Provision: Constant and Overflowing
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
THE sea parted for them; they had sure guidance day and night; manna fed them. What more did the children of Israel need in order to understand that they were being cared for by God? They had clear and obvious signs that God was providing for their needs, but still they doubted Him and chose to worship idols. Is it surprising they wandered in the wilderness for forty years? They needed to learn to trust God with all their heart.
Many times this example of the Israelites' foolish-and fruitless-pining for something other than the abundant good God was giving them has alerted me to be grateful for the constant, overflowing provision God is already giving us. As a result my family and I have learned to turn away from the need to the source of our spiritual supply-God. In this way all of our needs have been met.
If we look to the nation's or world's economy for our security and satisfaction, lack of funds, dishonesty, and wrong judgment seem prevalent. We must instead follow Christ Jesus' example and rely on the infinite good God is constantly providing.
Often in times of need I have turned to this statement in Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (3:5, 6). At one such time my husband and I had been praying for guidance. We were living with our two young children in a very small trailer in a big, beautiful state park. My husband was park manager. We had outgrown the trailer and needed a more appropriate home.
I spent a great deal of time in prayer, acknowledging that God's plan was in operation for our family and we could experience only His abundance and goodness. We did not have to wait to see God's goodness, but we could recognize it right where we were. My husband prayed diligently, as well. After a meeting with his boss that lasted many hours, my husband called to tell me they had not offered to build a house, but had instead offered him a promotion to the main office. Well, this just was not the answer I had been looking for! I telephoned a friend, who had been praying for us, to inform her of the terrible results of the meeting. Instead of commiserating with me, her response was, "I have prayed and feel very good about God's direction." This really woke me up. I thought, "It's not my will be done, but God's will be done." God's infinite intelligence and direction were certainly more likely to be right than I was! By the time my husband reached home, I was at peace and ready to go forward with the move.
We had been looking for God's direction and trusting in His omnipotent care. I needed to be willing to listen when it came. God has only abundance in store for His creation, but we must put man-made limitations aside, so that we can be receptive to God's plan for man, which provides for all our needs. Following the Bible's advice in Psalms, "Be still, and know that I am God" (46:10), silences tumult and enables us to recognize God's presence and constant direction for His idea.
After we had moved and had been living in our new home for just over a year, my husband's job-along with half of the other parks department workers' jobs-was eliminated. The prayer we had already done had shown us that we could trust God now, too. We never felt even a tinge of fear. We moved to another state, and he began a job he enjoyed more than any previous one. Not only that-the pay was better than he had ever hoped to make.
When our expectation of good is based on a spiritual foundation, we cannot fail to see the fruition of our growing understanding of God. The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: "Rest assured that He in whom dwelleth all life, health, and holiness, will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory" (p. 186).
Man is always maintained and provided for by God, and His goodness and provision are constant and overflowing.