“from that time when one came to a grain heap of twenty measures, there would be only ten; and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be only twenty.”
I have been blessed through my years in that I can say I have never gone hungry. Oh, I thought I was starving a few times, but I was really just whiny about not eating when I wanted. There’s a difference in being hungry and truly starving. Not having enough to provide yourself or your family is a real issue in many parts of our world today. Be grateful if you are like me and are blessed with more than you need.
God was reminding the people of Israel to continue to think back to the days when they didn’t have enough. Grain was short on supply, as well as the fruit of the vine to make wine. Those were days of judgment when they suffered because of their disobedience. Now, they were living in relative ease, but they needed to remember where they had been and what God had done for them.
Maybe that’s you. Do you need to remember where you were and where God has brought you? We seem to forget so quickly, don’t we. In the middle of thanking the Philippians for sending him a gift, Paul says this in Philippians 4:11-12. “11 Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
Paul reflected back to the lean years. He shared how God had taught him to be thankful in whatever situation he found himself. Boy, we could learn a lot from Paul, couldn’t we? But I love the next verse. Paul reveals the secret to this. It’s in verse 13. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” That is the key. It is Christ in me. It is Christ in you.
When I think back to my “lean” years, I can pinpoint specific events that caused my faith to leap forward. Times when all I could do is trust in His sovereign will helped me grow. Was it fun? Nope. Did I struggle through it? Yep. But looking back I can see the fingerprints of God all over. Will you join me in trying to look closer for God’s fingerprints today? They are there. We just have to look.
Father, I am eternally grateful for Your bountiful provisions. The world may see them as meager, but I know You are giving me exactly what I need.