Were you taught that if you want something, you had to work for it? Me, too! If we want a better salary, then we get a degree and qualify for a better job. If we want to take our family on vacation, we work overtime, do side jobs, or take on a second job to pay for it.
But what about providing for the unknown: the tornadoes that destroy your home, the wreck that you didn’t cause, the divorce that you didn’t ask for, or the diagnosis you aren’t prepared for? In your head, you understand that as God’s beloved child, He can help you, but do you believe this in your heart that He will? Are you afraid that God won’t provide for your needs unless you earn His providence?
“Providence” is a beautiful word for God’s business of caring for us. It refers to His maintenance of our life when calamity strikes, and we are left wondering what we will do.
God’s Providence is mostly mentioned by the first recognized pilgrims who journeyed from England and Holland to find a land where they could worship God freely without the fear of retribution. They mentioned God’s providence sustaining them, for without it, they had no way to sustain themselves in a wilderness peopled by natives who were at times benevolent and at times violent. Then as now, God worked to provide through people for tangible needs and by His Holy Spirit in an emotional crisis.
God’s providence comes in the form of community. You and I are part of His Body, the universal church, but we are also part of the community where we live. He has placed us in the exact area where we are to give and receive comfort from each other.
Watch what happens when a tornado’s forceful winds destroy homes and widens the horizon. Neighbors find chainsaws to get tree limbs and stumps out of the homeowner’s way, and the American Red Cross brings food, blankets, and people who will listen, or provide solace in a variety of ways.
Groups such as Eight Days of Hope alert Believers over the radio of a town devastated by fire, flood, or hurricane and the need for construction and feeding teams. God provides his care through the efforts of groups such as these.
God’s providence also comes in the form of individuals. Individual people volunteer their time because they have been so served and want to give back such as CARTI volunteers. These sweet souls come every Tuesday to assist cancer patients and their families by pushing wheelchairs, bringing in donuts for breakfast, covering patients with blankets whilst they take their chemotherapy, giving them a package of crackers and soft drink as a snack after it’s over, and always ready to give warm hugs.
People whose mission of choice is the local animal shelter also come ready to assist vets or the shelter director with food, clean litter boxes, or play with the dogs to keep them socialized. Because these individuals are drawn to serve by the compassion that lives in their hearts, God’s love is transmitted to others in need.
God’s providence comes in the form of His Holy Spirit. Some calamities are not obvious. The wounds cannot be deduced with any of the five senses, but they are real nonetheless. It is for these dark nights of the soul that our God gives us His Holy Spirit to comfort the hurt, to teach us wisdom, and ultimately give us healing.
To expect a believer to never experience disaster, tangible or intangible, is not a logical expectation. For if we cannot show a lost and dying world how strong He makes us because of His Spirit living inside us, how can we expect the world to want what we have?
God never, ever states that we will escape the lot that comes to all of the human race. What He promises, instead, is that we will never be alone (Hebrews 13:5). God’s Holy Spirit meets us where we are and provides what we need where no one else can reach.
Although car insurance is necessary in case of a wreck, an insurance settlement cannot temper the anxiety of getting into the driver’s seat again. No prenuptial agreement can provide the healing for a broken heart. Not even a brand new home can ward off the fear that rises at the sound of heavy thunder.
It’s only God’s love fleshed out in His body of believers and His Holy Spirit that provides a solid foundation of strength. It is there for the taking, dear sister. Take hold of God’s providence in all of the ways He provides it and let Him provide the peace that truly passes all understanding.
Written from my heart,