Written by Stephen Buckley
A few years ago, my wife Cathleen needed a job. She’s a science and math teacher, and the school year loomed two or three weeks away. Rarely do teaching jobs open that close to the start of school. And she had no leads, no prospects. Then a friend from church tipped her off to an opening for a math teacher at an international school in Nairobi, Kenya, where we lived at the time. A couple of weeks later, she was hired.
The same year, our son was headed into his second year of college, and his university slashed his financial aid. The cut came as a shock, and we thought we’d have to pull him out of school.
We got on the phone with one of the college’s financial aid specialists. After the 30-minute call, she agreed to take our case to the aid review committee, but not without a warning: Don’t get your hopes up.
Ninety-minutes later, our son bounded into our bedroom. The college had emailed him to say that the committee had changed its mind. It had decided to award him nearly $30,000 in aid. He would be able to stay in school.
Those are just two of the more dramatic ways God has provided for us over the years. I think of those moments a lot in these uncertain times. Food prices have skyrocketed. Housing prices, though ticking downward in recent weeks, are still off the charts. Inflation has vaulted to a 40-year high.
It’s enough to make us forget God’s promise: He will supply our needs.
Romans 8 reminds us that He has already met our most profound and urgent need—that of forgiveness and heart renewal. He makes us new by way of our relationship with Him. He made the way for this: We did nothing to deserve it, and we can never earn such lavish kindness, Paul says. It’s called grace.
After pointing out that God has already supplied salvation, Paul asks, “is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?”
Our God is a generous God. How generous? Psalm 104 lays out all the ways: He pours water onto the earth to feed the seas and rivers. He supplies food for the animals – donkeys and raven and lions. He provides homes for the animals too: nests for birds, treetops for storks, crevices for badgers. “All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time,” the psalm says. “You come, and they gather around; you open your hand and they eat from it.”
In Luke 12, Jesus echoes Psalm 104. God feeds ravens and clothes wildflowers, He says. And not only does He clothe the flowers, “The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?”
Resist worry, Jesus says. Instead, “Steep yourself in God reality, God initiative, God provisions.”
God does not always show up in dramatic bursts or in the ways we might expect. Sometimes He provides a little here and a bit there: manna for each day. And sometimes He waits until we have no recourse, a la the Israelites and the Red Sea. “God is a last-minute God,” our daughter likes to say. Whether He is days early or last-minute, we have found this to always be true: He is always on time. And He – His love and His provision -- is always enough.