Every morning I start my day the same -- sitting at the table with my Bible, journal, pen and Bible study (if I have one at the time) and a nice hot cup of coffee. And then I study and pray and write and draw. This routine works for me.
Some days I spend a lot of time at the table. Other days it might just be fifteen minutes.
Some days I might get a thought. Other days I might just be reminded of God's faithfulness and my need to just hang on and I wait on Him. Every day is different.
And some days I get such neat stuff that I am changed. That is the stuff I absolutely love sharing.
I received a Bible Study in the mail by Author Jessica LaGrone called Set Apart: Holy Habits of Prophets and Kings. This is the first time I'd heard of Bible Teacher LaGrone so I didn't know what to expect. When I got the study in the mail it looked similar to a lot of the popular studies these days -- a typical notebook-sized study with work to do every day for five days followed by a video lesson worksheet.
I love it! I want to share a rather lengthy passage that spoke to me this morning. It's from Week 2, Day 2. The chapter focus is Elijah and God's provision. In this chapter LaGrone also shares about Watchman Nee, the man God used in China mightily to see many come to faith in Christ in the mid-1900s. I'd like to quote the whole chapter (about Watchman Nee and Elijah) but I won't.
LaGrone writes, During (Nee's) ministry he established many churches, preached often, spoke publicly of the hope of the gospel, and published so prolifically that his collected works finally filled sixty-two volumes . . . Yet he knew what it as to suffer, to be in need, and to be hungry.
"In the early days of his ministry in Shanghai, he described a time when he had only a little bread to eat each day. He suffered with tuberculosis for years and was later diagnosed with a chronic stomach disorder and heart disease, which were never cured. After the Communist Revolution, Nee was targeted because of his professed faith in Christ. He was falsely condemned, arrested, and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment in 1956. He died in prison in 1972 . . . Too often we imagine that the life of faith will be smooth sailing, that Christ's promise to provide for all our needs will mean that the life of a Christian will be lived on Easy Street. Jesus' ministry of suffering should have put those myths to an end once and for all, but in every generation we find people of faith professing that if we aren't experiencing prosperity, health, and wealth, then we're not doing the Christian faith right.
LaGrone then quotes Nee: Because of our proneness to look at the bucket and forget the fountain, God has frequently to change His means of supply to keep our eyes fixed on the source.
Later, LaGrone writes about how God supplied Elijah's needs during the three-year drought:
(The raven) was an unlikely "bucket" that God used to supply Elijah's needs. While he was on the run from an angry king, the bird that brought him food was considered unclean by God's people . . . Yet this improbable bird became a delivery system for the food of a prophet. A bird that will normally feed its own hunger with anything it can find instead served the needs of the man who was God's mouthpiece . . . In another improbable move God sent him northeast to . . . a Gentile City (to a starving widow and her son) . . . This had to be a humbling experience for the prophet: to take food from the hungriest, to ask for provision from those he was trained to provide for.
God often doesn't do things the way we think He should. He is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more creative than that.