God provided then and still provides now

Originally Appeared in : 9813-6/21/18

It was not the greatest morning ever. I had not slept well; it was overcast; and I had something looming on the calendar I wasn’t too excited about. And those were just the issues right in front of my face. 


There were also bigger struggles going on, things that required me to really put my trust in the Lord. If you’ve ever been in a situation like that, you know it truly is a choice. Trust doesn’t come easily, not when you are really (really, really) having to trust — those times when you don’t see a clear solution so you are reminding God he promised to take care of you, and you are eagerly awaiting his beautiful perfect plan.


I sat down and decided to open the scripture readings for the day. Maybe that would remind me that things could be worse. Old Testament readings tend to put things in perspective.


But I could tell, (I will admit to you), that I was really clinging to my fears. I was worried and a little scared, and I kept going back in my mind to the things that were wrong, to the problems that I didn’t have a solution for. Even when I felt like God was gently telling me to give it to him, I just couldn’t. “These are real issues,” I said. “I am obligated to fret.”


And then there was a knock on the door, and I discovered that Henry and Isabel were back from swim team an hour early. My friend Kelly and I carpool together and there she was at the door delivering my children to me and dropping off something I had asked to borrow.


I tried to compose myself, having just been really settling in to my thoughts of woe and sadness. It was going to be hard to switch gears, to pretend that life was going great. That’s my preference of course, but in this moment I didn’t have the time or energy to pull myself together. Unlike Eleanor Rigby, I don't have a face I keep in the jar by the door. 


So there was Kelly and when she asked how I was doing, well I was honest. I fought back some tears and had a lump in my throat and just admitted that life felt really hard and stressful right this minute. And that was it. I gave a few generalized sentences about my struggles and that started a conversation about other things and similar struggles and before I knew it I was thinking about the more than just my own problems.


I realized about seven minutes into our conversation that my entire outlook had changed. Instead of sitting around choosing to fixate on the stressors in my life, I was getting over it, just a little. My honest conversation reminded me that everyone is dealing with something and (most importantly) I am not alone. 


We finished our chat and I gave her a hug. I was so grateful for those minutes because I knew that my attitude was adjusted. 


Later, I got back to the readings for the day, and the first reading was all about God’s faithfulness in times of distress.


“The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry, because no rain had fallen in the land.”


This was exactly how I had felt. 


“So the LORD said to Elijah: 


“Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there...”


God had a plan, and Elijah needed to obey.


“For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”
God provided for Elijah — and he provides for me. He sent a friend to my door to help me change my focus. In my willingness to be vulnerable (or through my inability to hide my struggle) God provided comfort. He kept me from feeling alone.


And through that answer to prayer, I was reminded that in the bigger picture God will also be faithful. He cares for the small things and the big. He wants us to trust him with it all.


Rachel Swenson Balducci is a freelance writer and member of Most Holy Trinity Church, Augusta. She can be reached at

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