From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper - Message for 2/9/2018
The Lord has given many infallible proofs of his faithfulness in providing for us. I will give you some examples of how he has provided for his Saints.
Rees Howells and his wife, of Wales, were preparing to leave on a mission to Africa on July 10, 1915. “they had all their outfit except three things: a watch, a fountain pen, and a raincoat each. They had never mentioned these things to anyone but at breakfast before their departure, a man asked, “what kind of watches have you?” and told that his son wanted to give them a watch each. He then asked, “Have you prepared for the rainy season in Africa? Have you got good raincoats?” When they said they hadn’t he told them to go and get one each, and wrote down an address on a card, saying that they were to get them at his expense. After writing the address, he asked, “have you seen this kind of fountain pen?” “No”, they replied. “You must take one each with you,” he said. The three things they had named to the Lord alone, he provided! (Rees Howells Intercessor. Page 154).
The next example of the Lord’s providing happened in 1935 in San Francisco. The family receiving from the Lord’s bountiful hand was the William and Camilla Collins family. Their son Hale was my classmate at Graceland and Iowa State. Jeanette, mentioned in the testimony, was Mrs. Walter Weldon. “On Saturday afternoons I always counted out the nickels and dimes to cover our weekly pledge for the building fund and the twenty-five cents we had determined to pay each week on the tithing we owed on our financial statement. On this particular day, after I filled the envelope, the purse was empty. I scanned the cupboard and cooler. Sunday dinner was prepared. Then I remembered that we’d need extra milk for Jeanette and Walter’s family when they came for Sunday dinner. On further searching I discovered I was out of laundry soap, and there were only six matches to light the gas stove and water tank. When I explained my predicament to six-year-old Hale he exclaimed, “Wow…and payday isn’t until Wednesday!” So we decided to talk to God about our problem, for we knew he would listen. “Father, milk and soap and matches are so necessary. We do want to pay our tithes and offerings, Father, but I’m sure you understand. Next Sunday we’ll bring two envelopes. Amen.”
“Three times I put the coins into the envelope, and three times I jiggled them out. Then the inner voice reminded, “Remember the windows of heaven.” I found the scripture in Malachi and read it aloud: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Once more I emptied the coin purse into the envelope, and this time I sealed it tightly.
“Sunday morning as Hale was struggling with his knotted shoestrings, the doorbell rang. He raced to answer, yelling, “It’s Jeanette with a big pail.” Jeanette laughed happily. “Yes, Hale, the biggest pail we have. It has six quarts of milk from our fresh cow. We have more than we can use, and it seemed a shame to waste it. We decided to share with you, and I’ve come by on my way to church so you could put the milk to cool.”
“That afternoon, while the babies were napping, Hale called, “Look…here’s a taxi. It’s stopping at our door.” Our good friend Walter Davis, who lived in Sacramento, a hundred miles away, rushed in. “I have just a couple of hours between trains.” “If you don’t mind I’d like to shave.” As his electric razor hummed Walter visited, pausing now and then to search in his suitcase. Each time out came a handful of matches. Everyone watched as the pile on the table grew and grew until there was a mound of matches. “Isn’t it strange,” I mused. “Walter doesn’t smoke. There was no reason for his having all of those loose matches, and he didn’t say a word about them. Somehow I knew he wouldn’t take them with him.” “Now if we just had some soap, Mother.” Hale frowned a bit. “Won’t it be a funny washday without soap?”
“On Monday morning I lit the gas water tank and began sorting the clothes as Hale played hopscotch over the growing piles on the laundry room floor. After breakfast the doorbell began to buzz. “It must be one of those peddlers, “ I sighed. Since we’re out of money, let’s pretend we’re not at home; maybe he’ll go on.” But the doorbell buzzed and buzzed and buzzed, each time a bit longer. “You’d better go,” an inner voice urged. I fairly ran with Hale at my heels. There stood a very tall, pleasant-looking man. He was immaculate and strangely dressed in a three cornered hat and a pure white smock that reached almost to the knees of his well pressed trousers. In his hands was a huge basket filled with all kinds of soap samples, and in the center was a giant box of Oxydol. When he smiled, his eyes seemed kind yet penetrating. “Lady.” he began, “I was over on the other side of the city this morning. I hadn’t intended to come over here, but something kept telling me that you need soap.” “Oh, yes, sir, I surely do,” I assured him. Then to my surprise he handed me the giant box of soap powder. Hale and I were almost speechless, but we managed to express our thanks.
