For some of us, it is pleasant to BE Provided For. But some find accepting provision from others difficult and want to be the ones doing the providing. Being provided for in life assumes dependency on others – a place that can be hard to accept and dwell in. When I think about Bethany’s situation, in many ways she became a baby again – totally dependent on her family and friends to provide for her every need. Thankfully, she also recognized her greatest need – her inner need that could not be met by even the kindest of people.
One name for God in the Bible is ‘Jehovah-jireh’ (or more accurately YWHW-yireh) which means ‘God will provide’. Abraham was the first to use this term in Genesis 24 as he declared that God Himself would provide the lamb that would be sacrificed instead of his son Isaac. This story is one of the most profound in the Old Testament and alludes to God providing Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is the gift of provision Beth accepted wholeheartedly – Jesus Christ – God’s best provision of all!
While this provision is all we need for eternal life and security, incredibly there is even more provision available – both natural and supernatural gifts on offer everywhere by YWHW-yireh! God offers us provision for everything we need to live life now. (See 2 Peter 1:3-4) He offers the day-to-day necessities we need as we travail through the fiery trials that come our way in this world. With confidence I can now declare that God certainly did provide for us by the empowering of His Holy Spirit – providing those inner resources we needed to survive. He also provided for us in practical ways that ‘cushioned the blow’.
One day, when asking one of those ‘why’ questions of the Lord while enduring the furnace of Beth’s suffering, this response came to my spirit that I would like to share with you… “Yes my daughter, I am allowing this suffering for purposes you can only get a glimpse of until you see Me, but I am going to give you EVERYTHING you need to get through the trial. I am going to bless you with spiritual, emotional, relational, medical, practical and financial resources – you will lack for nothing as you rely on Me! Then at the ordained time, I will also restore to you EVERYTHING that was lost for a season and will make all things new and glorious forever!” When I look at the trial from this perspective, it changes everything!
Over the course of this week, a special word from God has come to me in six different ways. (I reckon this must be something God wants me to listen to!) Do you recognize these amazing words from YWHW-yireh spoken to the prophet Isaiah long ago? …the One who forms you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD your God…”
Now that the worst of the trial is over, we can certainly testify to another amazing truth that God the Provider provided Himself to us through that awful time. The truth is that the accepting of provision is an ongoing experience for us, for while the waters have receded somewhat and the fire is not as hot, we still desperately need God and His every provision – inner and outer!
If you are finding it hard to see God’s provision at the moment or to accept the provision He is offering, ask Him for grace to receive and look to Beth’s good example. Beth humbly and gladly received all the provision offered by God and His people. She did not fight against receiving all the supernatural and natural provision on offer through her trial. She humbled herself before God and others, recognizing her deep spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Don’t be afraid dear friends to let go of the controls and allow yourself to BE Provided For – God the Provider is more than able to give you more than you dare dream or imagine – even if it comes packaged a little differently than expected!
A song to encourage you:
God Has Provided a Lamb by Michael Card
A book to build you up:
Praying The Names of God by Ann Spangler