“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” – Isaiah 65:24 NKJV
I have been in ministry with my husband for 50 years. Many of the years we spent fulfilling the calling to plant and pioneer churches. Often, this meant we had to be obedient to the call we lived by faith. Living by faith meant going forth without a promise from man of receiving any monetary support, yet being confident that God would never send us where His provision would not keep us. Our faith was tested time and again as we would run right up against a deadline that man had set. It seemed as though God was going to be late too, but there was never a time when we were not provided for in GOD’S timing. This taught us that man’s deadline and God’s timeline are not the same.
The story I am about to share is just one of those times when our faith would be tested, and a scripture would forever be made alive to us. It was one that would stand us in good stead and one to rely on for future events. (This and other faith-building stories are found in the Book written by our daughter Jennifer Hewett Smith about Pastor Jerry Hewett’s life story called: The Baboon and the Spider.)
One morning we were having porridge for breakfast. It was the kind that was cooked slowly on the stove top and then butter, sugar and milk is added into it. It was very filling and tasty, except this particular morning there was no milk and no money to purchase any. The only thing to be done was to gather the three children we had at the time, and ask Jesus to supply our daily needs and bring us milk. After the prayer, the children were told to go play while we waited for Jesus to answer our prayer. After a while, there was a knock at the front door. Craig, our son, ran to open the door and saw an elderly gentleman standing there with a big farmers’ aluminum milk can in his hand. Craig turned around and shouted, “Dad! Mom! Jesus is here with the milk.” Well, we had asked Jesus for milk and it only made sense that this elderly man at the door was Jesus bringing the milk.
But, in fact, the the man at the door was a complete stranger to us. He said he had woken up at five o’clock in the morning to milk his cows, when he heard God say, “Take some milk to the new preacher in town.” He heard God at 5am, yet we only made our request at 8am. He said it was the first time he had been mistaken for Jesus. The scripture found in Isaiah 65:24 was made very real and alive to us. God, himself, is the promise-maker and the promise-keeper!
Prayer: God, it’s so easy to want to be in control, but I know your timing and your provision is perfect. It’s so much better than trying to make ends meet with my own strength and within my ideal time-frame. Remind me of this truth daily. When things get tough, nudge me to turn to you above all and have complete faith your provision over my life. Thank you for always taking care of my needs, both big and small. You are so good. In Jesus Name, Amen.