weekly theme #40 God’s Abundant Provision*
week containing the Sunday between July 31 – August 6
A few days ago, Psalm 37:4 prompted a good friend to share the desires of their heart. I listened and considered the items they described and wondered what I would put on my list. I meandered through some possibilities, but with each one, I asked “Why?” What do I really want that creates that desire? I finally ended up with a single word – peace. I long for an end to strife, worry, crises of time, the reflex for more stuff, desire for accomplishment, unending projects, and restless nights.
That kind of peace is not man-made. It’s supernatural. I long for the time when all creation is surrounded and filled with the peace abundantly provided by him. God provides such peace on his time schedule and in his way. I need to accept that fact and watch for the unplanned and unusual.
God’s provision exceeds my needs, yet I continue to seek provisions elsewhere. I do not seek provisions elsewhere because God fails to provide, but because I perceive my wants as needs or God’s timing as too slow. Yet even then, he stands there offering me what I truly seek, as well as forgiving my impatient and individualistic behavior.
Provision is not the same as a life of personal ease. Sometimes I am the provision for others; my sacrifice provides what they need. Other times they sacrifice to provide what I need. I must be willing to give and receive. Psalm 105:16-22 tells of Joseph enduring harsh and unjust treatment until it was time for him to be God’s provision for the children of Abraham. It was a time of testing for Joseph. Why should I not also have a time testing? A time that helps me grasp that God alone is enough.
I have a recurring struggle, an inner struggle, when I see so many needs and feel so ill-equipped to deal with them. Matthew 14:13-21 describes a situation where the disciples felt the same way. The need exceeded their resources, and they told Jesus how they felt. Jesus simply replied, “Bring [what you have] to me.” I am correct when I say the needs surrounding me exceed my resources, but in the hands of Jesus, they are enough, abundantly enough.
*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections. I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used. It truly lives up to its title.