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Beneath or Within The Intended Provision
by Terry Barlow
10/14/13
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The other day I was sitting in the coolness of a computer room in some discomfort as I went about answering emails, etc. I had just gotten a haircut so my relatively bare head was especially vulnerable to the cold but I was fighting through it, and had already put on my jacket to layer against the chill when I remembered that a hood was zippered into the collar of the jacket. Availing myself of the benefit of that hood made all the difference, because then I became comfortable again and could concentrate better on what I was doing. All along the hood had been there but I hadn't been aware of it. Then just a few days later, as if for reminder's sake, my wife Leslyn and I were at a skateboard park watching our grandson attempt some new tricks. We were sitting in some aluminum bleachers that soon became a problem for Leslyn's back. So she sat in front of me and leaned back against my legs and that worked better for a while, until I realized that we had comfortable beach chairs in the trunk of our car. They too had been there all along but we didn't remember that we had them. We enjoyed the rest of the skateboarding from the comfort of those chairs, having escaped the bleachers! In both of these cases there was a simple provision for the need present in the circumstance, but it wasn't being accessed. It made me wonder how much of the time it is like that in our spiritual journey, since so much of the time the natural is but a reflection of the spiritual. How much of the time are we, without realizing it, living beneath the available provision in different areas of our lives. That is, we might be anxious when we could be at peace, or sick when we could be healthy, or tired when we could be better-rested, or malnourished when we could be well-nourished, or out of time or money when there might have been plenty of margin. These are just a few examples of ways we may be living BENEATH the provision instead of IN and within the abundance of the provision that was intended for us. But what pleasure there is in detecting in a whisper the practical wisdom of that still small voice, and then responding to it with some different behaviors!



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