Our heavenly Father see his children. El Roi is the name that Hagar gave God after she ran away from an abusive situation and when God told her she was pregnant. It means “You are the God who sees me.” God told her to name her son Ishmael, which means, “God hears.”
Hudson Taylor eventually became one of the most influential missionaries to China. He embraced the culture fully, even dressing like them and speaking their language constantly. After establishing the China Inland Mission (now OMF) and nearing his second trip to China he was told by skeptics:
“You will be forgotten. With no committee to represent you at home you will be lost sight of in that distant land. Claims are many nowadays. Before long you may find yourselves without even the necessities of life!”
Living off of faith does not feel like a sure thing. There is risk. You are not in control. Scripture teaches followers of Jesus to have self-control, not situational-control or other-person-control. Be in control of how you act, respond, and believe. Trust God with the “other.”
Nothing before, nothing behind;
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The Rock beneath.
-John Greenleaf Whittier
This evening while Michelle and I were in bed together and our 1 month old son was having supper I picked up Hudson Taylor’s Biography which I have been reading for some time now. I was so struck by Hudson’s response to the critique above that I read it out loud to Michelle.
I am taking my children with me, and I have noticed that it is not difficult for me to remember that the little ones need breakfast in the morning, dinner at midday, and something before they go to bed at night. Indeed, I could not forget it. And I find it impossible to suppose that our heavenly Father is less tender or mindful than I.
Within a minute of reading this, my phone started ringing. Frustrated that I would have to stop reading a book I thoroughly enjoy, I answered. It was my good friend Tim. He said he had something he wanted to drop off. A few minutes later after borrowing (Minnesotan for “lending”) him a book and returning a putty knife he had forgotten at our house while helping me paint yesterday he told me he needed help bringing “it” in. He said that God had put us on his heart and he is in the practice of obeying impressions like that faithfully. In the back of his truck was this:
Matthew Chapter 6:
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God’s promises are secure and we can bank on it with our entire lives. He is faithful.