You’ve heard it before. When the money is tight. When you aren’t sure if your old car will survive until your next paycheck. GOD WILL PROVIDE. Sometimes the words may seem to mock you. How is that even possible? I always think about the famous scene from Gone With the Wind where Scarlett O’Hara is standing in her burnt-out garden. Her mansion and farm have been destroyed during the Civil War. She is hungry and manages to scrape up one tiny carrot. She holds it up and says dramatically (in a Southern drawl, of course), “As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!!!”
Where do we get the idea that God will provide for us? The word provide comes from the word “providence” which is defined as “the protective power of God, or nature as a spiritual power.”
We are told in Matthew 6 that Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
In verse 6: 26 he says, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith…” In other words, God will provide.
We are God’s Hands and Feet
I am well aware of situations throughout the world where it seems that God isn’t providing. Places of terrible poverty, famine, violence. So how can this statement be true? I don’t have an answer for all the sadness in the world, but I do know that God expects us to be part of the solution. Perhaps when we truly listen to God, we can be His hands and feet in those places. We are to help feed the hungry and take care of the sick. How blessed we are in this country with what we have.
I read an account by a missionary to Africa who asked a severely disabled young boy who lived in abject poverty, how it was possible that he, and the people in his village, seemed so happy with so little. The boy replied, “What we wonder, is how people who live in a country like the United States, could be so unhappy?”
It’s an important question. Why, when we have everything in the world – electricity, plumbing, clean water, plenty of food, shelter, clothes – why are we so worried all the time about everything? I think that worry is an indication that we don’t trust that God, will indeed provide for us.
As I sat in prayer this morning thanking God for all the things he has done in my life, my eyes fell on the last few figs on my nearly bare tree. We have lots of finches who love to sit in the branches and eat them. God is providing for them a little daily feast. I also have a lot of hummingbird feeders in my yard that I fill for my beautiful little birds. Through me, God is providing for them, too.
God does provide. I have had times in my life where I was down to literally my last dollar and knew that Christmas was coming and I had nothing to buy presents with. That time, a friend (who didn’t know anything about my situation) gave me $200 and said she wanted to help me have a great Christmas. God provided. I have experienced times of illness, job loss, financial ruin, despair. And every time God showed up. Not always the way I expected and the solutions weren’t always easy or magical. But He showed up. Every. Time.
It’s important to know that God provides more than just money and food. So much more. He also provides inspiration, ideas, guidance. There have been many times after praying when an idea just pops into my mind. Or I see a book or article that has just the information that could lead me to what I need. Or a person, even a complete stranger, appears and connects me to a resource that will work. Again it comes down to listening and being willing to take the steps you hear God tell you to take.
The way I “hear from God” is through prayer. In my mind I can hear a still small voice that comforts me. Sometimes I just get a sense of peace. Or a random thought will pop in that is helpful.
But, you may ask, how do you know if what you are “hearing” is from God?
Here are four ways to help you discern what God may be saying to you:
1. If the thought is angry, accusing, ugly or violent. It is NOT from God. God comforts, convicts, inspires, helps.
2. Any thoughts that you receive should always agree with scripture, and should always reflect love.
3. Talk to someone you trust, about what you are thinking, or heard in prayer, and get their input on it. God will never tell you to do something violent or illegal or hurtful. But He might suggest that you step out of your comfort zone. He might suggest you ask for help or try a new skill. He might tell you to let go of some unforgiveness or bad habit. Anything he asks of you, he will give you the ability to do.
4. Sometimes what God provides is comfort. When you are lonely, lost or sad, He can be a huge shoulder to cry on. It was God’s comfort, love and peace that carried me through the death of my daughter. That season of grief actually drew me closer to God.
God will provide for you.
In the midst of whatever you are going through, He is there. Waiting for you to turn to Him.
I would love to know how God has provided for you in the past. It’s encouraging to hear your stories. Comment on this post or drop me a line.
We have an awesome God. Lean on Him. He will provide.