“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25;33
I’m one of those people who is always thinking in terms of the numbers. No, I’m not some super math genius, but I am pretty much a cheap skate. I’m constantly figuring out the cost per person of a meal, the quantity of people you can fit in a given space, the number of days until certain events, etc. Perhaps it’s my degree in business, but the cost of not doing something (the opportunity cost) is constantly on my mind.
This mindset has certainly been challenging over the last nearly ten years of marriage and five years of ministry. Finances have rarely been what I would have liked to see and there have been many times of waiting on the Lord to provide. My family has seen our God give us not only the things we need, but even some of our silly wants. We have never been without and we are so thankful for the Lord’s grace to us in this way. But it has taken this numbers-driven brain many difficult lessons to learn that the Lord will provide, even when nothing seems to add up.
The Heidelberg Catechism includes God’s financial provision as an outworking of His providence. In Question 27 it says that the Lord ordains all things “not by chance but from His fatherly hand”. It has taken time, but I can say with assurance that I trust His Fatherly Hand to meet my financial needs and ensure the security of my family in that way.
But what about all the other things I need? This passage of Matthew has always been a go-to verse to remind my own heart that the Lord will feed and clothe my family. But we are more than just what we wear or eat. We need His Fatherly Hand to give us more than what we need for the body. He has already given what we need spiritually in His Son through His Word, but we need the Lord to provide for us mentally and emotionally too. We all crave companionship and love, safety and security, a place to belong and a place to be useful.
I am quick to believe that the Lord will continue to allow a paycheck to come in, but I am slow to believe that He will supply the friends I lack. I believe that my kids will have the clothes they need, but I am hesitant to believe that God has prepared a venue for the use of my unique talents. I believe that the Lord will provide the finances for my continuing education, but I doubt His protection of my feelings from rough personalities.
I’m learning that this manta that I chat to my heart “the Lord will provide” is about more than financial stability. I’m reminded that Abraham whispered those words to his son Isaac when his very life was on the line. In addition to his faith in God, Abraham’s relationship with his son was put to the test when the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham trusted that the providence of the Lord would be spiritual & physical (for the sacrifice) and also mental & emotional (for his relationships).
I want to trust God like that. I want to hold to the promise that nothing can squelch God’s plan for my financial health OR my emotional health because nothing happens by chance but all things by His fatherly hand.
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