At one time or another all of us have needs. Financial difficulties, family problems, health issues, even circumstances at work or church – we all experience circumstances that drive us to our knees with prayers of need. We pray and wait for God’s provision.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
The great news is that our God is a prayer hearing and a prayer answering God… but here is where the problems begin. Rarely does God provide in the way we expect. I have found that more often than not we don’t get our needs met in the specific way or on the specific timetable we request.
We have a tendency to pray in very demanding ways. “I need, Lord, therefore You must…” But God Almighty, Lord of the Universe does not dance to our music. He doesn’t jump just because we have an issue.
As Philippians 4:19 makes clear, God does supply our needs but we should be careful that we don’t begin to consider the Lord as a Cosmic Santa Claus to whom we present “wish lists” of things we want – or even things we need.
So often, God provides for us in an unanticipated way that takes us by surprise. We think, “God could provide for me this way and all of a sudden His miraculous provision comes out of nowhere and sometimes in startling way. We react to the Lord with, “What is this? This isn’t what I prayed for.”
The Jewish people began to treat God like this during their trials in the wilderness. They complained about their food situation in Exodus 16:3 but they had no idea that God would provide bread and meat by having it fall out of the sky.
When the miracle came in Exodus 16:15, their first comment was, “What is it?” There were probably over two million folks traveling in the wilderness and God provided thousands and thousands of pounds of quail and manna – and did it every day, with a double load on Sabbath.
This was absolutely not what the Jewish people expected… yet it is how God chose to provide as an answer to their petulant prayers.
The Lord provided in this same amazing and totally unexpected way when the disciples informed Him that there were thousands of people who needed food in Matthew 14:15. Feeding this huge crowd with a portion of five loaves and two fish was absolutely not on the disciple’s radar. They were surprised by God’s choice of provision… to say the least.
We need to be careful that, when we go to God with our needs, we don’t try to tell Him His job. We should humbly ask and then stand back and watch His provision with thanksgiving… no matter how He chooses to bring it about. He may even say, “Not yet” but we still need to give Him praise that He knows what He’s doing.
When we have a need, whether it’s food or an intervention, God chooses to assist us according to His own plan. It isn’t always by providing what we ask for. Sometimes it’s allowing other people to be blessed by helping us. Sometimes we can’t even identify the specific source of the help. God just somehow takes care of the problem. And, like Israel and the disciples, we are told to be grateful for the provision without trying to analyze what it is, how it got there, or even how long it’s going to last. It’s just good to be in receipt of His blessing.
So, keep moving forward in the wilderness and keep thanking God for His provision and sometimes, surprisingly, you’ll get manna.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6,7 NLT
Think about it…