God provides. It’s His nature, it’s what He does. God and His loving action are inseparable. Dogs bark and wag their tails – God rescues and saves – it’s who He is. One incredible thing about God’s provision is that it is coupled with His wisdom, which is higher than ours, and we’re sometimes left in mystery as to the why and when of His care. For those of us who’ve walked a while in God’s ways, though, we’ve seen over and over that He’s always right. His love for us is perfect, flawless. He’s like a master chess player, making each move with every other move before and ahead in mind. He knows. He knows everything.
It’s interesting to read the stories of God’s provision throughout the Bible. Most often, His action occurs just in the nick of time. He seems to be partial to the cliffhanger rescue. In fact, when He rained down bread from the sky for His people wandering in the desert, He didn’t even allow them to collect and store it. He made it good for one day only, leaving them to rely on Him every morning just to eat. Jesus taught us to pray; “give us this day our daily bread”. He knows this sense of dependence is the best thing for us and our relationship with Him, and He plays the theme like a catchy, pop chorus – repeating again and again and surprising us every time. The Red Sea, water from a rock, a ram in a thicket, a baby in a manger – God’s specialty is the dramatic, last-minute save.
No wonder we experience His provision in our lives this same way. For us, as a missionary family in Southern California, we often find ourselves praying for God’s provision in the quite literal sense; finances. It seems even with all our budgeting and planning, we still meet many months with not enough money for the bills, and we’ve learned to trust in the unpredictable, recuing love of God. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were going over the finances on a Sunday afternoon. Our accounts were slim, and we decided by faith to cut our grocery budget in half for the week. We’ll see what happens, we said, maybe we can make it and God will help us… Not more than fifteen minutes later, my wife got a text from a friend who owns a catering business. She had just cooked for a massive wedding, there were tons of leftovers, and did we want any? That food fed our family of six for half the week!
A few years ago, our house payment was in danger of not getting paid. Our mortgage was due the next day, and we were a couple thousand dollars short. We needed a miracle. We prayed and put our cares into God’s hands. We surrendered it all, and I slept like a rock that night. In the morning, I waved to our kids from the porch as they walked the couple blocks to school. Lingering on the step, I was at peace even though I wasn’t sure of God’s plan. I drank in the warm, sunny morning and noticed something in the bushes near my feet – a dirty, frayed, grass stained piece of paper. I picked it up, realizing it was an envelope, fallen from the mailbox, who knows how long ago… It was a check for the entire amount and then some! He had provided. My heart leapt with thankfulness once again to a God who loves us, who rescues, who saves.