Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Bag!!

Do you remember the story about Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath? Elijah was directed, by God, to this widow who would provide food for him. When he arrived and asked her for something to eat, the Widow said" I don't have so much as a biscuit. Only a handful of flour and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we'll die."  

Then, Elijah gave her some very peculiar advice. He told her not to "worry about a thing. But to go ahead make him a small biscuit and then to make a meal for her and her son." She must have thought him crazy to suggest such a thing, especially that she was sure they would die, because it was all she had.  Whatever she must have thought of him, and whether she doubted or believed in his reasoning, she knew one thing He was a man of God. She chose to obey his instructions and put her faith and trust in God’s provision.

I think the great part about this story is seeing how God worked it out.  God is so unique.  So many times we try to figure out how God is going to provide. We may even “tell” God how he should provide for our needs or to inform Him of our circumstances.  Forgetting that He is already knows what our circumstance is and is not intimidated by them. He does not want us to have this set formula, that we think we know how He is going to work out miracles in our lives.

I can think of one example that we have seen of God’s miracle producing ways.  It's an ordinary, brown, leather messenger bag. This particular bag has been with us for the past 17 years.  We bought it for the very first missions trip back in 1996. Tim used this bag to carry the important and valuable things for each trip.  Mainly passports, airline tickets and the funds for the team.  His bag has been known as “The Bag” which has carried more money than any of us really cared to know.  And those who did know about it or were given the dreaded instructions: "Guard this bag with your life", left many of us trembling in our shoes at the huge weight of responsibility with watching “The Bag “!!  It was the bag to avoid by most of us...right, Nancy!!??!!   :)

Bob Wigman guarding "The Bag" (2007 Kenya Team)

What’s amazing about that bag, is that in many ways, it was just like the jug of olive oil that the Widow of Zarephath had.  Every missions trip, “The Bag” carried just enough funds for the trip.  Sometimes, we weren't sure if we even had enough. The miracle is that at the end of each and every trip, God proved over and over to us how great He is, because that bag never seemed to run out of funds. In fact, when we thought we would barely have enough, the funds just seemed to multiply over and over again. We almost always ended up with several thousand dollars left over!  How is that possible??   GOD!!   
The point to this story, is that we, as a family, are faced with the decision if we will choose to believe and trust God with a miracle in regards to the funds we have to raise.  In our mind, it seems much like the widow impossible, insurmountable obstacle.  Yet, we have heard God’s voice calling us to GO and to trust in His great power. Yet, we are also human and question whether He will come through for us.  How can he possibly provide these huge amounts.  Doesn’t He realize how much money we have to raise?

Have we been tempted to put our existing funds and trust in that “miracle bag”?  Yes, we have toyed with the idea.  However, “The Bag” does not contain miraculous powers, nor should we expect it to. "Some trust in chariots and some in horses (or brown bags :), but we trust in the LORD our God." Psalm 20:7

We will continue to put our trust in Him, the one who is the great “I AM”. We will put our trust in God who will SUPPLY ALL OUR NEEDS!! Thank you, “The Bag” for reminding us, time and time again, of the faithfulness of our God!!!

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