The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Our conversation jumped around all over the place as we had much to pack into this little window of time. It had been almost two years and our hearts continued to be knit together because of our love for God. We hung onto each other’s words knowing that as we spoke we were not only pouring out, but also filling up each other’s heart.
Hers had been a very difficult two years which included uprooting her family and moving to a new city, compounded by many physical and spiritual battles. She had sought out the answers to her physical issues but those answers were delayed. Her husband had fought the battle with her and had been the rock for the family. When her faith slowly evaporated, his sustained her. After another move, and a new set of doctors, healing came and peace returned.
As I sipped my coffee, a little string of her words stirred something within me. I knew God was speaking when the tears threatened to spill into my coffee. It was simple and even said with a hint of humor, but touched my heart.
“After years and years of living by raising support for ministry, I was so excited that our life was changing and there would be a small salary and I no longer had to pray for ketchup. I am so tired of praying for ketchup.”
“Praying for ketchup?’ I asked.
“Yes, I was looking forward to living more comfortably where I didn’t have to pray if there was enough money for ketchup. ”
I definitely understood what she was saying as I had known their life of dependence on God for everything. But I also knew that God had more to say to me. It is easy to quickly dismiss this kind of emotion that comes from a ketchup statement, but I am training my heart to ask God what is going on within. I want to stay tender to His Spirit and allow Him to speak any way that He chooses. Before I left the parking lot, I made a few notes in my phone and proceeded to my next appointment in deep conversation with God.
I never pray for ketchup! I live a comfortable life and have what I need and much of what I want. I add to my grocery cart what I want and realize I have forgotten the days when I dug under the couch cushions to find a few more coins to buy only the essentials. I like it better this way than the early married years. I like getting the shoes and clothes and food and extras that I want when I want. I like a life filled with ketchup.
If you have the time and patience look back at my last paragraph and count all of the “I’s”. I think you will find 12. Much of our lives are still filled with self…me, my, I!
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal. 2:20
Truth be told, the fight of mankind is to be self-reliant and self-sufficient, in need of nothing. We quickly move from knowing we are totally dependent on God to living for ourselves.
We don’t like to have need that presses us to live disciplined lives that are totally dependent on God.
My friend had learned the lesson. God is the provider of all. He owns it all. As we submit to Him and acknowledge all of our need, He always provides. She had learned from the life of strict discipline…ketchup comes from God. He gives all that we need and in His time and His way, He blesses with the little extras just because he is a good, good Father that delights in giving to His children.
I confessed the truth found within my heart and declared to God that I want to live needy and dependent on Him for everything. I then began to rejoice in Ps. 23:1
“Because the Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing that I lack;
In Him. I have everything that I need.”
Keep me needy Lord!
“Lord, may I have some ketchup please”