Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Do you remember the old traditional hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness? It is my husband's favorite song. In praise of God, Great is Thy Faithfulness, a hymn written by Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960), is a worship song that uplifts through trials and tough times. It was a result of a writer's daily experiences and realization of God's faithfulness. The tune is composed by William M. Runyan (1870-1957), with Scripture reference from the Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV) “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; “

This sacred song has been an all-time favorite among Christians. Popular gospel singer and songwriter Beverly Shea says that it was first introduced to audiences in Great Britain by the Billy Graham Crusades in 1954.

This past week has been one of acknowledging God's hand at work in my life and in my family's lives. We know that whatever we need, God will provide. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

However, some do not have that same hope and faith in the Lord.

I recently rejoined a online chat group that networks people together to help them save money by couponing, stocking up and cooking from scratch and using what you have on hand. My heart broke last night as I joined the discussion about possibly doing a ” no spend month.” What they mean by that is that one month, you try not to spend on anything other than necessities: mortgage, rent, utilities and absolutely necessary food, gas and essentials. It's a wonderful idea and it generated a great thread of discussion. However, it also brought forth the tragedy of economic crisis facing most Americans today. Some of the families who spoke up are not attempting ” no spend month, ” they are living ” no spend lives,” on a daily basis. I read heartbreaking stories of families trying to make ends meet out of $13 a week. One woman wrote in that she had 1 box of $.29 macaroni & cheese, and she planned to get several meals out of it for her and her grandson. I was in tears as I read this and I want to share with you some of my reply to these posts.:

“I'm in East Texas and I've heard about people in Tennessee living on less than $800 a year, living on their land with just a little RV, sometimes no running water or electricity.

I do realize things are getting tough for some out there, but what I don't understand…… and please don't take this the wrong way, ……….but I find so many people don't know how to get what they need when they need it.
I'm a stay at home mom with 4 kids ages 4-13, we are a one income family ( my husband does well for East Texas), we are debt free except for the mortgage, we even went almost 3 years with only one car so we could pay cash for a good used car.
I'm a Christian in the Bible Belt, hope that doesn't offend anyone, but for me personally, I've always believed if I don't have it, I don't need it and if I need it, God always provides it, and I've seen that over and over and over in our 20 years of marriage.
 
For those of you needing help with groceries: if you don't qualify for food stamps, are there food banks, food pantries, churches in your area that will help out?
Here in East Texas, I don't know of anyone to ever go hungry, our Southern hospitality here seems to take care of their own. I was appalled last year or so to find out backpacks of food were sent home with some kids on Fridays, “in case their parents couldn't feed them or didn't feed them!” I didn't realize it had gotten that bad, but my point is there should be community resources available to put food on everyone's table: pantries, food banks, churches, shelters.
During the summers, our parks host free breakfast and lunch to who ever shows up. Right now because of the extreme cold here, the Salvation Army has opened it's soup kitchen to any and everyone.
I encourage you, do not be afraid to call and check around for these kinds of services in your area. Call every church and shelter. It's ok to ask.
 
As for our family, things get tight for us as well, but God always provides. I write online for extra money. I use coupons, stack coupons, stockpile, cook from scratch and we keep things as simple as possible. At the beginning of the week, I worked on this year's budget. I love the end result, What we take in is a little bit more than what we need, just a tad more, a few $$, another way of God saying see, just what you need, nothing less, nothing more.
The rest is up to me to do the best I can with what's provided and stay on or under budget.
I plan on staying under budget as much as possible, but my heart goes out to many of you as I read your stories. I thought I was doing good feeding my family of 6 for $50-$100 a week, some of you are doing much better than I am on less and I commend you for it. However, those of you that are suffering so, please don't be afraid or ashamed to ask around for help. If you were here, I'd clean my shelves to feed you and yours. I'm sure there are others out there who would do the same.”
 
Unfortunately, my post was replied back with a refusal to accept any help from anyone. See, Our God really does supply all that we need when we need it, but he may not do it in ways you are comfortable with. Sometimes, you have to step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith toward God and His provisions. Sometimes, God uses a neighbor, a church, family members, friends and even perfect strangers (perhaps angels in disguise) to meet the needs of His children. If God stood at your doorstep right now with a gift just for you, would you turn it away? Perhaps God is sending His gift of help to you through all these resources?
 
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
 
With that thought in mind, would you still refuse the help? I hope not. He loves you. He's always with you and He always provides for you, just not always in the way you might expect.
“All That I have needed thy hands have provided, Great is Thy Faithfulness…. Lord…. Unto….. Me.”
 

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