Will God Provide?
Recently, I found myself facing a set of circumstances that I didn’t want to face because I wasn’t sure that the Lord would provide what I needed. My son, Ricky, needed to change schools and have a bone graft surgery to repair his jaw. Based on similar and traumatic past experiences, I dreaded to walk into either of these situations again.
I needed something that I wasn’t sure my God would give me, and I was terrified.
This Was Horrible Last Time
Ricky, whom we adopted from Korea, was born with cleft lip and palate and is severely autistic. He came home to us when he was four-months-old, so although we knew about his cleft, no one knew that he was autistic.
When he was three, he needed a surgery to repair his cleft palate. It was traumatic for both of us. Understandably, he woke up from anesthesia screaming, and he was unhappy when he could only eat pureed foods for six weeks. Those days were some of the most miserable days of his life…and mine. At a post-op, the doctor gave us the bad news that the repair had failed and that we would need to repeat the surgery. Which we did. Two more times.
A year later, Ricky began attending a local public school. Although the administration cared for him, they were unwilling to provide what he needed in terms of support. I felt alone and powerless to change the situation. We ended up leaving and sending him to a private school for children with autism for seven years.
Will God Provide?
So, needless to say, I was unhappy when I had to walk into both of those circumstances again. Although we had made it through the previous ones, I found myself afraid that God would not provide what I needed – practically and emotionally – to get through it a second time.
The struggle to believe that God will provide is one that I’ve had my entire life, made worse because my dad died when I was four. I decided then that it was obvious that no one was in charge, so I would have to take care of myself. That, however, has not proven to be effective because I am not in control either!
Jesus: Your Great Provision
When I struggle to believe God will provide, I need to be reminded of what is true. This is one of the reasons I’m thrilled about our coming conference. The 2017 Verity Fall Conference is called “Jesus: Your Great Provision.” Oh, my heart is ready for this.
Susan Jahns will be our speaker. Here’s a blog on how her teaching impacted me previously. From the book of John, she is going to teach us what it means that Jesus provides absolutely everything we need. In a series of three expositions, she will reveal the beauty and sufficiency of Christ. We’ll see how, as the Bread of Life, Jesus has the power and authority to meet our deepest needs. She’ll show that, because Jesus is our Good Shepherd, we lack nothing. Finally, she’ll remind us that, as the Resurrection and the Life, he has the power over life and death.
The God Who Has Provided
Over the years, I have learned to trust in God’s provision in some ways. But there are some that still haunt me. In the midst of the recent struggle with Ricky, I realized that I’m especially afraid of moments when I might receive bad news. I find it so emotionally wrenching that I will do anything to avoid it. I try to provide for myself by worrying about every worst-case scenario to brace myself, just in case I have to face it. It’s the life philosophy I call “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop.” I live life expecting the people I love to die, expecting my kids to be kidnapped, expecting Ricky to need surgery again, expecting the school district to be difficult, etc.
My heavenly Father, however, has been challenging this philosophy of life. When I was in the stairwell of the hospital, walking up to a dreaded pre-op appointment, the Spirit brought to mind a truth that confronted my fears. Because I have trusted in Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins, I have been adopted as a daughter, and all of God’s promises are mine. In the New Covenant, he has bound himself to provide for every circumstance I will ever face, including the moments when I receive bad news. It doesn’t mean that bad news won’t come, but it does mean that I don’t have to try to brace myself practically or emotionally before the event, because he will provide for me then. He did that when my brother died. He will do it every time I need it. Instead of expecting the worst, I can expect him to provide, come what may.
You Need to Know He Will Provide
So, if I’ve recently learned about how God will provide, why do I need the message Susan Jahns will speak at the Verity Fall conference? It’s because I’m still going to need to be reminded of what is true! I need God to provide these truths for me every single day. You see, on the one hand, God gave Jesus only once, and we only need to trust in him for salvation once. On the other hand, God’s Spirit applies the message of the gospel and all of its implications over and over. He shows us places where we don’t yet trust him to provide, applying his truth to us in new circumstances. His provision of the truths we need is like manna; we can’t store up a supply, but must look to God to give it day by day. And he promises that he will.
I have no doubt that when we gather on Oct. 13-14, 2017, I will need to be reminded and taught in new ways about God’s great provision for me in Jesus. And since I know that you are just like me, I know that you will, too. Registration begins July 17. Don’t miss it.
P.S. God provided abundantly for Ricky. The surgery went smoothly. He didn’t scream when he woke up, and he’s enduring the six weeks of pureed foods. We’ll know in six months if the surgery worked or not. I’m expecting God will provide either way. Meanwhile, our experience with the school district was exactly the opposite of our previous one. They went above and beyond to provide what he needed in terms of support. Praise our God.