Thursday, October 06, 2011
Thankful Thursday: God's Provision and Refining
Why is that we are always so amazed that God provides for His children?
As Christians, we know that He provides. But there are times in our lives when we may not see His provision as "abundant". We feel like we're just scraping by and waiting for God to fill in the gaps spiritually, physically, emotionally, or financially. With our finite eyes, we only see what's right in front of us. We have moments of plenty...and moments that leave us wondering if God will truly meet our needs.
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes, it may seem as though God is not meeting needs because He's not doing it on our time table, or the way we want Him to. It's easy to slip into a period of questioning.
These are the times we must cling to His word and trust that He is at work in our lives. Trust that He knows what's best for us. Trust that He's working all things together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
Recently, our family has been going through a period of refining. A period of waiting on the Lord for provision.
We've had a string of financial burdens which have caused us to tighten our belts and pinch practically every penny. Aside from planning a wedding, which in itself can exhaust resources, we've had major medical expenses; Jonathan's testing for his seizures, Genevieve's stay in the hospital, vehicle repairs, and Greg's pacemaker surgery to name a few. With the economy already putting pressure on the budget, these added things cause us to scrutinize every area in which we can cut back.
We've also endured a string of emotional burdens; Jonathan's seizures and tests, nearly losing Genevieve, and Greg's surgery. These have caused us some heartache and worry.
But they also cause us to ask, "God, what are you doing in our lives? What are you teaching us through this? How will you provide for all these needs?"
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
The verse above is one that I personally have been clinging to over these last months. God has shown us time and time again that He not only provides, but that He has a much greater plan than we do in how the provisions come to fruition. In one sense, it's very easy to worry when things don't add up. But in another sense, it's exciting to see how God will work in these situations because you've seen Him faithfully provide in the past.
We've been so humbled to see God at work. He's used prayer, His people, our wonderful church family, and His word to provide for our every need. Prayer has comforted and bolstered our spirits, His people have blessed us by modeling the hands and feet of Jesus, and His word has assured us and equipped us with important truths in times of doubt.
God uses these times for our refining. When I've been tempted to wallow in pity, I'm reminded that refining is good. Refining grows us closer to Him. As Christians, isn't that exactly what we want? To draw closer to Him? Of course. But refining isn't fun. I don't know about you, but I've caught myself on more than one occasion asking God if He would please go and refine someone else.....
How thankful I am that He loves me enough to refine me, for it changes me just a little each time. Changes that have eternal value!
THAT'S what I want! THAT'S what I'm thankful for!
...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
What are you thankful for? How has God provided for you recently? Please share here.
And if you're a blogger, link up with The Marathon Mom.