BEFORE

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The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes..” Deuteronomy 1:30

Several years ago, I was in a small group of women and this verse was read over us. We were asked to close our eyes and meditate on it and then share words or a phrase that stuck out to us. It was read several times. Some women said things like “fight for you” , or “the Lord your God” or “will Himself”…but all that came to my mind was the word “before.” At the time, I was a little disappointed in my own reflection. I wanted to have a great insight from God; I wanted to have a life changing experience from His Word, and all I got was the word “before?”

What I did not understand at that moment was how very important that seemingly small preposition would mean to my life in the coming months and years.

Jehovah-Jireh, God is my provider.

He has gone before me my whole life.  There are now things I can point to and say, “WOW, that was the Hand of God in my life”. Like the time I was at a green light about to go and felt like I heard an almost audible voice saying “stop”. As I stayed put, a speeding semi-truck blatantly giftcenterpresentbowran a red light that would surely have killed all of us in the car. This is an obvious example of God’s provision and going before me in my life. However, there are things that I will not know this side of Heaven.  Things that go unseen that are God showing his protection and favor. I think of it in the terms of parenting.  There are gifts that my children know that I have given them that are seemingly more obvious: vacations, Christmas gifts, ice cream runs at 9:00pm. However, there are some things that are gifts they may not recognize until after they have grown up and become parents themselves. Like the giving up sleep for years, sacrificing my own hair appointments, manicures, pedicures, or massages for myself and replacing those things with family vacations, gifts, and ice cream runs at 9:00pm!  These are all gifts of love done out of love for them.

Despite these sacrifices and gifts of love for my children, HOW MUCH MORE does the Father care for us?  I love my children but I am a flawed parent that serves a Father who is without flaws.

 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

There are also those gifts that my children would never choose if it were up to them. The gift of brushing their teeth, getting immunizations at the doctor, or the ever popular, learning how to do chores. They have NEVER come to me thanking me for the gift of getting a shot. However, I know that it IS a gift, regardless of how they receive it because that shot is protecting them from harm; teeth brushing is protecting their teeth for the future; learning to do chores is instilling a good work ethic and stewardship for the things God has given us. We can be the same way with God, the giver of the BEST gifts. We question the creator of the universe and ask “WHY me? WHY this? WHY now?” instead of trusting that God has gone before us and holds our future in His hands.

When we think we need God’s provision on our own terms and in our own way, what we really need is to pray for His perspective and trust His provisions for us.

-Libby Whitehead

PICT1364I am a child of the Most High King, not by deed, but by grace!  I am also a wife to Michael, mom to Morrigan, Toby, and Elijah, and a former preschool teacher that gets the privilege/insanity of being a stay at home momma!

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