losing it would just mean looking to see how he was going to meet our needs next. If you dropped some money, would you consider that maybe someone else needs it more than you, and this is God providing for them? Oh, and how hard is it to ask people to run errands for you if you are not well? God wants to meet our every need, and his church is his hands and feet. During this recent time of illness in our household, I have been absolutely overwhelmed at how kind our church has been – folk have run errands, given meals, given lifts, phoned, texted and emailed love, prayers and encouragement, and even done our garden for us. This is God’s rich provision for our needs. I am so grateful, but if I’m honest, I’d still prefer to be self-sufficient!
We have to learn to be receivers and givers. Even God loves to receive – our worship, love and praise.