Many times as Christians, our faith is tested and it definitely was for everyone in 2020. Today I want to share a blog one of our staff members, who is also a pastor’s wife, wrote during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disclaimer: This blog is purely to inspire and challenge and in no way to judge the reader for any other actions, attitudes or thoughts that differ from this writer.
I recently wrote a four-part blog on “Give us this Day” separating out all the things that God provides in addition to our daily physical needs…daily bread. Little did I know that at the beginning of this year circumstances would have their chance to challenge my writings as the world began this unusual journey through COVID 19.
As the world was learning of this virus, day by day we were as a society picking our way through the information and determining how we would handle this unexpected surge of an unwanted virus that was quickly overtaking our world, both globally and personally.
One of the most unusual outcomes in the early days was the preparation of making sure that households were stocked with paper goods, specifically toilet paper. It started out as a curious mishap of inventory being compromised and then it became an obsession to some and an all-out panic to others. It grew so quickly and spread from household to community to worldwide attention as the media reported the shortages and paper good companies tried to head off the panic by encouraging people to not panic buy nor hoard. That did not work well. The train had left the station and it was all out panic buying, then panic searching. It consumed some and brought out the question: “Can God really supply my needs even in the face of scarcity”?
As I observed this all, I looked at my own supply of toilet paper that I routinely purchase from a common buying club. Just prior to this COVID outbreak period I had made this regular purchase. So, like everyone else, I looked at my personal supply and asked the question, “Is this enough?” Never having calculated our two-person household consumption, I did not know. But I did know I did not want to get involved in the lines waiting for stores to open to “stock up.” So, I counted the rolls I had, calculated for the first time an educated guess of what I thought we used and figured at least we would go 3 months with the supply on hand.
I thought, well surely by June we would be up and running with normal inventory. I rested on my calculations and carried on.
As the months went on, and the scarcity seemed to not let up, I asked myself from time to time, “Do you think it will last?”
Then I had a strong impression that this was a very personal opportunity for me to put to test the subject of the blogs I had written earlier, but with an added dimension. “Can God supply my needs even amid scarcity?” I challenged myself to not alter my toilet paper usage, nor hesitate when a visitor asked to use our bathroom. Smile!
I did not speak to anyone about my personal journey, and only when we came upon an unexpected inventory of toilet paper while shopping one afternoon, did I reveal to my husband my personal challenge. It was tempting to purchase the allotted one package, but I hesitated and then passed.
After that encounter, we both just moved along and did not think much of the situation. It was settled in both our minds to see how God would provide through this scarcity.
Throughout June, I noticed that toilet paper in stores was becoming a common sight and the news cycle of shortages had moved on to other subjects.
Just about the end of June, I was opening the last pack of 9 rolls in the supply I had on hand. This was always my trigger for making that next purchase from the buying club. Next time we were there, sure enough it was if nothing had ever occurred and I loaded up what I normally purchased, and we were on our way. As I checked out, I realized a smile came across my face as God had indeed provided amid scarcity. I had not had to alter my practices at all and neither did God. He provided just what was needed at just the right time.
So, my faith was challenged, God was faithful and now I have a great story to tell that God can indeed provide ALL needs even in the face of scarcity!!
Original blog series can be found at https://careforpastors.org/?s=give+us+this+day
I pray through this challenging year you have grown in your faith and will continue to claim Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)