• Angelene Woodard

God's Provision Versus My Standards

The crowded parking lot slowly gave way to the freeway and the tears wouldn’t stop.

Between blurry traffic lights and gasping sobs of the ugly cry, He helped me drive home. The Almighty directed my vehicle home just as He had directed me to that office.

I had never experienced so much relief. Practical relief. He had answered my prayers.

It sure didn’t sit well with my pride. But, the Holy Spirit reassured me that this was of Him.

The economical devastation that hit our country in 2008 had taken its toll on our family, our finances, our marriage, and our hearts.

Doesn’t God provide for His children? Doesn’t He honor the love we proclaim on His behalf?

Doesn’t His holy Word tell us to not worry about what we will eat or drink? What we will wear?

Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy to believe those words when you can’t pay your light bill, can’t buy diapers, and can’t fill your own empty stomach with basic nutritional requirements.

Westernized Christianity had this preacher’s wife convinced that God doesn’t allow bad things to happen if you’re living for Him. Therefore you shouldn’t ever need help – much less go asking for it.

I didn’t understand how accepting food stamps was the right thing to do until I did it. I didn’t understand that sometimes God’s provision is different from what I think it should be.

I didn’t understand that there can be just as much pain in the answer as there is in the problem itself.

My itty-bitty thinking judged God’s provision inaccurately. My solutions involved many more miracles and much less embarrassment.

Sure, we could have won the lottery.

My husband could have simply been offered one of the hundreds of jobs he had applied for during that time.

Our mortgage, groceries, car payment, medical bills, electric bills, and tithe could have been waaay less expensive.

But, no. That’s not how it happened.

That’s not how God provided for His children. That’s not how He met our needs.

Stupid, humiliating, devastating food stamps is what saved us.

Remember poor Joseph in the Bible? I bet he was less than thrilled to be tossed in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Check it out in Genesis 39.

He didn’t deserve that.

But God saw another way. You see, in prison, he was safe. He was protected from much potential harm in jail.

Yep, he suffered there, he was also preserved there.

God knew what Joseph needed and He knew the best way to provide it.

Just like He knows it’s best to provide poisonous chemotherapy with a plethora of side-effects to cancer patients. Healing is healing – even with side effects.

Just like He knows it’s best to allow that couple with breaking hearts and an empty womb to remain barren. Would they even consider adopting the children God has reserved for them if their dreams had already come true?

Just like He won’t let that high school graduate go to the college she’s planned to attend since third grade. He’s already lined up a full scholarship to the other university where she will meet her future husband.

Just like He put Joseph in prison – far away from the reach of an evil woman with a selfish agenda.

God’s provision can be simple. That doesn’t make it easy or ideal. Sometimes His provision offers deep levels of trust and faith, and dare I say, humility.

Honestly, not everyone is willing to go to there.

His solutions to our problems may feel wrong, that doesn’t mean they aren’t right.

Angelene is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who struggles with God's call on her life and writes about it at www.unqualifiedmom.com.

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