the bowl.


I was reading  Charles Spurgeon’s daily devotional Morning and Evening, this morning and today’s reading was so relevant to where we are in life right now.  The devotional spoke to prayers that have yet to be answered.  His reference was Isaiah 30:18 –

Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you

Spurgeon lists possible reasons whey God may delay in answering my prayer, and one reason that he gave reminded me of what I’ve come to learn as “the lesson of the bowl.”  Years ago, my father-in-law and I were talking about a particular need that I had, and I was becoming more and more frustrated and unsettled that the need wasn’t getting met.  I’ll never forget him saying to me, “Shannon, don’t look at the bowl.”  Here’s the word picture he was painting with his exhortation: When one of my little girls are hungry, they don’t climb up to the table and sit in front of an empty bowl, and wait for the bowl to fill itself.  Instead, they look intently, sincerely, solely to me or their mother, and expect that we will fill their bowl.  There is never any doubt in their mind that they are going to eat, because they aren’t looking at an empty bowl in front of them, they are looking to the ones who can fill the bowl.

In his writing, Spurgeon said,

. . . thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus.

We’re being reminded of the lesson of the bowl in this stage of our lives.  It would be so easy to look at an empty bowl and despair, giving in to fear and even venture into realms of depression.  But God is speaking clearly to us right now, “don’t look at the bowl.  He will be gracious to us.

Do you have a need or a situation that you need God to fill or answer?  If you can tell us what that need is here in the comments and we can pray together that the only one who can fill your bowl will fill it in his perfect timing.


4 Responses to “the bowl.”

  1. December 10, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Wonderful post.

    If you would, please pray for my housing situation. My family being split up for extended periods of time is really starting to wear on us. Thanks.

  2. December 10, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Steve man, I know this has been going on a long time for you guys and I can only imagine what a challenge it has been. I’ll be praying with you over this issue.

  3. 3 Kimberly Comer
    December 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Very nice blog!
    – We need serious financial prayers. My hubby was “let go” of his job in early July. We have 4 kids, #5 on the way. The whole “no income” situation is taking its toll.


  4. 4 Mike Wood
    January 10, 2009 at 11:23 am


    I got up today and my Dad called discussing his struggles he seems to face and he felt that God told him today to get your focus off yourself on to God. It’s a common word that we hear all the time, and I thanked Dad for sharing it. I pondered on it trying to make sure I wasn’t listening well, and then I read your post which brought it home. The empty bowl is me looking at myself and my need(s) and I need to look at Him (focus on Him). When I look at the source, I am expecting and wanting to see His work versus focusing on how my issues affect me.

    Nothing profound but isn’t that what’s awesome about living in Christ.

    . . . thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus.

    The lesson of the bowl is so true.


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