He CAN prepare a table in the wilderness

Psalm 78:19-20
“Then they spoke against God; they said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, so the waters gushed out, and the streams were overflowing. “Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?”
I have this verse written on a faded and old 3x5 card, stuck inside a Bible by my computer. It wouldn’t mean much to anyone else; in fact they’d probably never understand its significance to me. It was a question the nation of Israel asked God in the wilderness when it appeared He would not provide for them. It was the same question that, 10 years ago, I asked God in a much more humble and contrite state. It was a prayer really. About 10 years ago, I was running out of money, hope, and ideas. I had left my pastorate, begun a new vocation that hadn’t panned out as I expected it to, and I felt certain that I had led my family into the wilderness by my actions. I was as low as I had ever been in my life. When your (apparent) mistakes affect others, the pain is magnified exponentially, especially when you love your family like I love mine. I was desperate.
I had no ideas, no resources, no hope, and a bank account that was almost gone. Sound familiar to anyone? Reading through the Psalms I happened upon this passage and was gripped by the three questions being asked by the children of Israel. Can God? Can He? Will He? I knew God could provide our needs, I wasn’t so sure about whether or not He would. My theology was in a struggle with my present circumstances which seems to always be the case. A man who once knew exactly where he was supposed to be and precisely what he was supposed to be doing was now rudderless in a leaky boat in the fog. A man who could once provide for his family was now facing the unthinkable.
Yet, at the last moment, literally, God provided not only provision, but direction. Ironically, it was the last direction I wanted to hear, the last place I wanted to go. I don’t remember a more humbling time in my life. I saw no hope. Fast forward 10 years. God has not only given me and my family abundant provision, but more importantly, He has shown me where He wants me to be, and precisely what He wants me to be doing—which brings me back to the passage. It took awhile for me to see it, but God CAN prepare a table in the wilderness, He CAN give bread also, and He WILL provide for His people.
I am currently on a sabbatical from a pastorate I have come to love deeply, and am sitting in my new office in a house of our own that God has miraculously (and I do not use that word lightly) provided. I can provide for my family, for others, and have seen for myself that “the waters gushed out, and streams were overflowing.” Did I make mistakes? Maybe, I’m not quite sure. God was sovereignly moving me where He wanted me, though the means were unconventional. There were things I needed to learn, important, life changing things. I don’t learn very quickly, and I tend to resist a truth if it does not appear instantly attractive to me. But I learned a very important thing: God is a GOOD Father. Perhaps coming from a broken home where three fathers turned around and walked out of my life never to return made that lesson a bit harder for me than for most. Good Fathers don’t love their children only when they deserve it, but especially when they don’t. That’s when they need love the most.
I just want to glorify God for all He’s done for me. I never spoke against Him as the children of Israel did, but my heart could find no assurance in his care when it should have. He has confirmed His character to me in a marvelous way. If I lose it all tomorrow, I am still blessed to have what I have today. He is a GOOD FATHER. He CAN prepare a table in the wilderness, so if you’re there I encourage you to find the rest it took me much too long to enjoy.
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