If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize (i.e. been smacked over the head with over and over), it’s that God provides. He provides when I ask, He provides when I don’t ask, and He provides more than I could have ever dreamed He would.
I don’t know why I continue to be surprised when He does. He’s always promised that He would.
Matthew 6:25-27: “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?“
That last sentence just rips me to shreds.
While I know there have been many more times in my life when God has provided for me (oh, like, every day), I can recall three pivotal moments when I was fall-on-my-face positive that God had my back.
1. God provided me with a husband who loves me like Christ loves the church. I don’t know that I ever let myself feel loved until I met my husband. That’s a hard sentence to type, but I think it’s true.
My childhood is very happy in some areas, and very lonely in others. By the time I turned 17, my actions were just screaming out for someone to love me, without conditions and for who I am. Every person I turned to for love (yes, boys – but also family members, church leaders, and friends) ended up disappointing me and breaking my heart in ways I never could have imagined. When I started college, I was a broken young woman who concealed it well. Only looking back can I see how broken and desperate for attention I was.
Then this young man came into my life my freshman year of college. He treated me with more respect than anyone ever had. He listened to me. He put me first. He was honorable. He validated who I was and my dreams for my life. After being friends for several months, he “asked me out”, and the same day he told me he loved me. And I felt it. He demonstrated it before, so I felt it then.
God saw the little girl, dying on the inside to be told she’s loved, and provided me with a spouse who has never let a day go by without declaring his love for me and showing it through his actions. I didn’t ask for this, but God knew I needed it.
2. God provided me with a job, when we needed it the most. My husband and I got married right out of college. We moved immediately so that my husband could attend chiropractic school.
That left me, a Communications major, as the provider for 3.5 years. In case you’re not aware, a Communications degree (with no internship, or experience), won’t get you much money when you graduate. When we were down to our last couple bucks in the bank, I scored a job as an administrative assistant. I remember throwing myself on the ground, praising Jesus for this job. It was a miracle when we needed a miracle.
The rest of that story isn’t quite as happy, as the job ended up being mostly a negative experience for me (which led me to start my own business, then quit). But I learned the lesson then that what God provides during one season is not necessarily your path for the seasons to come.
3. God provided my husband with a job, when we needed it the most. My husband is graduating chiropractic school next week. It’s been a long, hard 3.5 years. I know he’s more than ready to be the provider.
We actively sought the Lord for the best possible position for him. I spent many days in prayer (this post is all about what living in the midst of this process was like – I’m glad I have it as a reminder). My prayers went from “Lord, let him get such-and-such position” to “Lord, let him get such-and-such position, if it’s Your will” to “Lord, I give up. We’re Yours. We’ll go wherever. We know You’ll provide and we’ve seen Your faithfulness in the past”.
Lo and behold, He’s provided yet again. It’s not what we thought it would be – it’s so much better. We’re moving to Ohio next week, and we couldn’t be more excited about that.
Can you look back on your life and clearly see the times when God has provided? When you were down to your last pennies or inch of sanity? I believe that God uses the absolutely desperate times to really draw us near. He wants to be our only hope. In the midst of whatever horrible things you hear on the news today, take comfort in knowing that God always provides – once we get out of our own way and let Him.
Image Credit: Wootang01