today, I want to tell you a true story about dealing with uncertain times. So I’ve got this picture here, and as you can see, it’s got a picture of toilet paper and toothpaste. I had a friend, actually my wife had a friend of ours make this for us, but there’s actually a story behind this and I’m just going to read it to you, the Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works, comes from Psalms 145:13. Here’s the story behind that picture. And this is a story of faith. It’s a story of foundation. It’s the story that allows my family and I to have the same confidence in today’s uncertainty that we had then.
So let me tell you the story. So in 2008, I planted a church in Corpus Christi, Texas. And for those of you that have no clue what planting a church means, it’s like opening a new business. It’s just opening a new church. And I did that in the Skid Row area of Corpus Christi. So most of the people in that area had drug and alcohol issues, prostitution, things like that. It was not a healthy environment by any stretch of the imagination. And when we started that church, we felt like we were supposed to live by faith, meaning we would trust God for everything, even though we had no job or source of income to sustain us.
And so we set out on that journey, and things got extremely difficult. When we got into 2009, we were living in a home where we were struggling to pay the rent, and we came to a place where we had no money, we had no food in the refrigerator, but most specifically, we had no toilet paper and no toothpaste. And so, one of the things that I have experienced in my travels around the world with other pastors in third world countries is often they go without and they’ve had to pray and just trust for God to provide, and they’ve had amazing stories of God’s provision.
One of my favorites is a pastor in India who runs an orphanage with about 50 children. And one day they had no food at the orphanage, they had no money and so he led the children to begin to pray, and they began to pray, and about two hours later, a carriage came by full of food and full of all sorts of items and it’s because there had been a wedding feast planned and no one attended the wedding feast. And so the host of the feast gave the food to the orphanage and all the children were able to eat that day.
So back to my picture here, my family was without toilet paper and toothpaste. And I did what I had seen so many pastors overseas do. I gathered my wife and the two children who were at home together and we began to pray. See, one of the things that I’ve known for many years is that I can trust God. He showed me time and time again that He is faithful, that He cares about my greatest needs, He understands my greatest fears. And this isn’t a religion thing. This isn’t because I went to a certain kind of church or I read a certain kind of Bible. It’s because as a little boy, I understood God loved me. He loved me so much that Jesus went to a cross for me. And then because of that, I’m able to have a relationship with God.
And so on that day, my family and I began to pray, God, you are our provider. We know we can trust you, we know that you are faithful. And today, the thing we need most is toilet paper and toothpaste and we could use a little food in the refrigerator as well. And so we began to pray. And within about two hours, a friend showed up at the door, and he had a box and he said, “Hey, I was cleaning out my mother-in-law’s refrigerator and I thought I’d bring you a few things.” So there was some food. And in that box was also a package of toilet paper. And then he handed us $20 and we were able to go buy toothpaste and a few other things we needed in our household. Now, when we began praying, we didn’t know where that provision would come from, but we knew God is faithful and he will provide.
Here’s the thing I want to put in front of you in scripture, Jesus reveals God’s love for each one of us in some amazing and spectacular ways. Jesus reveals God’s love in feeding your crowd of over 5,000 people when all that’s on hand is five loaves of bread and two fish. God shows His love through Jesus when Jesus attends a wedding feast where the host runs out of wine and Jesus turns water into wine. We see times when Jesus encounters those who are sick and He speaks a word and he heals the physical illness. We see times where Jesus meets someone who’s become untouchable, quarantine unclean, and He speaks a word, but before He speaks the word to heal them, He reaches out and touches them first because the greater need was the need of the heart.
See, that’s the Jesus that I gave my life to as a young boy. I didn’t fully understand everything about how God worked, I didn’t understand everything about what it meant to be a Christian, but what I did know is I needed a savior. I needed someone who could lead me, who could see more than I could, who could see the curves up the road, and most of all, somebody who loves me deeply and would care for me in my darkest days. And I don’t know where you’re at right now. These may be really dark days for you, full of uncertainty. Your job may be on the line, you may not know how you’re going to feed your family over the next weeks, months, whatever that time frame looks like, you may be watching your retirement savings going down the toilet and right now, everything in your ears is fear.
But I want to take you back to 12 years ago or 11 years ago, I watched God supplied toilet paper and toothpaste. God cares about the smallest needs in your life and He will continue to care about those needs. The Bible says, “My God shall supply all of your need.” Now, I realize that out of those who are connected to me, not all of you are followers of Jesus. In fact, some of you may not even have a clue what I’m talking about. Some of you may not even be certain there’s a God in heaven. And so I hope in the coming days you’ll feel free to reach out to me if I can help you understand why I am my family have peace in the midst of uncertainty.
I want you to be able to experience that same peace because what you’re finding out right now is you can have all the money in the world and it’s not going to change the circumstance. You can have the greatest job in the world, and it’s not going to change the circumstance. You can have the biggest plans in the world, and is not going to change the circumstance. And maybe what’s happening is, you’re in this situation today because God wants you to see there’s a bigger picture, that there is a God who wants to provide for your need, who wants to care for you, who loves you deeply, and He’s got a plan for you that extends far beyond this life.
See, the greatest miracle Jesus did is He conquered death and He conquered the grave. And so that’s the thing that people are afraid of. I don’t want to die. Well, you’ve got to get rid of that fear at some point, you’ve got to have peace, no matter what happens. You’ve got to have peace with life and with death. And so those are some thoughts for you. Over the next few days, I’m just going to post a thought for you day by day, something you can hang onto. Some will be practical, some will be spiritual. All of them are meant to be an encouragement to you. If I can pray for you, send me a message and get really specific how can I be praying for you. I want to do that, and if you just need somebody to speak some truth and some life into you, reach out to me and let’s talk. Have an amazing day. God loves you. He’s got a greater plan for you and I look forward to talking with you soon.