Here we are, my daughter and I, at a the Duke of Wellington Tavern in the charming village of Notting Hill, not far from Hyde Park. The movie, Notting Hill was filmed here. We had bowls of steaming hot pea soup and enjoyed being surrounded by history.
To travel is to learn. Travel sparks our curiosity and increases the pleasure of learning. We who are from the United States can be overwhelmed by the history of other countries. Our country is comparatively new on the scene. So, for me to explore a cathedral, or sit in a tavern that dates back to 1200 is an amazing thing. English settlers first came to our east coast in 1607 and established the settlement of Jamestown. While living on the east coast we loved to explore, wander through old graveyards, and visit historic sites like Plymouth where the Pilgrims landed in 1620. It's good to remember the reason the English settlers came to this 'new land'...they wanted religious freedom and they didn't want to be unfairly taxed. Human nature hasn't changed much; we want the same today.
My daughter and I made a list of all we wanted to do and see. A week was too short a time to cross everything off the list, but we were able to enjoy many - a tour of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, the London Eye, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and Harrod's and Selfridge's department stores. We spent a day in Oxford wandering around the many colleges and universities and ate in a tavern where famous authors C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll would gather to read each other's work.
As you explore castles and cathedrals you can't ignore the show of immense wealth and riches. For the most part, these were not earned riches. People were born into wealth, or born into poverty. Unfortunately, world wide, many more are born into poverty.
As Christians, it's good to remind ourselves that we have everything we need, even when it isn't much in terms of worldly goods. We may not have everything we want, but we can trust God to supply everything we need. Those of us who are raising children, or have raised them, know the difference between wanting and needing. My own children's voices echo in my ears as I recall their words - "I want a new bike", "I want Nike shoes", "I want an Izod shirt", and the list goes on. Very often my response was, "You don't need that."
There is no peace in life when you are always 'wanting' something. I call this the "I'll be happy if" syndrome. The truth is, after having achieved our goal in getting what we want, most often, we go on to wanting something else. We seem to have this illusion that if we have everything we desire, we'll be happy and at peace with life. It doesn't work that way. How can we become more satisfied with what we have? God has shown us in His Word.
David wrote about this is Psalm 34. The psalm is addressed to the "righteous", to those who "fear" the Lord. In other words, the believers. Just a reminder - you are 'righteous' in God's eyes if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Jesus removed all of our unrighteousness by paying the penalty for sin. The 'fear' being referred to is having reverence for God's holiness which is very different than being afraid of God. Note in verse 9 he refers to the believers as "his saints". If you believe, you are a saint in God's eyes. I'm Saint Bobbe.
"Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack no good thing". Psalm 34:9.
This verse says to me that I will not lack anything that the Lord knows I need. If He hasn't supplied it, I don't need it. I may want it, but I don't need it. I can hand Him my 'wish list' and simply wait to see what He does with it. I trust Him - no one knows me like the Lord.
Jesus was ministering to a large crowd of people on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was a remote place far from a village. I've been there, it's still a remote place. The Jews counted 5,000 in the crowd. This did not include women and children. Some believe that there were closer to 15,000 present. Evening approached and the disciples were worried the people would get hungry. Jesus knew they needed food so He took five loaves of bread and two fish and multiplied this meager amount so that it fed all those present, and they even had some left over. You can read about this in Matthew 14: 13 - 21.
Did this really happen? I believe it did. God uses His living Word to paint a picture of who He is and what He can do. The message here is, don't worry, it is God who can and will supply all of our needs. But, there is something we need to do:
"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
God is speaking of worldly "things", He's saying, trust Me, I am faithful. Little David faced a giant named Goliath (I Samuel 17) with a sling shot and five stones. God gave him all that he needed and David fought with great confidence because he knew "the battle is the Lord's", vs. 47. The battle ended with David unharmed and a dead giant. We may think that the Lord has given us too little, but that is never the case. In II Samuel 12:8, the Lord listed for David all that He'd given him, then said:
"And if this had been too little, I would have given you even more.".
Lord, thank you for a wonderful week in London with our daughter. I didn't even ask You for that. I'm so delighted when you do something great, simply because you love us. Thank you for supplying all we need. Being aware of Your Presence is the only thing that brings peace. Without you. . .nothing is right.