Feb 5, 2018 by



Jerolyn and I recently lived near a park with a running/walking path around it. It was good to get out to experience both exercise and fresh air.

With plenty of trees and a small stream there were a plethora of squirrels. When I wasn’t focused on breathing, surviving (yes, there was an attempt at running on this path:-) God taught me a lesson. These squirrels were working hard — gathering, running, climbing, and sure some playing. God had provided them with much, but here’s the catch, they had to go get it!

God is indeed our Provider. We are experiencing this “foot in the River, faith-filled, God-sized, immeasurably more adventure” like never before. AND loving it! God continues to open doors on our behalf and provide opportunities. It is truly amazing to watch Him work on our behalf, but the squirrels reminded me that we have to go get it. We continue to connect, reach out, train, study, learn, prepare our talks/workshops, work on our writing (see what I am doing here:-), and much more.

God is providing but He expects us to go get it. To work for it. To gather. To prepare when we receive invitations and opportunities. So, like the squirrels we don’t just sit at home; we still need to work. We have borrowed the phrase, “Work hungry.” We need to “build the business before we build the house.”

A current personal story to illustrate this: We have chosen to wait on purchasing a home again to see where best to live and launch. But even more than purchasing a house, what is God going to provide for us in this journey as we seek Him, work hard, build and grow that we could limit if we “jump” too soon? We have sacrificed the security and “comfort” of a home for now as we build the business and work hungry!

God is providing but He expects us to go get it.

These thoughts simply come from watching squirrels work hard in preparation and provision. God has provided and takes care of them; He really does provide the same for us. But we are still expected to work. God will provide but not literally drop it in our laps as we sit on the sofa.

Since we moved from this location, I’ve been meditating on this then recently read a devotional from Tim and Kathy Keller on Proverbs. “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest…A little sleep, a little slumber, and a little folding of the hands to rest-and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Prov. 6:6-11 NIV

Now, overworking is a problem. Many of us have experienced, justified, and continued to live that way for much of our life. That is legitimately an issue and not the best way to live. So if you’re problem is more in this area, then you need a different discussion but for many it is just the opposite. The devotional states, “For what used to be thought of as good, reasonable jobs are now seen as demanding unreasonable standards. Many are immune to ‘hard work.”

How are you working? God provides but we are expected to earn it, not be entitled to it. We are to work hard and be like the squirrels, or ants, and be intrinsically motivated to work, gather, produce, and go get it.

How to Work Better:

  • Evaluate your work habits — Do you lean towards workaholic, industrious, just get by, or lazy?
  • Develop a dependence on God for providing, but an attitude of going to gather.
  • We all know there is a difference between busy and productive. The adage is true, “work smarter,  not harder.” What is your assessment of how you are doing in this area? What alignments need to be made?
  • Always take time to reflect and rest.

Trust God, watch Him work on your behalf, but be obedient to “gather” what He has provided, and prepare for those opportunities. The squirrels working hard, darting, climbing, running, and ultimately gathering food reminded me again of my dependence on God, but also that although he has provided, I am expected to go get it.

~ Jim and Jerolyn


God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs. Tim and Karen Keller (Pgs. 12)

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