So often when we see, hear or think about the words The Lord God our provider we think in terms of the material world only. While it is true God does provide material needs (note the emphasis on the word needs), those are by no means the only things God provides for us. We must never be so focused on "stuff" that we overlook the numerous blessings God gives us every day.
God has provided us with life. As Christians we really don't have a normal, mundane type of life. Oh, I know it may sometimes seem that way. You get up, you go about your daily routine and you go to bed. There are thousands of ordinary days and some of us would like a bit more excitement now and then! What we don't realize is those days probably are not quite as ordinary as we think they are. All around us there are dangers lurking in both the physical and spiritual realm. God protects us from the vast majority of them. There are some dangers which he permits us to do battle with. However, even then we are not left on our own. He is with us in the midst of the battle and even gives us peace, joy and strength. That is not living a normal, mundane type of life!
God has provided us with Salvation. It is given to us through God's grace. We don't have to earn it. Indeed, we could not possibly earn it. However, God can and does extend it to us because he loves us. There is no greater gift than this!
God has given us the ability to give and receive love. He has given us the gift of laughter and of tears. Tears may seem like a strange gift but there is healing in tears. Tears also can demonstrate compassion and empathy towards others. It enables us to minister to the broken-hearted and the oppressed.
God has given us the ability to dream and the resources to try to make some of those dreams into a reality. He has given us an appreciation of beauty and given us talents and numerous other gifts. The list could go on and on.
In addition to providing us with the most important things, God also meets our material needs. If he doesn't provide it, we don't need it. This lesson was driven home to me once again last week.
I've been on medical leave from teaching since February 29. My leave ended at the end of the school year. I don't get paid for ten weeks during the summer so normally, I teach about five weeks at a gifted private summer school program. Due to my treatment and some other issues, I am only teaching two weeks this summer. This meant I would be going from June 20-August 15 without a paycheck and then I would be going for another month before I'd get my first paycheck from school.
Yes, my husband works but our reduced income was taking a toll. This is a common problem faced by cancer patients who end up being unable to work during their treatment. In my case the time from diagnosis to the end of treatment will be (hopefully) 8 1/2 months. It is not uncommon for people to be in treatment for a year and then be on medication for the next five years.
We had a few options to consider to help us get through this time but we didn't much like any of them. So, we started praying back in March, well before our funds would run out. As time went on, I started to get a bit nervous. My last paycheck came and I have to confess I became even more nervous. I calculated we would have enough money to get us through until July 11.
I thought about doing option A...just in case. God said no. The end of June came and I even went so far as to begin to attempt option A. God slammed the door shut in my face and said "Trust me." Oh boy...
On July 2, I got it into my head to check out the district website and look at my last paycheck stub. Instead the "current" stub showed I was scheduled for an additional deposit on July 3 which amounted to over several thousand dollars. I never have figured it out exactly. Apparently, when I went on leave I was shifted off the salary schedule and placed on the hourly pay day schedule. This meant my last check was on July 3 instead of June 20 like the other teachers. Also, I had called with the complaint back in March that I thought they had taken out too many no sick leave days. I'd been assured at the time it was correct. This is a pretty complicated matter as there were adjustments to made when I went on medical leave. Apparently, I was right because when the end of the year came, it was discovered that a mistake had indeed been made in the calculations.
God provided exactly when I truly needed it, which was the first day I would have missed a paycheck. He did not give me the provision he had for me when I thought I needed it. God is very practical when you come to think of it.
As far as for the rest of the summer, by the time I have another "bump", I will be getting my summer school paycheck on that date. The final bump will coincide with my first paycheck from school. It is so good to know that God is our provider! 27And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
28And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. 29Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.] 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? 32For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. 33But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. Matthew 6:27-33 (AMP)
A truly critically important message in light of the times in which we live. Daily there are thousands of families being thrown into financial straits out of which there is no rescue due to poor decisions made in relation to their homes and budget.
As hard as trusting God is, and it is extremely hard at times, it sure beats the alternative which is trusting in the government or even one's job. God will always provide a way out of any situation Corinthians tells us. Our challenge is to quit looking at the problem and start looking to God for the way out.
Thanks for sharing this with us and I am thrilled to hear of how once again our God fulfilled His Word!
Yes...your experience reminds me of a similar time in our lives. We had used all our savings for a down payment on a house when we returned from overseas as missionaries. My husband didn't have a job yet. I did but it was teaching and school hadn't started yet. We actually struggled financially that whole year. But one lesson we learned through it was, no matter what, we gave our first tenth to God. Our needs were met time and time again...people coming up and handing us a wad of cash and walking off, etc. That's one example. I'm praying in this moment for your health and the upcoming school year for good energy and total recovery.