Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back ministries shares in her devotional, Reckless Faith, about a time God’s loving care was experienced in a big way. The Setting: An orphanage in Mexico. The Players: pre-school orphans, a group home director with a faith like George Muller, and leftovers from a random meat convention held earlier, across town. The Plot: Dinner time is coming up for the children and there’s no food. Edgar the director knows a secret: there’s nothing left for dinner that night but there’s plenty of faith to go around. So, he gathers the children and asks them to pray. Little Joel is there, too, as outspoken as his heart for God is big, “Let’s ask him for steak!” What a far cry from the usual beans, rice, and tortillas that Beth says is their staple diet.
Well, since you already know the players in this scene, you probably can guess what happens next. In a fashion that only God can orchestrate, Beth and her husband are involved unknowingly in God’s plan to show Himself really big to hungry orphans and their fearless leader Edgar. And to little Joel, the one who is not afraid to ask for steak. Yup. They got steak – the choice cuts, too! A freezer full. Beth ‘just happened’ upon the meat bonanza and ‘just happened’ to drop it off to an orphanage she knew about.
I cried and I put the book down right there at that point. And I couldn’t pick it back up again for a long time.
You see, I’ve been settling for beans from the hand of man instead of asking for steak from the one who owns a cattle on a thousand hills.
And little Joel’s proclamation just about did me in when I read how it was answered by a God who brings steak when you’d be grateful for beans. When did I stop looking for how God is already supplying my needs? When did I start relying on man or self instead of God; looking outwards or inwards, instead of upwards? When did my problems get so big for God?
I think my problems got big when my children did. When they moved out on their own and I could no longer see what’s going on in their life. Hey, without my oversight, everything will fall apart, right? But really, my problems have always been too big for me. Parenting children from hard places, parenting siblings of children from hard places…that’s not easy is it? What is your too big? Who has been taking care of it?
Are you like me, tired of stressing out about things that you know are too big for you to handle? Are you weary of manufacturing the solutions yourself, or looking to anyone but God for solutions?
How many times have I, while raising children from hard places, turned to this man-made solution or that. It shouldn’t take me this long to realize that much of what is available when I look all around me are just opinions at best of so-called experts. And often, they give conflicting advice. When will I tire of hearing inflated claims that all it takes is the right partnership, the right strategy or gimmick to bring me the results I am seeking? Which, if I am being honest, the results I used to seek were how to keep that one child from running away again. Much of my parenting years were spent trying to tap into that elusive formula that would change everything. And God has been there all along, waiting to hear from me with child-like faith. When was the last time I asked Him what to do? When was the last you asked Him?
I want to eat God’s steak with 4 year-old Joel. How about you?