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“I need oil,” said an ancient monk; so he planted an olive sapling.
“Lord,” he prayed, “it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers.
“Lord,” prayed the monk, “my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray Thee.” And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds.
“Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues,” cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.
Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience.
“I, too, planted a little tree,” he said, “and see, it thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed no ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs,’ I prayed. ‘Storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost—Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.’”—Attributed to Linda Dillow
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very weary and depressed, when swiftly and suddenly that text came to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”1
I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd.
It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, “Drink away, little fish. My stream is sufficient for thee.”
Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere.” But the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill thy lungs. My atmosphere is sufficient for thee.”
Be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls.—C. H. Spurgeon
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:31–332
I cannot but God can
Oh, balm for all my care,
The burden that I drop
His hand will lift and bear.
Though eagle’s pinions tire,
I walk where once I ran,
This is my strength: to know
I cannot, but God can.
I know not, but God knows.
Oh, blessed rest from fear,
All my unfolding days
To Him are plain and clear.
Each anxious puzzled “Why?”
From doubt or dread that grows,
Finds answer in this thought:
I know not, but God knows!
—Annie Johnson Flint
All we have to do is follow Jesus! … Even though we are faithless, yet He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself, and He cannot break His word. He is going to see it through. God is going to carry us through. He has begun a good work in us, and He’s going to complete it to the end.
God alone can do it and God alone can show us what to do, how to do it, and protect us in doing it, supply the needs, and lead and guide us every step of the way. So don’t try to figure it out for yourself. … Cry out to God and ask God for the solution, and God will never fail.
Only God knows what to do, and only God knows what He wants done, and only God can do it. … God knows what He’s doing. So for God’s sake let Him do it, and just look to Him to find out what He’s doing, and what He wants you to do, and which way He’s going!
Don’t try to reason around with your own understanding, but get down in prayer and cry out to God with strong crying and tears and desperation, and look to Him alone for the answers. God alone has the answers and God alone can do it.—David Brandt Berg
During the sermon on the mount, one of the subjects Christ talked about was prayer. As He was instructing the people to not be like the heathen by using vain repetitions in prayer, He added in Matthew 6:8, “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
So many seem to have a problem with the fact that God is omniscient. He knows everything. But when you’re down and hurting, His total knowledge often becomes a source of comfort. Especially when an answer comes quickly, even as fast as while you’re still praying.
That happened to Daniel once in Daniel 9:21. He said while he was still praying, God sent His angel, Gabriel, to him. “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.”
It says in Isaiah 65:24 that this will be common in the life to come, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” But even though God isn’t always pleased to answer immediately every time we pray today, it doesn’t mean He isn’t very aware of what we’re going through.
Sometimes the lessons are in the waiting itself—a testing of faith—but if you are truly one of His own, there will never be a time when your needs will go unsupplied, as David had written in Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
Because He knows what you need. Before you ask.
Are you hungry? “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”3
Do you need clothing? “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”4
No matter what your need is, God knows. And He will answer in His own way and in His own time.—Tammy5
Obstacles block your path. Roads are barricaded. Doorways are padlocked. Do you know the frustration of a blocked door? You feel gridlocked, unable to escape.
In Max Lucado’s book, 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, he talks about the challenge of a blocked door. Lucado writes, “It’s not that our plans are bad but that God’s plans are better.”
God uses closed doors to advance his cause.
There is a familiar saying, “If you want to hear God laugh, then show him your plans.” It’s not that God doesn’t want you to try or dream big. He gives you the desires of your heart, but His plans are bigger than we can ever imagine.
People look to fortune tellers and psychics to get answers. They want to know their future and what to expect. God wants you to trust Him. You don’t need a crystal ball for that.
Possibly that traffic jam saved you from a horrible accident. Perhaps that job didn’t call you back because it’s really not the right place for you. Maybe if you wait a little longer, a better job opportunity is coming, and it is the right one.
When we struggle in life, our faith is tested. Learning to trust God is a lifelong journey. There will be days your faith will be challenged. When doors will be locked and you have to wait it out.
Psalm 37:3–4 says, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
God knows today, tomorrow, and all things that intertwine. We cannot see everything He sees and we cannot know everything He knows.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”6
It’s not that our plans are bad, but that God’s plans are better. God knows what you need. He knows your heart and He knows what’s best. Just hold on; it will get better.—From FaithDream’s Inspiration blog7
Published on Anchor February 2015. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
1 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV.
3 Matthew 6:26 KJV.
4 Matthew 6:28–30 KJV.
6 Isaiah 55:8–9 NLT.