Matthew 6:8 says: ‘…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’ I have found that what I think I need and what I actually need are often different. I have begged God on so many occasions to heal me and I’m not completely well yet although I believe one day in his perfect timing I will be. However as time has gone by I have seen that God has other purposes whilst i’m sick, for example in terms of my character development and trust in him. Therefore he knows what I need better than me.
I have seen God’s provision in many ways through a number of years of illness, he keeps gently reminding me that he is with me, cares about me and will provide. I could tell many stories of God’s goodness through timely messages, visits and gifts but here is a recent story: when my husband and I were in the process of moving into our own house after living with my parents for more than 2 years (huge watershed moment for me to be well enough to do this); we had no furniture or household goods and by that I mean no crockery or pans or anything. People have been incredibly kind in offering us items but we reached the point where I was stressed about what we still needed to acquire. It was a Sunday morning and I realised the last large furniture item we needed was a sofa. I told God I trusted he would provide and I went to church. A man walked straight up to me having no idea what we needed and asked me if we would like a sofa?! I was speechless and very thankful to God for his provision of the sofa but also for reminding me that he cares about all the details in my life and that he is going before me and will provide. As Matthew 10:30 says: ‘…even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’
When thinking about God’s provision I was reminded that we are called to seek God each and every day for provision both physically and spiritually. As Matthew 6:34 details we can’t rely on what happened yesterday and we are called not to worry about tomorrow (something that is very hard in practice). This is demonstrated in Exodus 16 when the Israelites are in the desert and God provides their daily bread in the form of manna from heaven. Manna goes off and is inedible if it is kept from the day before (with the exception of when they take a double portion for the Sabbath). Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35); we need to come to him daily with our needs and to renew spiritually. As it says in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Give us today our daily bread‘ (Matthew 6:11).
Jesus we thank you that you do provide for our needs both physically and spiritually. Help us to come to you each day and ask for what we need. Help us not to try and live in yesterday’s provision or worry about tomorrow’s needs.
For more on the topic of provision see my post Ask And It Shall Be Given To You.