Jehova-Jireh:  The Lord will provide.  Can I be completely real with you right now?  Not that I’m ever fake, but I try not to dump my issues into my writing.  Today, it’s gonna be raw.  I struggle hard with the topic of today’s blog post.  God’s provision.  What I know to be true isn’t always what I live in and I find myself back to a place of repentance time and time again.  It’s where I’m at again right now.

 There were two things that I was really hoping to do this year and we can’t do either one of them.  They are needs, that I have attached my wants to.  The first need is a vehicle.  It’s time to upgrade my van and turn that over to the next driver coming up in the house so that she can get a job and save for college.  As I’m searching for a vehicle, I am getting increasingly discouraged that I can’t get what I want.  They cost too much for what we can make work.  Then, the van started having issues that will require another large chunk of money if we choose to repair it.  My dream car is definitely out of reach now.  Well, I had to repent of my covetousness and resolve to accept graciously whatever is available that I CAN afford and recognize the blessing from God of having a vehicle at all.  God will provide for the need.

The second need is spending quality time with our kids before they move out.  We have been very blessed with opportunities over the years to vacation on a shoe string budget and they have been some of the best memories we have together.  Away from stress, away from work, away from service… just pure family time.  Again, I added my own fleshly desires to the need.  I want to take our kids to Disney World before they all graduate.  We went to Orlando many years ago for a conference and intended to do one day at Magic Kingdom with the kids.  When we arrived, Josh checked his email and had a short message that the insurance company he was contracted with was letting him go.  Their reason was he was too focused on ministry and the 50 hours a week he worked at insurance wasn’t enough for them.  No warning, no final pay check that was supposed to be deposited while we were in Florida.  So, no Disney.  Enter my sin.  We can’t do it this year either.  I had to repent of my pride and materialism and resolve to be grateful for the fact that we are even able to take our family to Florida.  It isn’t always how we want, but God always provides.

I have watched God miraculously provide for my needs and those of my family my entire life.  I look back and have documented moment after moment where God used another person to step in and fill a need. 

When we returned from Florida, after my husband was let go, we didn’t know what we would do.  He was under a non-compete that tied his hands on getting his clients to follow him.  BUT GOD.  God provided for us by causing that company to lose their agreement with the government on the one specific insurance product that most of his clients were holding.  That freed him up to go independent and keep nearly all his clients.  After a little bit of very hard work, we were doing ok again.  I KNOW that my God provides.

One time, I was stuck at a conference, hours from home with just enough money to pay the hotel and get me home.  The financial crisis came AFTER I checked into the hotel.  I cried, tempted to just turn around and go home.  Instead, God told me to stay and just trust him.  I resolved to stay and go hungry and that night a total stranger came up to me and put $200 in my hand telling me God told her that someone needed this money tonight!  I never saw her again, she disappeared into the crowd.  I KNOW that my God provides. 

When our kids were little, there was a time that we didn’t have enough food to keep all our bellies full.  My husband and I were both working full time and it barely covered our bills, so we went without a lot so that our kids would be fed.  One day while we were trying to figure out how on earth we could fill our babies tummies, there was a knock at the door.  On the front step was a couple bags of groceries, and not a person in sight!  I KNOW that my God provides. 

Here’s where I fail:  I forget the thousands of blessings in my life. My pride steps in. I think, I have served God faithfully.  We have always been in full time ministry for no pay or very little pay.  We have always worked multiple jobs to try and make ends meet so that we can do ministry without needing the income from it.  We are still working multiple jobs and doing ministry for very little.  My pride says “when?”  When is it my turn to drive the nice car, do the things for my kids that I’ve never been able to do, and have the time to breath instead of constantly working?  

But God says “look around!”  I am SO VERY BLESSED!  I have a roof over my head, clothes on all my family, vehicles to drive, and a ministry we love with all our heart.  It doesn’t matter if the house is falling apart, it’s a house.  It doesn’t matter if the cars are breaking down and I must “settle” for something less than I want.  They are more than a lot of people have.  It doesn’t matter that we all have to work harder than we think we can handle, at least we have jobs.  Plus, I have a job that I absolutely LOVE!  Most people don’t even like their job.  Who cares about Disney, we have a beautiful family who still love to spend time together. 

My flesh tries to focus on the material things of this world, acting like more will be better.  THIS IS SIN.  There is nothing sinful about going to Disney, or having a nice car.  There is sin in being jealous of others who have nice things.  There is sin in having pride that says “don’t we deserve this?”  There is sin in being discouraged because you don’t get what you want.  There is sin in forcing your own desires instead of waiting on God’s perfect blessings.  I have learned these lessons over the years, so recognizing the struggle is easy now.  Quick repentance is growing me in this area, even though I wish this sin didn’t exist at all in my life. 

God is Jehova-Jireh who provides.  He provided a ram for Abraham as he took Isaac up to Mount Moriah.  He provided the spotless Lamb of God, His only Son, as the sacrifice to pay the price for your sin.  This ultimate provision covered my sins when I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  He provided what I could NEVER provide for myself, and here I am worried about a car and an amusement park that won’t even be around in eternity!  Lord, forgive me! 

Do you struggle with this too?  I told you, this one was gonna be raw.  I am so grateful for God’s Word that keeps my sin in check and continues to bring me back to my knees before Him.  Passages like Matthew 6 that tell me I don’t have anything to worry about.  God will provide for every need, and not everything I desire is a need.  Passages on contentment such as Philippians 4:10-13 and I Timothy 6:8 that remind me how blessed I really am.  I encourage you to memorize these passages.  When I find myself focusing on the wrong things for the wrong reasons, God brings these verses to my mind.

Do you need to repent of this with me?  If you don’t know Jesus as your savior yet, repent to him and ask for His salvation.  If you are saved, then 1 John 1:9 is for us right now.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Let’s practice gratefulness.  Let’s choose joy instead of disappointment.  Let’s remember the provision of salvation, and what it cost the Lord.  Let’s keep our gaze fixed on Jesus through prayer and His Word so that we keep the right perspective.