“Some time later the BROOK DRIED UP because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him (Elijah): “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there.” 1 KINGS 17:7-9
God originally directs Elijah to a brook (Kerith Ravine) to stay for a season. He instructed him to drink from the brook and ravens would feed him; however, the PROVISION of the Lord STOPPED at some point.
There’s a popular saying, “Where God GUIDES He PROVIDES.”
This was true in Elijah’s case. God guided him to the wilderness and provided water and food for him.
However, there’s another reality to the Lord’s guiding that we DO NOT think about sometimes: “Where God DOESN’T PROVIDE He GUIDES!”
Sometimes God guides by opening doors through provisional means, but God also guides by CLOSING DOORS or by way of a LACK OF provision.
In those moments we may think He’s forgetting about us but He’s not. He’s actually being faithful in making sure we get to where we need to be or to not make a mistake and go where WE WANT to go. To do so He may need to TURN OFF the spigot in OUR version of the Kerith Ravine.
When God stops providing it may be an indicator that He’s getting ready to direct us ELSEWHERE.
This tactic is beneficial because we probably wouldn’t move when He wanted us to, or we may want to go in a direction OTHER than His preferred route.
One time Tiffany and I were looking to rent a home. We found two houses that we were interested in, which happened to be right next door to each other.
Believe it or not, the larger of the two homes was actually $100 cheaper in rent. Larger and cheaper sounded good to me!
I left voicemail after voicemail for the homeowner telling him I was interested. This guy would never call me back.
I remember being frustrated because I prayed and prayed that God would help us get into the larger home. NOTHING!
Everything made sense to me, but I could not figure out why God would NOT grant us the LARGER house with the CHEAPER rent.
Time was running out so we went with the “smaller” of the two and paid $100 MORE in rent.
For six months, whenever I would think about it, I would get irritated at God. I didn’t understand, and from time-to-time I would let the Lord know I was a little annoyed at His “LACK” of helping us.
Until one day I saw a real estate agent at the home I wanted. I told him I tried renting the house but the owner would never call me back.
I was surprised at his response. He said, “That was a GOOD thing.” I asked, “Seriously?!” He told me that the owner was well-into the foreclosure process and he was trying to rent the home but keep the rent money for himself.
He informed me that the house had gone to auction and if we were living in it then we would have had to move because they now had a buyer.
Suddenly my annoyance toward the Lord turned into PRAISE! God was guiding/protecting me and my family by saying NO, by NOT PROVIDING.
Due to His lack of provision in my life it STEERED us in a BETTER direction. God loves me enough to NOT give me what I want sometimes.
It’s comforting to know that I have a heavenly Father who looks out for me and guides me by way of providing and NOT providing.
Once again… life is about LEARNING to completely TRUST Him. Will we?
Rick Bulman is the Senior Pastor at New Hope Foursquare Church in Bellingham, Washington. He is a normal guy (actually, depends on who you ask) who loves Jesus. His faith is real and he tries to live life as transparent as possible. Rick is married and has 4 amazing kids! To see all articles by Rick-Bulman Click Here!