When it comes to trusting God to provide, we tend to have a hard time trusting, waiting, and being content with what He gives us. Those of us who live in developed countries probably struggle with this most. We’ve learned to plan ahead and be responsible. We buy insurance and put money aside for retirement. With a credit card or PayPal account, we can order just about anything online, request shipment within a specific timeframe, and get tracking information easily.
Understanding True Faith
When God provides, it’s often manna-like provision we can’t see coming ahead of time. When we can’t check the tracking details, we tend to get nervous, don’t we? We need to remember that God’s Word is a “lamp to our feet,” (Psalm 119:105), not a Street View from Google Maps. We don’t get to see the big picture; instead, we need to trust the One who does. Hebrews 11 describes “faith” as believing in something we can’t see.
Re-Evaluating Our Needs
In Luke 11:3, Jesus includes asking for “daily bread” as He models how we should pray. The kind of provision He requested assumes not only day-by-day faith but also a realistic view of necessities. Jesus was asking for bread — not cookies, not a gourmet restaurant meal. James 4:3 mentions how we tend to pray for non-necessities, things we desire but don’t really need. In our covetous culture, this is easy to do because it’s so normal.
On a Christian blog that celebrates the idea of paying cash and paying off debt, it seems like some people feel the need to justify their own less-than-responsible choices. Often, they use phrases like “We couldn’t survive . . .” to justify their over-busyness, foolish indebtedness, or other unwise choices. The term “survive” is often used incorrectly. Really, they often mean that they wouldn’t be as comfortable.
Appreciating God’s Provision
We’re used to having choices. Lots of them. We go to supermarkets where we can choose from myriad cereal brands and just as many colors of bowls. Or we can buy organic steel-cut oats — or bargain-brand rolled oats — and make our own granola. Over that granola, we can pour skim, 2%, whole, or non-homogenized, low-heat pasteurized milk. And then there are the toppings. But God’s provision isn’t often exactly what we had on our shopping list. Clearly, manna wasn’t the Israelites’ favorite flavor, especially when they had the same thing, day after day. In Numbers 11, they complained about God’s miraculous provision. Like them, we can choose to be content and grateful or to complain about what we do not have.
As we cultivate true faith, honestly evaluate our needs, and exercise gratefulness, we’ll be better equipped to delight in God’s provision of our daily bread.
by Tammy Wagner
Tammy lives in western Pennsylvania and is a pastor’s wife and mother of three young children.
Image credits: Top by ulyanakhorunzha/Fotolia; Middle by Alessandro Zocchi/Fotolia; Bottom by Gpoint Studio/Fotolia.