BY PASTOR JENNIFER HESEBECK -- EXCELSIOR AND ZION UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES
"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." -- Psalm 145:15-16
At first glance this verse seems to be a lie. The eyes of all don't look to God for their food. They look to their job for their food. They look to their parents for their clothes. They look to their 401k plans and Social Security for their future. These are their gods that they look to.
And maybe as you read this you are shaking your head, saying, "Not me," but I fear that even as faithful Christians we aren't much better. We don't wake up in the morning and pray for food. We don't thank Him every night for giving us a house and a bed and groceries in the cupboard. When we're young we just assume that the food will come as long as our parents are alive. As adults we have the ability to earn it for ourselves. Perhaps that verse should read, "The eyes of a few look to you. The rest take you for granted and expect you to wait on them hand and foot without a word of thanks." That would seem to be more honest.
But when the Psalmist writes that the eyes of ALL look to you, he is referring to all walks of life: all areas of creation. No matter how big or small, how high or low, they all look to the Lord to take care of them. God gladly takes on the feeding of all of them. It is well within His means and might to do so. He takes care of all, and He also wants all to see that He is the giver of everything.
Have you ever played the game where you hide an object in one of two hands? With tightly closed fists you hold your hands out in front of you and it's up to the other person to guess which hand it is in. When the hand is opened, then you find out if you picked the right hand or not.
God doesn't play that game. He is not a tight-fisted God. He loves to give. He has huge hands that can hold tons of blessings. He is a generous God who loves to open His hand; and you don't have to guess which one is full; they both are.
When we give thanks to the Lord we are recognizing where our gifts come from. We are acknowledging God as a gracious and giving God. When we only go about our work and pay our bills with the understanding that we will always have the health or the wealth to purchase what we want, when we want, we are leaving God out of the picture. We are not giving God the credit He deserves. We are making ourselves into our own gods. When we complain to Him because we don't have as many things as the neighbors; when we don't have the electronic toys or the big screens; when our jobs don't pay as well; we are really treating God as if He's been cheap and tight-fisted with us.
Think of how God opens His hand to you every day with clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, family. And hold dear the greatest thing to come from His hand ... God couldn't have been any more generous and gracious with you than to give His only Son. Even though God knew we wouldn't appreciate Him as we should, and even though God knew we would treasure other things much more highly than Him; God gave them to us anyway. In the sending of His Son God did more than just to open His hand. He opened His heart to us. He opened His heart for all of us in order to satisfy the greatest need we have; the need of forgiveness. May ALL look to Him, thankful for what He has given.