“I don’t know even one person in my new city to call.” The realization only deepened my loneliness. I had moved across the country as a single woman to join a ministry team of strangers. As I continued to unpack boxes, Psalm 23:1 rallied my thoughts. “Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.”
“Lord, if I need to talk with someone, You are able to provide someone—even in a new city.” I immediately felt better and forgot my loneliness. Minutes later the phone rang. A friend I had worked with in Boston was calling long distance to say hi. His call reminded me, my Shepherd knew my needs.
Not all expressions of faith are rewarded as we wish. When I lived in California I heard Carol T. Talbot share her experience as a World War II prisoner of war. She was preparing to sail to India as a missionary when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. She was captured and taken to a Japanese Internment Camp in the Philippines. Mistreated and ill-fed the prisoners suffered painful malnutrition.
One day Carol took her Bible to a private place to see if Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” was still there. It was, so she asked the Lord how He could say that when she and the other prisoners were starving.
In her spirit Carol sensed God’s answer. “Where have I called you to serve?” She knew this question was for her not Him.
“How does India suffer?” They too were starving. In that moment the Lord showed Carol that He was meeting a deeper need. He was preparing her to fulfill her calling.
Even blameless Jesus had to suffer to fulfill His calling as our High Priest. “While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him” (Hebrews 5:7-10 The Message)
If suffering was necessary to complete Jesus for His role, who am I to think I don’t need polishing? Like Carol, like Jesus, sometimes God meets our deepest needs through suffering.
When you don’t see your needs being met, go to God. “You promised, that because You are my shepherd, I have everything I need. Open my eyes to how You are meeting my deepest needs.”
God always keeps His promise. Trust Him to meet your deepest needs which in the end bring the most satisfaction.
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