“I was suddenly overcome with joy. I realized that these three suppliers of our needs had not just happened by. God was keeping his promise. Together we knelt inside the living room door, and I thanked our heavenly Father for opening the windows of heaven and pouring out his wonderful blessings, and for the joy we felt because of his goodness. I then asked him to help us as a family – and all his children – to always be willing to sacrifice to pay our tithes and offerings.” (In The Hollow of His Hand. Camilla Collins. Pages 23-27)
The third example of how the Lord provides for his Saints took place in Nepal, a small country in the uttermost part of the earth. The Gurung family consisting of Dil and Rebecca and their three sons, moved from New Delhi, India, to Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2003. They left all their worldly security behind. They came to Nepal because God called them there. Dil turned his back on worldly security in exchange for eternal security. He is a covenant man who often says, “My problems are the Lord’s problems.”
After the arrival of the Gurungs’ in Kathmandu, they suffered in poverty with many others until Dil was given part-time employment as a chauffeur at the American Embassy. Their two teen-age sons had to be cared for by relatives.
One morning Rebecca told Dil they needed some meat, shampoo and chocolate, she not knowing, he said, “that my pockets were empty.” That evening before leaving the embassy, Dil’s employer asked him to wait, because she had prepared something for him and his family. She gave him a large, heavily loaded box, and taxi fare to get home. When the box was opened, Rebecca found their shopping list had been filled with even more than she had asked! There were two large, dressed chickens, a giant-sized bottle of shampoo, and yes, among other items there was also a chocolate bar! Dil wondered how his employer knew they needed two chickens – one for them and one for those providing for their sons? I have often heard Dil say, “the Lord knows our needs.”
I could hardly wait for Dil to finish sharing how the Lord had provided the three items they needed, until I could tell him how our awesome God had befriended the Collins family in a similar way.
The blessings received by these two families, separated by 12,000 miles and 68 years, are a powerful witness of the kind of God we worship. He is the same loving God in every generation and in every nation throughout the world and beyond. Surely “he is worthy to be praised” (Psalm 18:3).
My good friend Victor Kristinaa who lives in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota was led by the Lord to go to Vietnam in 1975 to bring back orphans. He escaped with 58 orphans, seven mothers and an elderly lady on the day Saigon fell, April 30, 1975. Victor often says, “Where God guides, he will provide.”
Love to all,
God Will Provide
An unshakable faith in God is one of the greatest needs we have today. We need to have the faith of David who said: “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). The Good Shepherd of David is our Shepherd too. He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is always the same faithful God who is just and true. As we sing, “…ever, always just the same…ever, always true is He!” (Hymns of the Restoration, #318). He will provide.
George Muller, of Bristol, England, wrote: “When I began the orphan work in 1835, my chief objective was to glorify God by giving a practical demonstration as to what could be accomplished simply through…faith and prayer. Thus to benefit the church at large, and to lead a careless world to see the reality of the things of God by showing them in this work [with orphans] that the living God is still, as 4,000 years ago, the living God. The first object of the work was that God might be magnified by the fact that the orphans under my care are provided with all they need only by prayer and faith without anyone being asked; thereby it may be seen that God is faithful still, and hears prayers still.” (The Autobiography of George Muller).
Mr. Muller waited upon God until he received from him 15,000 pounds for a home to contain 300 children. This first home was opened in 1849. In 1858, the second and third homes for 950 additional orphans were opened, costing 35,000 pounds. And in 1869 and 1870, the fourth and fifth homes were established for 860 more, at an expense of 50,000 pounds, making the total number of orphans being cared for at 2,100.
Muller and his fellow workers learned to rely upon God, day by day, to provide for the orphans. They prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:12 IV; 6:11 KJV). One day he wrote: “Several pounds are needed again. Beside the daily provisions, the coal is low, the medical supplies in two houses are exhausted, and there are only five shillings in hand. While I was in prayer this morning, I received a check for seven pounds ten shillings. Thus the Lord speedily answered my prayer.”
Their daily needs were always provided, but barely enough. There was rarely an excess amount of funds on hand. The supplies often came in the precise timing of the Lord, but never late, as the opening of the waters of the Red Sea. Muller added: “If the hearts of the children of God are comforted and their faith strengthened, it is worth being poor and greatly tried in faith…faith in God is more than mere notion. There is indeed reality in Christianity.”
As Christians our primary business and first great concern should always be to “seek first to build up the kingdom of God and to establish his righteousness, and all these [needful] things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:38 IV; 6:33 KJV).
We need to dedicate to God the first part of every day and the first day of every week. We need to give to the Lord’s work the first part of our income, [10% of our increase]; first consideration in all of our decisions, and first place in our hearts! If we do these things, we can be sure all that we need will be provided.
Is the condition of the church, the winning of souls, and the conversion of our own lives into his likeness, our chief concerns? Or are we primarily concerned and involved with temporal things? In this world all is temporary. All will pass away. But the things of God are eternal. Those who seek first the kingdom will inherit the promise: “All these things shall be added unto you.” God will provide.