The Counting

As I consider the next steps on our journey, on two separate occasions I have begun composing an email to ask our financial planner how we might best navigate the next couple of years before I start to draw my social security. The intent of my heart at each moment is to have a plan in place, just in case the Lord does not provide as He has faithfully done for us over the past 48 years. In truth there is enough money to get us through the next couple of years and beyond, yet the temptation to count in preparation is tremendous. He has already provided!

The Lord has impressed on me the story found in 2 Samuel 24 where after a long history of winning battles with God’s help, David, king of Israel, decides to count the number of fighting men in Israel. Many of us would wonder what is wrong with this approach. Is it not good planning to know the strength of one’s forces? Joab, the leader of all David’s armies, challenged the boss and said “… why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” Joab knew the source of the question. After the count was taken, David was conscience-stricken and confessed his sin. What was his sin?

In taking the census, David had determined to know whether Israel had the strength to win battles, without the help of the Lord. That census was an act demonstrating a lack of faith. Now, David and Israel, were punished for David’s error. 

Each time I began these emails, I was convicted. The Lord is visibly at work on multiple fronts, yet I am already taking a count and making plans just in case He doesn’t come through. It’s never happened before so what is the source of my hesitation? Do I think that His efforts might be unsuccessful? Do I think that He has lost His touch in turning men toward His purposes?

I share this part of the process to be transparent, yes, but also to confess my unbelief and tendency to come up short on faith in the unseen work of God. Perhaps, just perhaps, my view of God has fallen out of kilter, giving me pause regarding His faithfulness.

God, save me from myself and my unbelief!

About ponderosapapa

Papa to five grandchildren, Dad to two daughters and two sons-in-law, Husband of one wife. Leaving a legacy of thought and perspective worth carrying through the generations that follow.
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