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.:. the tin of ham

Fran Woods

When my coworker and I lived and worked in a village in Central India, we regularly received food packages from friends and family back home. At that time these packages were essential as many basic necessities, for example (powdered) milk, were not available. I remember that the friends who sent me these “care” packages always included a tin of ham. Oh, how we enjoyed that ham! It was a real treat! What I would do was to save the tin of ham until the next package had arrived with its tin of ham included and then we would feast on the one we’d saved. That way we always had a tin of ham on hand!

God has shown me that is a picture of the way I operate in my life such that I always make sure I have the next thing before using up what I have. It shows up particularly with finances. I always make sure I have enough money for the next rent before I pay this rent. I will put the house help’s next lot of money away before I pay what’s due now. In the cupboard, I like to keep 2 of many things so that I always have one I can use and yet not run out!

This morning (7 Aug 03), as I read Luke 12:13-31 (NLT) it hit me that my “tin of ham” style of functioning means I am really trusting in myself to provide for what I need. By making sure I have “enough” squirreled away (whether money or things) then I won’t have to worry. I’ve noticed my anxiety levels rise if my bank account drops anywhere close to some magic level I’ve unconsciously decided I must always keep on hand.

I’ve always believed God is “Jehovah Jireh”, my provider, and have experienced His provision through many years in India, Nepal, USA, and Thailand. Yet, this morning, my sense is that God has shown me a core (foundational) belief that flows like an unseen subterranean river through my life continually sabotaging my trust in God; this despite all evidence to the contrary as God’s kind and generous provisions have been there for me throughout my life. This core belief has prevented me from truly living from the heart of Jesus (that place of rest and trust in Him and what He has promised). This morning Jesus has made very clear that God desires to provide for me every day in every way (Luke 12:24, 28, 31). But, my “tin of ham” belief has prevented me from experiencing it. This mentality is like what Jesus describes in Luke 12:12-21.

Now I’ve asked Jesus to show me the root of this belief in my life so I may deal with any vow/choice I’ve made to provide for myself and that I allow Him to deal with the lie (for it is a lie) and to change this deep heart belief to His truth.

May God lead you as you think about any "tin of ham" syndrome that may be operating in your life. There really isn't anything that He can't be trusted with or about.

Copyright 2003 Fran Woods


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