George Mueller, the great man of faith who cared for over 10,000 orphans in Bristol, England during his life, despite never soliciting any kind of gift for himself or his work, once said this:
“If God fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”
Don’t you love that?
Mueller was supremely confident in the faithfulness of God, often going right up to the very mealtime in which his orphans has nothing to eat, still confident God would put food on the table. How was he able to do this?
It’s a relevant question for me, and possibly for you, given the plague of anxiety that ravages us on a near daily basis. It seems that we invent things to worry about – the weather, the economy, the state of the union or of our families. We might fool ourselves into thinking that our worry is about our circumstances, and that it this thing or that thing was suddenly different than it is now then we would not find ourselves being so anxious.
But we know that’s not true. Don’t we?
We know that if we weren’t worried about this particular thing, then we would find something else to occupy our anxious energy. Our worry isn’t about our circumstances; it’s about our hearts. And deep in our hearts, we doubt whether or not God will actually be faithful to what He has said. Or beyond that, we doubt that we will actually be able to make it through His plan for our future if His plan doesn’t match up with what we have convinced ourselves is what is good and best for us.
The question is extremely relevant. How was Mueller, and how can we, have this kind of confidence on a daily basis?
Surely at least part of it has to do with our past experience.
If you would, consider with me for a second the examples of God’s faithfulness in your past. Most any of us can look back at any number of situations and, if we really thought about it, acknowledge the goodness and wisdom of God. Furthermore, we can even look back on prayers that we have prayed that seemed to go unanswered, and recognize even then that God’s seeming non-answer was actually yet another example of His faithful love, care, and provision.
Sometimes, in His faithfulness, He gives us what we desire. And sometimes, in His faithfulness, He gives us what we should desire. Either way, God is faithful.
When we look back, then, across the landscape of what was and what He did during those times, we see time and time again these big and small examples of His faithfulness. Everything from providing a job to helping you take the very next step still in faith is a testimony to His unchanging character and commitment to His glory and your good.
Looking back fills the reservoirs of our souls. These tangible examples and memories are like the rains that become pools that become lakes from which we can draw over and over again during the seasons of drought.
So are you feeling dry today? Are you wondering if this will be “the time” when God doesn’t come through? Then draw from your reservoir. And if your reservoir is dry, then remember all the times when He has been who He is before. Remember, and feel the rain.