"I took you through the wilderness for forty years and through all that time the clothes on your backs didn't wear out, the sandals on your feet didn't wear out."
- Deuteronomy 29:5 MSG
When my husband's company moved to another state, he lost his job and had to endure a very long period of unemployment. Those were some of the toughest times financially that we ever experienced in all the years that we've been married. We really had to watch our pennies, and to depend heavily on God's provision every day. During this time, I was watching television one evening when the picture on my TV began to dance and flicker on and off. I immediately began to think to myself, "This TV is a good 20 years old, and it's going to die any minute." All of a sudden, I felt impressed to go to God in prayer about the matter. I said, "Lord, I thank You for this TV and for all the joy that it's given me and my family. You know our present financial situation, Lord, and I'm asking You to extend the life of this television so that it will function perfectly until Joe gets a new job, and even longer." That was many months ago, and I'm happy to report that my old TV is still going strong.
I never would have had the wisdom or boldness to ask the Lord to make my TV last if I didn't have a working knowledge of the Word of God. That's where I've read about the wonderful ways the Lord sustained His people in hard times. Scripture says: "During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet." (Deuteronomy 29:5 NIV) As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness all those years because of their doubt and disobedience, the Lord still graciously provided for them, and prolonged the life of their clothes and shoes. Elsewhere, the Scripture says: "Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell." (Nehemiah 9:21 NASB) Supernatural provision is everyday business for God. I have discovered from personal experience that when we pray about even the little things in our lives, and ask for the Lord's involvement and assistance, He will often demonstrate His eagerness to bless us.
I've had the same car for nearly 18 years. It's a beautiful car, and it runs extremely well now, even though it has had its ups and downs. Over the years, when it's had problems and my husband has said that it probably wouldn't last much longer, I've prayed and asked the Lord to restore it and to keep it running smoothly until we could replace it without it being a hardship for us. I do look forward to the day when God will enable me to buy a new car, and I let Him know that this is the desire of my heart, but I don't neglect to thank Him repeatedly for the one He's already given me. I'm careful where I park my car, even though it's old. And I make sure it's properly maintained and repaired as necessary. I'm keenly aware of the fact that I can't very well ask the Lord to extend the life of something that I've abused, or used for ungodly purposes. If I had been in the habit of watching inappropriate programming on my TV, I doubt that I would have had the faith to pray for the Lord to keep it going for me, because my heart would have condemned me. As the Scripture says: "Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive whatever we request because we obey Him and do the things that please Him." (1 John 3:21-22 NLT)
David wrote, "You guard all that is mine." (Psalm 16:5 NLT) I pray and stand on this promise almost daily, asking the Lord to protect everything that belongs to me and my family. God is eager to protect and bless what He's given us when we ask Him to. And He's often willing to make them last longer. When the Lord does extend the life of our possessions, we shouldn't grumble about it; we should thank Him for it. It's a sign of His favor just as much as when He provides us with something new--maybe even more so. The next time something you own starts showing signs of wearing out or breaking down, remember that you have a God who delights in giving you long-lasting blessings!
Prayer: Lord, give me a thankful heart so that I can truly appreciate all that You've given me. Teach me how to pray for Your protection over all that belongs to me, and to believe You for the long life of my possessions. Thank You, Lord, that as I live my life for You, I can expect supernatural provision to come my way!
- J. M. Farro