God's Provision Comes From Unexpected Places
Have you ever had a need so great that your only hope was for God to move? Maybe your need was financial so that there would be enough checkbook at the end of the month. Or maybe your need was for a new job before your old one drove you crazy. Or maybe you needed God to step in relationally and restore & renew that relationship.
I know you've heard the stories. Stories of people who brought their need to God and "poof" the exact amount they needed ended up in their mailbox or through some other miraculous delivery system. Has that ever happened to you? No? Me neither - so you're not alone and we have that going for us, right?
Most of my life has been spent providing for myself. I've had jobs. I've had means. I've had ability. True confession time? I hadn't really thought about this idea of God's provision until I was actually living it. Three years ago, I quit my job (if you're a frequent reader you may be tired of hearing about it). I struck out on my own to speak and write and coach women. The great part of my journey is that I get to do those things day-in and day-out.
The flip side is that God providing my every need thing is something I live every day. From enough finances to paying all the bills to new clients and ideas that work for my business, I have become dependent on God to provide in all of life.
The Truth about God's provision
When I first started my journey into self-employment and depending on God, it was exciting. I was stepping out of my comfort zone. Other people were inspired by my story and I was confident that this season of would I make it this month would be short and temporary.
Because I took such a huge leap of faith, God would surely reward it with more than enough coaching clients and a flow of income that would allow me to keep paying the bills on time every time. The total truth is that years later I still live right where God wants me. Dependent on God's provision. Thankful for each piece that He provides. Discovering that God's goal for us is not comfort but life change.
The unexpected places of God's provision
There's a raw honesty in admitting that God is all you've got. The place where we realize we cannot in our own power make all the things happen. The income. The success. The friendships. The future. When we realize that our option is choosing to let God be our option.
It's in that place that God softens our hearts. It's in that place that God chooses when and how He will show up. During my seasons of financial shortage, there have been months when I try to provide for myself. I figure out how I can pay all the bills. I scrape together my coins and head to the bank with a jar full of quarters and pennies. And then God reminds me, "My child, I will provide. You only need be still."
While being still isn't my strong suit, I choose obedience and I pray for God's provision. In the back of my mind, I'm expecting God's provision in my mailbox for the perfect amount like I've heard dozens of times before. I have already decided how God will provide.
Unexpected humility as the conduit
To be honest, I like to keep all this neediness to myself. Just me and God and that check in my mailbox. Do you want to know a secret? God has yet to bring me the perfect check in my mailbox.
Do you want to know what He brought me instead? People. People who love God and people who love me. People who believe in me and the calling God has on my life. People who have responded with grace and generosity even when they don't understand all the pieces of my dreams. People who choose to be part of the story that God is writing with my life.
From people who offer financial help (It's not quite in my mailbox) to people who give me their God money to people who reduce the burden when they can so I can pursue God's plan. It's humbling to receive. To admit you have a need and allow others who have the means to meet it.
I'm hoping you don't miss it. God sends us people as His provision. But to receive it, we must be willing to be vulnerable. We must be willing to humbly accept what is hard to accept. Undeserved favor. Grace upon grace. Support that we haven't earned, but so desperately need.
It brings to mind this verse...
You and I, we need to ask. But asking when you have a need, that's a whole new kind of vulnerability, isn't it? It's a whole new kind of dependence on your community. It's a wholly unexpected way for God to provide for our needs.
Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is come heart first and admit our need. And yet, instead of that check in your mailbox, God may surprise you in His provision of community.
I'd love to hear from you. In what ways has God provided for you through your own community? Comment here or send me a message through my contact page.