God is our Heavenly Father who provides.
About a month ago I stood in front of my closet, with its doors flung open, trying to decide what to put on for Sunday service. It would seem like an easy enough choice: only two possible options – the black suit or the gray suit. The problem is that I always forget what I wore the week before! Sliding myself into the black piece, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe it’s time for a new suit. I only wear it once a week, though, only because I’m the pastor. Probably not worth it.’ It wasn’t even a prayer, just a brief thought really. I might’ve said, “Lord, you know” or something to that effect.
I returned home in the afternoon with the dusk already settling, a sign of autumn’s arrival. As I approached my driveway, I received an unexpected call from my neighbor who’s courageously recovering from acute leukemia and stroke. He said to me, “JP, would you want some suits that I can’t wear anymore? I see you on Sundays with a suit on and thought you might want them.” I made my way across the street and he handed me two suits, some shirts, and some dress pants. I came home to my wife’s quizzical look, explained the situation to her, and tried on the clothes. They all fit like they were tailored for me.
But the coin of provision has two sides to it. We see this in the story of Israel in the wilderness as God provided for his children both supernaturally (manna, quail, water from a rock) and naturally (shoes did not wear out).
What we often miss, though, is that God’s provision to the sons of Israel was also to let them hunger (Deut. 8:3). In essence, the provision of no bread. How is that a provision? Because provision is more than bread for our stomachs and shoes for our feet; it is growth for our hearts. The hunger of Israel in the wilderness was not an accident. God provided those times of famine so that his children could be humbled and grow.
God provided them with hunger pangs, bread from heaven, and the Promised Land. Left to their appetite, they would’ve taken their caravan back to Egypt to eat onions and leeks. He let’s us hunger so that we wouldn’t treat the Bread of Life like our food truck.
God is the perfect provider. After all, every provision on earth are all mere glimpses of the greatest provision ever – Jesus Christ, for our greatest need ever – the forgiveness of our sins. Thank You Father for being our great Provider; thank you Jesus for being our great Provision; thank you Holy Spirit for opening our eyes to all this.