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Day 1: Sustenance

Happy First Day of Thanks Everyone!

Scripture: Matthew 6:28-33

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Song: “Jireh”

Today I give thanks for sustenance and the fact that I can confess, “I have and will always have provision in my life.”

Have you ever studied the meaning of a word? (I know, I’m a nerd, you don’t have to tell me again.) Yesterday, as I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner, I was talking to God and reflecting on this past year. It has been a year of both many high mountain successes and very low valley defeats. However, the one interwoven theme in all the successes and defeats was that there was sustenance. I looked up the word sustenance. It means “the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence” or “being supplied with the necessities of life.” Sustenance not only includes the food or drink ones needs for a source of physical strength and nourishment, it includes all of the resources needed for living.

So far, throughout this entire year, (and I know this extends to rest of it too), I have been sustained. Even when I didn’t know from where provision was coming, it always came and was always right on time. In my reflection, I remembered how several of my conversations with God during this year sounded exactly like this: “Lord, you told me to do this. I know you know we need to make this month’s rent and bills so I ask that you come through like you said you would.” Many times, I was in that 11th hour of nervousness, with my back against the wall, actively waiting for the money or a consultant job to come through. God would gently remind me of Matthew 6: 28-33 and that one of his names was Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. And, bam! It came. Sometimes, money came unexpectedly from a sender with a note that would say “the Lord put it on my heart to send this to you” or a job would come that would give the sustenance needed for the next several months. Sometimes, unemployment payments filled the gaps. No matter what, Lilah and I had a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and all the bills were paid.

God is good and faithful!

For the past two months, I have been remotely teaching and giving Delilah all her related services at home because the NYC Department of Education can’t find a nurse to accompany her to school and would not approve any remote instruction for related services that was not related to COVID-19 absence. (This insane and utterly ridiculous experience with the DOE is another conversation for another day!) As you can imagine, it has stifled to a huge degree any work-related activity for me. There has been no real money coming in for the last two months, yet Delilah and I are having Thanksgiving dinner in our home and to date all the bills are paid. If you all knew how expensive Delilah’s keto-genic diet is (my head almost turned backwards when I had to pay $12 for a loaf of her bread), you’d understand that it’s a miracle that we can have a Thanksgiving spread that includes all her food choices in keto-genic style as well as my food choices. Again, to God be all the glory!

With each savory bite I take today, it will be a reminder of God’s sustenance. It will be attached to gratitude that Delilah and I have provision and that all is well with us. It will also be a reminder to pay it forward, actively doing something for someone I know may be or is in a hard place.

Today as we give thanks for sustenance, I invite you to donate some time or money to Friends of Brook Park,, and Padre Plaza Success Community Garden, two of the amazing community gardens in my home catchment area. They not only feed our community but they rehabilitate our youth and provide incredible programming and resources to my South Bronx community. You may not have a community garden in your neighborhood, but I’m sure you have local soup kitchens, food banks, or churches that you know who provide food for members of your community during this time. Donate and serve with them. No one should ever be without food, if we have tons of it on our plates and in our refrigerators.

Love ya,

Have a great day of thanks!

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