And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
He promises provision.
If I think about it my list of actual needs is pretty short as far as what I need to survive: food, shelter, love, community/relationships, probably health/safety.
My wants list however is pretty extensive. Cute clothes, chocolate, coffee, books, high speed internet, vacations, school supplies, etc.
Yet, He doesn’t promise to supply all of our wants. Nope, just our needs. However, because He’s kind and generous sometimes He provides both.
I get to see his provision on a pretty regular basis. One area where I consistently witness his provision is in the Moms Ministry at my church that I co-lead. One of our biggest challenges for each meeting is child care. We often don’t know how many helpers we’ll have until just before the actual meetings. This is a huge stressor because we want to “provide” a place where moms in our community can come and have a couple of free hours to enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with other women and grow in their faith so providing child care is a big part of the ministry.
Well we always get down to the wire, my friend and co-leader Casey and I stress, we pray and for some reason I try to just believe the Lord will provide, that if we had total control of the situation then we wouldn’t need Him and wouldn’t be able to give Him the glory when He comes through and so we trust.
And because He is JEHOVAH-JIREH (The Lord will see to it/provide) He does.
Every single time, we’ve had enough. Not too many or too few helpers but enough. The last minute college students who don’t return our emails; they show up. The empty nester moms who want to help with the ministry, they show up. The last minute friend who just wants to serve, she shows up. And always, always He shows up.
And there are so many different needs, I know. Financial, relational, health-related. It’s hard to trust. There are friends and loved ones who are unemployed and don’t know how they will be able to pay their bills or provide for their families. Others battling illness or other challenges. But He sees you and knows your needs and will see to them. He promises it.
A story that I like that illustrates the Lord’s provision is found in the story of the multiplying of the loaves.
From the ZRT (Zohary Ross Translation) – In the story Jesus is preaching in front of a crowd of thousands, it’s been a long day and feels compassion for the people because they have been listening to him preach and are probably getting hungry. So he wants to feed them. He asks his apostles how much food they have.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”John 6:8-9
So Andrew was able to find one young boy with two fishes and five loaves of bread and because Jesus is Jesus He was able to miraculously multiply the food so that it was enough to feed all the people and have several baskets left over.
Now, let’s look at the young boy who had the fish and bread. What was He thinking? He could have been like um, yeah this is MY lunch and you can’t have it. I NEED it for myself.
But no, he gave it up and so Jesus was able to turn it into so much more so as to not only meet the boy’s needs but the entire crowd’s as well.
It’s so easy to worry, to get caught up in the “need” but what would it look like if we lived as ones who are provided for?
Some thoughts on how we do that:
- Perspective: Perhaps not everything that we consider a “need” actually is one? There may be things in our lives that the Lord may be keeping from us because they are not in our best interest. There may be times in our lives when we might need to evaluate what really are the things that are most important what might we possibly need to let go of.
- Remembering past faithfulness: By recalling times when He has provided in the past, we can have confidence that He will provide in the future.
- Focus on the loaves and not on the crowd: Like the boy in the story can we focus on what we already have and offer it up? Can we trust God with our small loaves and fishes and live in the blessing of being provided for rather than focusing on what we lack or the impossibility of the need?
- Let Him have His way with our needs: the boy didn’t know what the heck Jesus was going to do with the food but he gave it up anyway. He could have held on to the bread and fish; it was after all his lunch and by eating it he would have been taking care of his own needs. When we stress and get anxious about providing for all of needs ourselves we can miss out on letting God bless us and provide for us in greater ways than we could even imagine.
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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34
Today can we live as children of Jehovah-Jireh and trust that our God will supply all of our NEEDS?