God, Our Faithful Provider – December 5, 2015

Have you ever had someone do something nice for you for no reason?  I can think of several examples in my life where people have done stuff like that for me, and I’m immensely thankful.  I’ll admit, one of the problems that I struggle with, that I have to pray about, is self-sufficiency and pride.  It’s hard sometimes asking for help.

The good part?  When Jesus is teaching the disciples how to pray in Matthew chapter 6, He tells them they don’t have to use vain repetitions or invoke a special “mantra” in order to be heard by God, as legalism and religious rituals prevailed in that day.  No, He says in verse 8, “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

When I am struggling with something, or am facing a financial, spiritual or physical need in my life, it is comforting to know that God already knows what I need.

A few years ago, I was on the highway and the transmission on my car went kaput.  My husband and I were divorced at that time, and I couldn’t afford a car payment, nor did I have much money in savings.  (We have a cool story of how God ultimately brought us back together after two years of  the anguish and pain of that divorce, but I’ll save that for another time.)

A business associate asked if I could meet over dinner to discuss some details of his program, which is a government-funded program that provides services to citizens in need.  I almost didn’t go, because I normally preferred to meet for lunch during business hours, but I prayed about it beforehand and felt peace about going.

During the conversation about the program, this gentleman brought up the rental truck that I was driving.  He said something along the lines of, “That’s a cool-looking truck.  Is that new?”  I said no, that I had gotten stranded on the highway and was driving a rental to get me back and forth to work for a few days, while searching Craigslist and those “zero-money down” used car lots for something cheap that would get me from point A to point B.

He said, “I have a car that I will sell you for $100.  It may last a month, or it may last a week, since it has a pretty bad oil leak, but you are welcome to use it.  My wife wants to get rid of the thing because it leaks oil all over our driveway.”

I asked if it was currently running.  He said that it did run, but needed about a quart to two quarts of oil added to it roughly every 5-7 days in order to keep it filled.  He assured me that it would cost more to fix the leak than the car was worth, as it was a little ’88 Subaru GL station wagon.

But for $100??  I told him it was sold!  My husband and I were on speaking terms at that time, and after he followed me to go return the rental, he agreed to drive me to go pick up the car, and look at it to make sure that it would get me back home.  Ultimately, the man just decided to give me the car, as he said he felt bad about taking money for it since he wasn’t sure if it was going to break down in a week’s time.  That car ran for 18 months before it finally gave out.

All my worrying about how I was going to get the money for a car, and this man and his wife gave me one for free!  It really made Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 hit home in my life, though He still has to remind me daily not to worry.  I’m a slow learner.

He tells us, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Matthew 6:25-27 NKJV).

What really got me thinking about this today was in reading Ephesians 4:25-32, where Paul is reminding believers of principles that God wants us as Christians to live by once we are saved.  What caught my attention was where he says in verse 28, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”

Yesterday, I wrote about trying to discern God’s purpose for my life career-wise, and about the lofty goals I had before life threw me a curve ball earlier this year.  But what I got from this verse is that my work is not even so much about me, but so I can have something to give to those in need, just as that man did for me with the car.

I believe He blesses us 1) because He’s a good father and He loves us 2) so that we can be a blessing to others, and 3) So that others might know Him as a result of His power in our lives and theirs.

May we be His hands and feet today and look for ways in which we can bless someone, remembering the many times that He has used others to bless us.

“Father, I thank You so much for Your blessings.  Help me not to take the things and the people in my life for granted today, Lord, but help me to love others as You love me.  Help us to look for ways in which we can be a blessing to others, and to show them Your love and tell them of Your grace and provision in our lives.  You are faithful, and You alone are worthy of praise.  Help us to put our trust in You, Lord, and to know that You care about our every need, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to us.  Help us to trust You with those needs, and to rest secure knowing that just as You clothe the lilies and feed the birds, You are always faithful to take care of us too.  I love You, Father and I thank You for Your provision.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

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