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Daily Devotion

Pride and Provision

By Ruth Kastberg

It was Sunday morning and I was excited. Monday would be the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Our church had a one-year program called Training Bible School. When people asked me what that meant, I used to joke saying we go jogging with the Bible under our arms. Actually it was a combination of Bible school and street evangelism. I had felt God directing me to join the program, and tomorrow would be my first day.

I thanked God for a new day, and I prayed that He would provide the $20 I needed to buy a one-month pass for the subway. I lived with my parents, and they provided all I needed. So right or wrong, I put a little condition in my prayer. I said, "Lord, Mom and Dad have been so good to me. Please, let the money for the pass come some other way. They have done so much for me already."

I jumped out of bed and got ready for church. I forgot all about my prayer.

Later that day, we went back to church for the evening service. After the meeting, people gathered talking and laughing in small circles in front of the church. I was in one of them with some of my friends when I felt someone putting something in my pocket. I turned around and saw my friend Rose-Marie walking back to her little circle. I stuck my hand in my pocket and pulled up what I thought might be a note. Instead, I pulled out a twenty-dollar bill for all around me to see. I was shocked and very embarrassed.

My pride had kicked in. I walked over and pulled Rose-Marie aside. I said, "Why did you give me the money? I don't need any money!"

She looked me straight in the eye and said firmly, "If God told me you need it, I know you need it. Don’t cheat me out of the blessing of doing what He wants me to do."

I was quiet for a little while and a tear started rolling down my cheek. I gave her a big hug and apologized for not being truthful. I told her about my prayer that morning and her face broke into a radiant smile. "See? God is so good. He's blessing me by blessing you."

What was I thinking? That the money was going to fall down from heaven? I have heard of that happening, but it is a rare thing. Most of the time He uses people like Rose-Marie, who are sensitive to His voice and willing to serve. My pride had almost robbed me of the blessing of an answered prayer.

I learned something that evening. If you ask God to provide for you, you have to be willing to open your hand and receive. You have to trust He knows best and receive His provision in whatever way He chooses to bring it to you.

"Don't worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern" (Luke 12:29b-31, NLT).

When I paid for my subway pass Monday morning I felt pure joy. The new chapter in my life had started with a great little miracle. I could not wait to see what was ahead of me.

"What's next, Lord? I am ready for whatever you have in store!"

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