The other day while praying, I had a small revelation. It wasn't a huge revelation, like when I learned puce is not a shade of yucky green, but it's still something that helped me see things a little more clearly.
I write my prayers usually, mainly because I communicate better in writing, and also because it helps me stay focused. I'm also a very visual, word-centered person.
And I wrote in my prayer something along the lines of, "...Lord, give me vision and provision...."
I had to stop there for a second and geek out, and I think God completely understands when we geek out in the middle of prayer, especially when it's because He's shown us something.
Another thing you should know about me: I am fascinated by root words. I like to see how little bits of prefixes and suffixes are added to roots to make new words with new meanings. Sometimes, when I break a word apart, I realize on its basic level, that it means something slightly different than what I thought, or it has a slightly different connotation.
In the case of my prayer, I came across two words with the same root word that I never truly connected before: vision and provision. And I geeked out.
Now "vision" is a relatively easy word in regards to the root word, which is "vis." It means simply "to see." A vision can be something one sees: "Ruth is a vision of loveliness." It can be a dream or heightened state when something supernatural is revealed: "I had a vision that you were going to die tomorrow if you didn't read all of Ruth's blogs." It can be the state of seeing: "Ruth has dreadful vision, but she sure does look cute in glasses." In the case of my prayer, however, "vision" meant "a goal or dream to aspire to acheive."
Sometimes it's scary to ask for vision. It's scary to say, "God, I've got a big imagination, but it's not big enough. Can You lend me Yours? Can You show me how You want me to come alongside You in what You're doing?"
It's scary because if we open ourselves up to God's possibilities, it can change our whole world and our outlook on that world. It can mean that we start caring about things we never gave much thought to before. And caring leads to vulnerability. And that is scary.
I did ask for vision; I do ask for vision. But that's not all I asked for. I also asked for provision, a word that I just realized has the word "vision" right there in it.
Pro-vis-ion. Provision just doesn't mean that everything that is needed will be given, it means that everything that is needed is already seen (by the Provider) before it is needed.
And that means that if the Provider gives a vision, He already knows what is needed in order to attain the vision. That includes physical needs as well as Spiritual. He's not giving us anything blindly. He knows exactly what we need and will provide it.
And that's so good to know. It's so encouraging. I'm preparing to go out in faith on a mission trip in August to a strange land. I'm not even entirely sure what I'll be doing, who I'll be talking to, how they'll receive me. But I believe I was called to go on this trip, I believe God had seen and made provisions for me to go on this trip long before I ever knew I was going.
The other day while going down a flight of stairs, I missed a step, fell head first, and landed on my face. I walked away with a bruised eye, a bruised shoulder, a slightly bruised ego, and the knowledge that I got off easy from that one.
Because the entire time I was falling, which was probably only about three seconds, but seemed like one of those eternal turning point moments where everything slows down and etches itself in the long term memory forever, I was absolutely convinced that I was going to break my neck and die right there. I remember after I fell, I exclaimed to the witnesses "I'm okay! I'm okay! I'm okay! I just hurt my face!" It really wasn't for their sake as much as it was for mine, because I was really quite surprised that I was still alive.
Matthew West, one if my favorite singer/songwriters, wrote a great song after a period of time where he wasn't sure he'd ever be able to sing again. He'd had surgery on his vocal chords and had to trust that God would provide for his and his family's needs, that God would provide a different vision if he could no longer sing.
The song is called, "Something to Say." I had been listening to it all week, all day, right before the church meeting where my pastor announced the mission trip I'm taking. And he said, "I want a lot of you ladies to sign up for this trip, because I believe you have something to say."
And I believe that, too. I believe it because God's provided me a vision, and He's going to provide in the midst of it.
The chorus in that Matthew West song goes, "You've got something to say. If you're living and you're breathing, you've got something to say. You know if your heart is beating, you've got something to say. And no one can say it like you do. God is love and love speaks through. You've got it. You've got it. You've got something to say."
I've got a black eye, but I'm breathing. I'm a klutz, but my heart is beating. I've got anxiety and insecurity and fear and the knowledge of my own many weaknesses....
But I've got something to say.
The One who gave me the vision has provided, is providing, and will provide.