So I had an eventful weekend and while contemplating how to put it into words, I realized I had penned down a similar experience in December. Go through it and share if it blesses you.
When The Provision Isn’t Meant For You
Last week Wednesday, I woke up to a call from a good friend of mine. The present economy had gotten him so hard that he could not afford to send his 2 children to school this term. I could hear the TEARS in his voice when he told me that his family had not eaten for about 2 days. Being a friend of mine for over 8 years, I knew he was no one to lie about such matters. I told him to hurriedly get to my office and we’ll see what we can do about it.
As I hung up the phone, I remembered that there was not much I could do as I had my own share of needs that needed attention. I thought hard and prayed subtly as to the way forward. I decided the best thing to do was to teach him how to desperately fish instead of just giving him fish to eat. I took out a very small 4-digits loan to try to help the guys family get something urgent to start buying and selling. He arrived within 2 hours of hanging up the phone and looked like one who was about to jump off a bridge to end it all. I gave him the funds and was almost angry with him with the way he was laying down on the floor in thanksgiving to me. If only he knew that my own food supply for the weekend wasn’t even sure. If only he knew.
Last week Thursday (or put simply, THE NEXT DAY), I got a call from a former employee/colleague/student/partner of mine who asked when I would be available for him to see me on Friday or Saturday. I was a little surprised to hear his voice as He wasn’t someone that called me often. In fact, if my recently-volatile memory serves me right, I think he has called me only 3 times in the last 4 years. I asked him what he wanted to see me for and he would not say. “I just want to see you,” was all he muttered.
Saturday came and seeing me He eventually did. It was one of the shortest meeting I have had in months. He drove in with his daughter and told me He wanted to drop some things for me. He went to his car and after 2 roundtrips, I was looking at a 25kg bag of rice, one box of chicken Indomie and one 5-litres King’s cooking oil. For a man who seemed to be akin with words, I was a little speechless and hoped that it wasn’t too obvious. I was grateful to him and he left almost as soon as he had come.
Left alone in the office, I found myself staring at the bag of rice and misc goodies and was trying to phantom in my head what I did to deserve this kindness. Somewhere in my thinking session, I sensed in my heart that the goodies were not meant for me. I remembered the gentleman that had called me days earlier about his family not having food. I remembered one of my team members in the office who had a similar challenge last month. I thought further on what to do and waited till Monday to get in touch with them.
Monday came. My team member arrived work. I asked him if he eats Indomie. His response surprised me. Apparently Indomie was his favourite food. Apparently Indomie is my worst food. In fact I can’t remember the day I ever ever ate Indomie in my life. Just can’t seem to get out of my head the picture of tiny worms playing on my plate and continuing their games in my stomach. I eventually told my colleague that someone had brought some goodies for me and it looked like the Indomie box was meant for him. I was not sure if his expression was borne out of being very late to the office on Monday or out of being thankfully speechless. I asked him to take part of the rice also and he was super grateful. He would eventually explain that there was serious shortage , sorry NON-EXISTENT food in his house over the weekend and that he was contemplating how the next provision would arrive before he was put to shame.
I called my Wednesday friend and asked him to come. He arrived my office and I explained to him that his wife can start selling the rice in front of us and they can manage the money to use to buy and sell more rice. Another bout of porstrating ensued and I found myself reminding him that we were agemates and he needed not to be thanking me like that. He hurled the bag of rice on his shoulders and muttered 3 rounds of “ESE SIR” before exiting.
As his deodorantless body odour trailed off, it dawned on me how God can sometimes make provisions that are meant for other people to come our way. Sometimes we think our needs are serious until we hear other people’s needs. Sometimes we think the beans we ate this morning had too many stones in it until we find out that some people have not even eaten rice, beans or anything in 3 days. Sometimes we worry about the landlord that we owe 4 months’ rent until we meet families that have been living under the bridge for months or years. Sometimes…..just fill in the blanks
And sometimes, in the midst of our myopic needs, God looks beyond our needs and gives us provision that isn’t meant for us. Wisdom lies in us knowing when the provision is for us and when it isn’t.
As I carried the keg of cooking oil home, I wondered in my heart if God will not test me the same way with a 2017 BMW 750i. I hope he doesn’t give me that ride only to tell me to give someone reading this. But then again, even if He does lead me to sacrifice that Isaac when he comes, I know a resurrection of better and more refined provision awaits me ONLY if I TRUST Him wholeheartedly enough to follow His leading enough to know when the provision isn’t meant for me.