Times are tough. There’s no way around it. Prices are up and even essentials are a challenge to buy. Our children are grown now and sometimes when I am in the grocery store realizing how much we spend for just two people, I wonder how people with children can even afford to feed them.
What do you do when there seems to be no provision for you or your family? How do you pray? What do you believe God to do?
One day while we were praying over some things the Lord had spoken to us in the ministry, God began to speak to us about the word provision. The prefix pro means for so provision means for the vision. The Lord began to show us that He provides specifically to fulfill the visions He gives. We began to realize that day why without a vision, the people perish. If you have no vision, you have no way of seeking provision. If you have a vision, then you pray specifically for what is needed to see it come to pass.
Do you have a vision of your future? Are you just moving from day to day or do you know what God has spoken to you about the future? When God has spoken His vision to you, the provision follows the vision.
Is your mind cluttered with fear of disaster? Do you fear what tomorrow may bring? Do you envision the very worst? Is that what you are praying for God to bless? Or have you spent time with the Lord and know you can trust Him to care for you and your family? Do you know what He plans for you? Do you trust Jeremiah 29:11? Are you waiting for your spouse to provide for you or do you know the Lord will do it?
One day years ago I was reading Genesis 24 when Abraham sent out his servant to find a bride for his son Isaac. When the servant arrived in the city of Nahor, he prayed that the Lord would send a woman to offer him a drink and then offer to water his camels. Rebekah was the young woman who did just that. Then, after offering water to the servant, she watered all his camels.
Now camels that have been on a long journey are very thirsty. Rebekah had a pitcher with which she filled the trough from which the camels drank. Can you imagine how many trips that took and how much water she must have poured out for those camels?
God blessed Rebekah for her efforts. The servant gave her beautiful jewelry and took her back with him to become Isaac’s wife. She became part of the lineage of Jesus. She was faithful and God gave her what she needed. What if He had blessed her back with what she gave out? Just think of all the water that would have poured into her life!
But Rebekah didn’t need water. God knew what she needed and He provided for her. Many times God asks us to pour out into the lives of others in an area where we have absolutely no need and then He pours back into our lives in the area where our need exists.
What if Rebekah had been praying for a husband and that day instead of going to the well, she had stayed home concentrating on her own need. By focusing on herself she would have missed the answer to her prayer.
God is responsible to meet your needs. He has promised He would. (Philippians 4:19) What you are responsible to do is to minister to others in His name. If you put your life on hold and focus only on what you need, you may miss the provision of the Lord.
In the early days of the ministry we were just learning to step out and obey the Lord. A woman who was standing for her marriage asked us to go to her home to pray with her. We had no money and were glad we had enough gas in our car that we didn’t have to buy any. We spent several hours with her and watched the Lord take her from the depths of despair to a place of hope and joy. She was moving to another city the next week and as we were leaving her home that day, she asked us if we could use some groceries that she couldn’t take with her. Little did she know we had nothing in our cupboards and her offer was a true miracle to us!
But the miracle really happened when she opened a door that led to a large pantry with every shelf filled with groceries. “Please take it all, if you can,” she said to us. “I can’t move any of it and I will just be throwing it out if you don’t take it.”
She began to bring us grocery bags and we filled every one of them. That night as we drove home we were alternately crying and laughing and praising God the whole way. We had gone beyond ourselves to meet someone else’s needs and God had poured His provision into our lives.
I don’t know what God has planned for you or how He is going to do it in your life. I do know, though, that He can be trusted to care for you and your family. The more you can look beyond yourself and into the needs of others, the more you will see His blessing pour out into your life. The holidays are a good time to reach out to others in acts of service and love. What can you do to bless others at this time? What can you teach your children about serving others? These days may be tough, but they may also provide some of the precious lessons they will learn. Love, Marilyn
“I will abundantly bless her provision;I will satisfy her poor with bread. Psalm 132:15
“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses…” 2 Corinthians 6:4