Please read Day 25 in Why Pray, “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread.” In today’s reading, Devries shares many wonderful examples of how we are not to worry – and of how time and time again God provides. He asks us to read Philippians 4:10-20. It talks about how Paul had learned to be content no matter if he had plenty or if he was in need. Today’s focus verse is, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Matthew 6:34 then came to my mind - “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The Message version says, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
“What are You wanting to talk to me about today, God?” I think He is saying, “Take time to Remember how I have provided for My people since the beginning of time, and take time to Remember how I have provided specifically for you, too. Remember and Tell others.”
So, I started to remember some of the ways in the Bible of how God provided just what His people needed at just the right time. In fact, He seems many times to be the “Last Minute Provider.”
I thought about the story in Exodus 14. God had already delivered His people from Pharaoh. But Pharaoh changed his mind, took over 600 chariots and all of his army and set out to re-capture the Israelites. At the last minute, God parted the waters of the sea; His people safely crossed; then, with Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit, God closed up the waters and drown Pharaoh and all his men! I would say He provided just what they needed on that day! I don’t know if He ever repeated this miraculous feat again – but on that day – that’s how He met all their needs! “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Just two chapters later the people seemed to forget how God miraculously saved them and started to complain that they had nothing to eat – that they would be better off if they were back in Egypt! So, Exodus 16 recounts how God graciously gives His grumbling people Quail to eat at night and Manna in the morning to gather for the day. The Lord commanded, “Each one is to gather as much as he needs. No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention and kept part of it until morning, and it stank and was full of maggots! On the 6th day, they were to gather twice as much since the next day was the Sabbath. When they saved it on this day, it did not stink and there were no maggots. Those who did not gather twice the amount on the 6th day – got up the next morning only to find no Manna. Again – a beautiful example of how God provided just what they needed – on the day that they needed it. He seemed to be teaching them - "Trust Me - I will take care of you every single day - I will give you just what you need." “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Next, I think God is asking me to Remember and Tell how He has provided for me – Dawn Weiser. I want to share with you just one amazing story of when God met all our needs -- not to bring any glory or specialness to myself – but to give Him all the Glory as our magnificent Provider!
When we left for the Seminary, Rachel was 2 months old. It came time to go to the doctor for her first illness, and money was very tight. The doctor said to buy Children’s Tylenol and Pedialyte. I remember that we worried about this because medicine was expensive. As new parents, we didn't know if we had to use "real" Tylenol and "real" Pedialyte or if it was o.k. to use generics. I don’t recall all of the tiny details of what happened next, but what I do remember is this: that same day a sack of groceries appeared on our doorstep. Tucked within the groceries was some baby formula, Children’s Tylenol, and Pedialyte! No kidding! Not generic pain reliever or generic electrolytes, but Children's Tylenol and Pedialyte!!! Come to find out, there was a woman who’s job was to pull medicines that were nearing the expiration date off the shelves at the store. Instead of throwing them away, she would give them to Seminary families to help them out. I don’t know how she knew who we were – I don’t know how she knew where we lived - I don’t know how she knew that Rachel was sick - I don’t know how she knew we were told to specifically get Children’s Tylenol and Pedialyte. For all I know – she didn’t know a thing – perhaps the sack was full of random items as far as she was concerned! But my Heavenly Father knew! “And my God will meet all your needs (even Tylenol and Pedialyte) according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
The Author asks us to share some of our own experiences we have had in God’s miraculous provision of daily needs. It would be really good to take some time and do just that on the Blog today! Maybe you have not yet commented on the Blog – maybe today is the day! When we tell what God has done – it gives all the glory to God!
So I am going to ask you to please Remember and Tell. Perhaps ask the Holy Spirit to stir up memories and bring to mind the ways in which “God has met all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Maybe you can share one of your favorite accounts in the Bible where God provided! Maybe you can share a personal story of God providing for you!
Today’s Questions to ponder are excellent. The questions start with ourselves – but then move on to applying the same questions to our neighbors…
What are my real needs as I face this new day?
What are the real needs of the neighbors for whom I’m praying?
For whom am I to care today, Jesus?
How am I to care for that person?
In closing – I came upon the following quote from Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879). It made me stop and realize that beginning with Adam and Eve all the way through history to June 20, 2012, God has been the wonderful “Provider” for all of our needs. Even in the 1800’s Francis Ridley Havergal apparently learned how to trust in this same Almighty God to provide, as she writes….
“Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about tomorrow; one day at a time is enough. Try it today and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful when tomorrow comes to ask Him to take it also!”