Week 2: God Is Provider

    Day 11: But What If What God Wants for Me Is Not What I Want?

    When we look to God as provider, we are surrendering our independence and trusting someone else to meet our needs, over which we have no control. Letting go of our ‘dependence on independence’ and letting someone else take control goes against natural human instinct. We need to fight the urge to take over and just let God be God, because He can provide for us better than we can.

    Corallie Buchanan, Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose

    Our Hope

    Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT)

    “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

    Our Insight

    Let's get right down to it. For many of us, the problem is not so much believing God is in control, nor is it acknowledging that He is our Provider—it's that we're not sure we always like His choices for us.

    Right now, there is not a person reading this devotional whose life has not already been significantly affected by this virus. Some of you have experienced lost opportunities, lost work, taken a pay cut, seen your savings threatened, or been pushed to the brink of concern by what all this might mean for your future. Some of you have loved ones you can’t visit right now. Some of you are overwhelmed by suddenly becoming at-home teachers on top of all your other parenting concerns. For some your next task after reading this devotional is to sit down and try to fix a budget that no longer works, find a way to rescue a business, or figure out a plan for kids at home while you report to a critical job. For some of you, the role you must play today will put your health at risk for the sake of the public good. Some of you are reading this while quarantined, waiting for test results or waiting out the weeks before the virus clears your body and you can hug your family again.

    Let’s all pause and take a deep breath together.

    God is in control. God is Provider. But do you also believe His provision for you is good? Let's dig down deep to the core questions in each of our hearts that underlie our worries and concerns: “What if what God wants for me is not what I want? What if His provision for me is not the provision I would choose?”

    These are good, honest questions that test and grow our faith. God’s plan for you might not be what you would choose (it seldom is), but do you believe it is good? Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:9-11 teach us that a good Father gives only good gifts. Period. Tim Keller puts it this way: “God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows.”

    You can trust His provision. He is a good Father. There is none better.

    Our Prayer

    This is a good time to have a “courageously real” conversation with your Father. Spend a few moments on your own talking to Him about the parts of His provision that don’t feel good right now. What are you struggling with? What is hard? Where are you hurting? If you have the faith to believe that He is good in spite of all circumstances, tell Him that. Proclaim it. Lean into His goodness. If you’re still wrestling with your faith, acknowledge that, too. Bring it to Him. Ask Him for help. Remember that He is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

    Our Gratitude

    Before closing this devotion, take a moment and bring to mind one thing—at this moment—that you are thankful for. And thank God for it.