weekly theme #48 God Supplies Our Every Need*
week containing the Sunday between Sept 25 – Oct 1
This is a difficult concept for me. The first reading for the week is 1 Kings 17, where Elijah is fed by ravens and he asks God to raise a boy from dead. However, in those same days I’m sure other people were not miraculously fed, and people who died were not raised from the dead. There has to be some concept I’m not grasping.
As I read Jesus’ words about his faithfulness in provision, I catch myself thinking, “Yes, but…” The middle of Luke 12 has examples: verse 29 “And don’t worry about food…” and verse 31 “He will give you all you need from day-to-day…” Yes, but what about the hardworking folks who seem caught between terrible need and no way out? Yes, but aren’t there people around me every week who don’t seem to have all they need? To be fair to God, I must include Jesus’ qualifier to his instructions on not worrying, “…if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Will he provide for my needs if the Kingdom of God is not my primary concern? What happens then?
I don’t know how to explain this, but I think there is a relationship between my needs and my generosity. A lack of generosity seems to be a lack of faith, for I close my purse to others today to assure my bounty today or my security in the future. Yet I need not hoard today or fear tomorrow if God promises that he has already prepared my path. He doesn’t require a certain amount from all of us. The size of what I give means a lot more to me, and those who know my giving, than to God. God is looking for my joy in giving, whether it means out of my abundance or through sacrifice. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that perhaps my “need” isn’t for more but for a thankfulness and generosity with what I have.
In 2 Corinthians 10:13, Paul uses the phrase “Our goal is to stay within the boundaries of God’s plan for us…” Some things I think I need are only required because I’ve overstepped my boundary. If I would serve within the call God has given me, it would reduce my current needs. Since I tend to take heed to other calls as well as God’s (e.g.- to receive praise from others as well as God, try to do too much, or have nice stuff) my needs escalate. I’m not saying I should always stay inside what is comfortable or familiar, for God’s plan is often neither. Nor should all our boundaries be the same. What I’m saying is that I can overreach what God wants me to do, be, or have at this time. The results are for me to have “needs” that God never intended me to have.
Human wisdom looks like foolishness to God, and God’s wisdom seems foolish to us humans. Such a case is God trusting me, as one of his followers, to reach the entire world with the Good News. That assignment has been on the Church’s to-do list for two thousand years. Coca-Cola reached the world in less than two hundred years. What does this have to do with God supplying my every need? Just as he entrusted us with spreading the Good News, he has allowed us to be his primary method of supplying every need. Yet, just like the Good News, I cling to comfort and safety at the expense of the Greatest Commands and the Great Commission. God does supply our every need, but the needs and supplies are not distributed uniformly. That’s why Jesus stressed the need for us to be in unity and work as a body. We must share who we are and what we have with others. God does supply our every need, but he counts on other parts of the body to deliver what he has sent. Like many of his followers in the USA, I’m hoarding both the Good News and other resources. Why do I see people in need? Because I see other people in excess.
Maybe the key is not so much God giving me more supplies for all my needs as it is realizing what God supplies is all I need.
*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.