"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4;6
I have to confess, I forgot it was Wednesday this morning. I was focusing on some verses in the Bible, thinking on them, thinking on what I might find to say about them this morning, and then I remembered it was Wednesday. Oh, yes! we need to pray for our country this week! We need to pray for President Obama and his family, and Vice President Biden and his family. And we need to pray for all the elections going on in our country. Regardless of who is running, may God win the votes. May the men and women who will best represent God in their respective offices be the ones who are elected into position.
I also want to do some praising this morning, because God is good all the time! I just read a little news article about a new discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine that, a new microbe has been discovered that actually eats oil, and it flourishes in cold, deep waters where oil spills are most likely. Praise God for His creation! And praise God for His merciful answer to the prayers that have been prayed for a miraculous answer to the devastating gulf oil spill. God's delightful answer is a new creation that will eat the oil without affecting the integrity of the gulf waters. How wonderful and awesome is that!
But I also want to pray this morning for finances. It just doesn't seem like this country can get it going in the right direction as far as finances go. The different tax cuts and incentives in the long run just aren't helping. As more and more people are forced to tighten their spending, it's going to get more and more difficult for people in our nation. One of the bills that is going before the House of Representatives once the August recess is over is a bill to increase funding for school nutrition. On the surface, the program sounds wonderful- it's an initiative to remove junk from school cafeterias and increase the nutritional benefits by serving healthier foods. It also will allow more children to qualify for reduced price or free lunches- ensuring that poor children at least get healthy food while they are at school. This is an issue I really support and am so grateful that First Lady Michelle Obama has championed it. Except that some of the funding for this program comes at the expense of another program. The food stamp program, which already doesn't provide enough funds for poor families will take a hit and those who receive food stamp aid will receive less.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping because we were out of some basic necessities. As we shopped, I also added a few things to put in my pantry- stocking up for the winter months where sometimes I just don't want to go out, or we are really watching our budget. And I thought about how many people can't even do that. How many people can't simply add just a few extra items to their cart every week to have as a back-up for in a time of need. How many people don't think to add just a few things to take to a food pantry or a food bank, where hungry people get some desperate assistance. In a country where so many people are fighting diseases that are a result from over-consumption, it's completely ironic that there are so many who go to bed hungry at night. I sure wish that I knew the answer. I find myself praying often that God would touch those who are hungry. May He fill their bellies with manna, and send an angel to provide food for their tables. Hunger is just not something that anyone should have to experience. Ever.
As I think about these things this morning, it can be really easy for me to get anxious. I realize this is Wednesday when we pray for our country, but I find that this verse above is very applicable to the things that I'm writing about this morning. The issues that are very real in this country are very real in my own backyard. I mentioned that I put those extra groceries in my cart, but the reality is that I was thinking about the months to come, and thinking about the time of year that Andy is usually laid off, and it made me a little concerned to think about the pantry and the freezer that we worked so hard to empty before moving in the spring. And we haven't had the opportunity to re-fill. Finances have been short, and it's been a trial of trusting God to provide, and not trying to rely on ourselves to meet our needs. God always has the answer. Whether it's a friend with a bag of groceries, or a few coupons to help stretch the grocery budget. I need to remind myself sometimes of the very thing I posted above. God is good. All the time.