I was expecting a car stereo for Christmas. A couple of tires is what I got. I think I was 17 and I had my first car. A gray 79 Pontiac Lemans. The silver bullet is what one of the youth leaders called it. I loved it. But it had a generic AM/FM radio and I needed more. So I thought. The bottom line is that while I didn’t want the tires, I needed them. A stereo cassette player is what I wanted; new tires are what I needed.
That was one of the first lessons God gave me in clarifying the difference between wants and needs. The fact is that God really hasn’t always given me what I wanted. But He has always given me what I needed and when I needed it.
If time were to permit I could wax on and on about God’s provision even in the dark days. One funny story comes from the week that Debi and I came back to the states following a 2 month internship in Russia back in 1993. We had given our last cash to a missionary, Max Goins, and we had jobs lined up for when we got home. The problem obviously being that one does not get paid until after one works. So we both looked out onto a very bleak week that first Sunday night home with one loaf of bread and two apples in our little duplex on 3rd and Wall Street. And we prayed. The following morning one of my college friends came by our place and asked if we liked pimento cheese. You see, his father worked at a food packing corporation and apparently they had an overabundance of pimento cheese that they were getting rid of. So, for a week we ate pimento cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With two apples in the mix some place. It really doesn’t have much to do with “like” when you’re a young couple in college just home from the mission field. It has to do with God taking care of our needs and in that week that is exactly what He did.
The scriptures are replete with promises and pictures of God’s provision. History is chock-full of testimonies from the children of God experiencing HIS work in miraculous ways. The auto-biography of George Muller is one of my favorite examples.
Are you facing a time of testing today? Is it hard to see God’s hand when apparently all the lights are going out? Here are a few starter verses to remind you of God’s promises of provision.
Job 38:41 Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?
Psalm 34:10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Matthew 6:31-32 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.
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Yes, the Father of all creation has promised to take care of his kids. So keep looking up to the God who never lets His children down. It may require a daily and even moment by moment walk of faith as you live out the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. But God has proven His faithfulness in the past and will continue to do so as we look into the future.
The funny thing about that cassette stereo I wanted all those years ago is that they are outdated now. But tires on the other hand, seem to still be all the rage and, are still quite needed.
Can you think of a time that God came through in His provision?