Picturing God’s Provision

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” We have all heard the statement, and many times it is true. In this case, though, there is much that is not communicated by this picture. This picture does not communicate the prayer and thought invested in taking another step in ministry. This picture does not tell of God’s confirmation of His plans for His servants. Most importantly this picture does not communicate the incredible way God answers prayer. All you see in the picture is a camera, a couple lenses and some other paraphernalia. That camera and the whole story behind it are the reason this blog is being started. For sometime my wife and I had been using a simple point and shoot camera in our work to put together brochures and flyers for churches in the Upper Peninsula. With that same camera I had been taking a few other pictures, enjoying the chance to every once in a while get out and shoot some neat scenery or events. However, last fall we began to seek direction in either expanding or dropping the work of putting together promotional literature for churches. In the conversation about expanding, we discussed ways we could be a blessing to other Christians as well as provide some additional funding for BodyBuilders Ministry. One of the ways discussed was the shooting and editing of images to combine great images with Scriptures. To do that, I decreed we would need several things, not the least of which was a Digital SLR. The point and shoot was not going to cut it for the kind of work we were talking about. Since I had already been researching DSLR’s, I knew what it would cost to get started and told Ruth that if God was leading us that direction we would need an additional $1500. In our planning and preparing, I thought it might be feasible to have the extra money set aside by the beginning of January. All my plans were not to be. Three days later I was preaching in a church, and that evening the treasurer handed me a check for exactly $1500. Earlier that week someone had already designated that money for our ministry. Needless to say, I Ebayed the camera that night.

Frequently on Sunday afternoons I will ask my kids what they learned. After a few mumbled “I don’t knows” and some chatter among themselves I finally get the full story of whatever character they learned about that morning. My response to them is often the same, “So what? What’s the point of that story?” In accordance with my own practices, I am going to answer “so what? “. What is the point of this story about a camera? The point is summed up in a very familiar passage of Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Trusting in the Lord deals with the most basic level of our decision making- on whose understanding we lean. The fact is, we often work out of our own understanding and then trust God to make our understanding work out alright. When times get difficult for us, we tend to lean more heavily on God. When things are going smoothly, we tend to back away from that reliance on Him. Trusting in the Lord with all your heart is a trust that covers all times. This trust is a trust that covers all situations. The Proverbs instruction to trust is a total trust that takes every decision out of the realm of our own wisdom and puts it all in the hands of God. As Christians, we have to approach all choices from the understanding of God and two simple questions can help get us moving that direction. First, will this choice lead others to think more highly of God?  Secondly, will this choice result primarily in the increase of the kingdom of God? The point of the camera story is this, make God the factor in all decisions.

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