Old Mother Hubbard (Part 1)

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

I felt like Old Mother Hubbard as I went to the kitchen cupboards that morning. I don't know why I even bothered to look. I knew there was nothing in them to make a meal for my four young children. The situation looked rather bleak for a cook who could make a meal out of just flour, eggs, and milk, but today I didn't even have those ingredients. I looked out the window at the winter snow that covered my garden — no vegetables to be found there. What was I going to do?

My husband was on a short-term mission in Africa, and I was all alone, homeschooling our children in the middle of winter. I had no money, no food, and no way to even get out from the blizzard that had blocked our long driveway to our country home. I began to think about how we had prayed and asked the Lord for opportunities to serve Him in missions. God had assured us through His Word that He would keep His promises to take care of us, but now I had four pairs of hungry eyes wondering what their mother was going to do.

I don't know what came over me that morning. I opened every cupboard door and the refrigerator. I sat the children down in the middle of the kitchen, and we began to pray. I almost shouted at God when I spoke and reminded Him that He had promised to take care of us. Right now we had nothing to eat, no one to help, and no escape. Just the night before I had read in Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread." I prayed that God would keep His promises, but things didn't look too good.

To be continued in tomorrow's Daily Focus.

Father God, I'm afraid and cry out to You like David, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee" (Psalm 56:3). Show me the way and give me the strength to walk in Your will. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(19 comments)

CHERITH N 09/17/2008 06:19:47

although predictable...I can't believe you're making us wait..... :D Pure torture! hee hee

SISTER L 09/18/2008 07:12:06

Thank you for this. It is a reminder to me of what I need to do in my situation.

AMANDA W 09/17/2009 03:34:22

I don't like this "to be continued" mess. That's for sitcoms!! I will be waiting!


LAURA K 09/17/2009 17:25:08

I don't yet know "the rest of the story", but so far it reminds me of George Mueller in England about a hundred years ago who continually prayed for God to provide for him, his wife, and the orphans they were taking care of.

Lisa P 09/27/2009 21:16:22

Hi, Will you please resend Daily Focus, September 18, 2009? Mine got deleted and I would love to read it! Thank you very much, Lisa

CARL V 09/28/2009 06:39:05


You can view part 2 of this devotional at the following link: http://www.aophomeschooling.com/blog/daily-focus/old-mother-hubbard-part-2

We hope you enjoy the ending. God bless!

des n 09/17/2010 07:07:30

I hope that this is a devotional that is exaggerated to prove a point! I cannot imagine a Godly man who would go on: " a short-term mission to Africa", and leave his wife and four children without anything to eat! Although our Lord is great and He provides, I know he gave us our wonderful brains to PLAN for situations such as these :-(

MELISA D 09/17/2010 18:05:37

Wow I have definetly been in this situation before. But God is so amazing. We (my family of 8) were about to sit down and eat supper (a peice of bread) when a man and a woman from our church showed up at our house they had just got there from walmart and they had a vehicle full of groceries. We are so blessed to have a father who will never forsake us. Thank you for all that you do to encourage other believers.

MAYA T 09/17/2011 08:27:11

I remember being here myself so many times. I am so humbled right now reading this. Lord help all of us not take for granted these times, to remember to be thankful in plenty and in want.

JULIE J 09/17/2011 16:12:05

You know, I have to sort of agree with you, Des. I hear this all the time about families who want to "serve the Lord", but they leave their own children high and dry when it comes to providing for them. Kind of the situation of the Pastor's Kid, but to the extreme.

If the husband knew ahead of time he was going on a missions trip (and most all the time you do know ahead of time), he should have made sure that his family back home would be provided for while he was gone.

The verse where Jesus says, "What profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his very soul" makes me think of people who are so intent on winning the world "for Christ" that they lose their own families souls.

LISA B 09/18/2011 05:02:00

The words of Jesus where He says, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his very soul" is taken out of context here.

When a man is doing the Spirit-led work of the Lord, he trusts that the Lord will provide for that work and for his needs. His needs include his family's needs.

Jesus was talking about trading worldly profit for kingdom profit.

We can't take scripture and bend and twist it to fit our current agendas.


LISA B 09/18/2011 06:04:18

I would just like to add - in case anyone is going to go back a day and read these comments...

I know of people who have been "so intent on winning the world "for Christ" that they lose their own family's souls". But - they were not led by the Spirit.

They were working out of their own wills. They were not, as wives, tending to their husbands, children and homes. So...yes, they lost their family's souls. Had they submitted to God's will...the story would have been different.

CHERYL W 09/18/2011 08:28:48

Old Mother Hubbard was a widow in a fairy tale. I think it is sad that a man would leave his wife and children with no food or money to do "Gods work". His priority of his family comes before missions and is only second to his personal relationship with the Lord. This husband is worse than an infidel. I'm very disappointed in this "devotional".

LIZ O 09/18/2011 08:56:03

That reminds me of a story my mother told me many times during her lifetime. My father was going to college and then would go on to the seminaty to become a minister. They were living on her teacher's salary and had used up all of their savings. They were down to their last dollar and had no idea where money would come for the next meal. They both prayed asking God to help them in this situation. That day a check came in the mail for $100. They had no idea who sent the money, but God answered their prayers at the last minute!

ARETHA S 09/17/2012 04:54:55

So sad to see these negative comments. First we don't know the full story devotional seems to be leading to a bigger spiritual lessons. I am married to a wonderful Spirit led Godly man who went on a overseas mission trip and he didn't leave us with a vast savings account and while he was away on this short term trip various unanticipated events happened that we were not prepared for but our Heavenly Father provided and I am thankful to the Lord for his mercy and grace. I would rather have my hope and trust in Him than my husband or myself.

Jill Haselden 09/17/2013 13:07:53

Reminded me of just the other day : I was complaining of having to stay in the kitchen all the time. I should have been thanking God for the food in the cupboards, fridge, freezer, that I could fix for my family, instead of complaining!

K B 09/17/2013 13:08:18

Sometimes God allows these things to happen

for our good and His glory. These are teachable moments for us and our children

to see and understand the faithfulness of God. I don't know the "rest of the story,"

but I do know God always provides our need! I can't wait to hear how He answered those prayers.

Catherine Kissam 09/17/2014 13:41:47

I think it's sad to pass judgment on a man for going on a mission. In all the planning they may have misjudged the amount of food they had or the money they thought they had enough of, had to go to some emergency. I can only imagine how this mother felt as she and her children sat on that kitchen floor in the middle of a blizzard. All too often, people pass judgment on things they only have half of the details.

Penniah Hall 09/19/2014 13:32:16

I want to say that we are mistaken to think that if we are in God's perfect will nothing will go wrong. That is a lie of the devil. Look at Job whom God Himself called righteous. God sends testing to see if we really love Him as we claim, like He did with Abraham. Abraham, you are My friend and love Me, but do you love Me more than the long awaited heir and child of promise? Abraham did love God more and God blessed Him for passing the test! This husband and father is first a child of God and must obey God; he left his family in God's hands and God took care of them! It amazes me that some of you have called this man worst than an infidel when you don't know the full story, only what was given in the daily devotion.

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