“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
–Philippians 4-19 (NLT)

Have you ever had one of those really big moments in your life, when you knew you were living through a major turning oint you’d never see again? Maybe this happened on your first day of school or college, or maybe your first child’s birthday evoked that “I’ll never be the same again” feeling.
For me, one of those memorable events took place the night before my wedding. I couldn’t get to sleep for a couple hours.

Traditional pre-wedding nerves were part of what kept me awake, but lots of questions kept going through my head. What would my new life with Timothy be like? Would we live happily ever after (or as happily as you can in real life)? Finally, would we get along all right and get the support we needed as a couple? I was used to living on my own, buying the foods I wanted and sometimes being a little too liberal with money. Could we provide for ourselves as a couple, and still have enough for some fun now and then? I’ve sometimes thought about those questions during these past 10 months, and I think we’ve done pretty well as a couple.

But sometimes I have become discouraged by the slow progress of our business, New Vision Ministries. We have made a couple hundred phone calls, given out business cards, and sent out several emails about our business. Still, things have been happening very slowly during the past few months. Then I heard a new fact concerning a favorite Bible story during last week’s sermon at church, which gave me a lot of hope and encouragement.

Our pastor was telling us about how Jesus and his Disciples fed the 5,000 people who came to hear him preach. (Actually there may have been 20,000 there, if you included the women and children who accompanied those 5,000 men.) Thanks to God’s blessings, Jesus managed to feed all those people with 5 English muffin-sized loaves of bread and two sardine-sized fish.

And when all the people had finished eating, Jesus told his Disciples to gather up the leftovers, and there were 12 baskets full of food. Talk about a Thanksgiving dinner!
Until then I had always wondered what happened to all those leftovers. The people who came to hear Jesus were full to bursting already, and without a refrigerator the food would have quickly gone to waste if nobody ate any more. But our pastor emphasized how convenient it was that there were 12 baskets, and 12 Disciples to go with them.

Now those Disciples had just come back from a long trip, during which they healed many diseases and exorcised several demons from peoples’ minds and bodies. They had to be pretty tired upon returning home, so Jesus took his friends into the country for a rest. Unfortunately thousands of people found this out and beat the group there, so that took care of any hope of rest for the disciples.

After Jesus preached for a while, they had to figure out how to feed everyone, and then they had to break up the bread and fish and distribute a few helpings to each person in that huge group. Those poor disciples must have gone back and forth for a long time, making sure all those individual people were getting enough food.

I bet they were wondering why they missed out on all the rest and relaxation they were supposed to get with Jesus.But how did God and His son repay the disciples’ hard work? They each got one basket of untouched leftover food. According to our pastor, one of those baskets would have held about 35 pounds’ worth, and that’s a lot of food! Each disciple might have given food to his friends or family after he had eaten his fill. I don’t think any of that food would have gone to waste in the end.

This new perspective really made me feel great. It made me think of several incidents when we received food or money or encouragement when we really needed it. Most importantly, I learned that even though following Jesus and spreading God’s word through ministry isn’t always easy, God will gladly provide for our needs.

I’d like to extend this same lesson to you. If you choose to love and follow God and His son, He is guaranteed to provide whatever you truly need if you ask Him. Provisions may not come instantly, and sometimes it can take a few days or weeks or even months, but in His time you will receive what you need. This is a wonderful promise, and I hope all of you can profit by it and learn from it.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave.,Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext.874157.