This fall my family and I have experienced some very unsettling changes in the area of finances. We lost 75% of my income over the span of a weekend due to unexpected and immediate layoffs at one of my jobs. As you can imagine, this set off a frenzied reaction in me where I began searching for anything and everything that I could do to fill this hole in our income. I interviewed for many jobs…even ones that I knew would be unwise choices for our family. I began taking on side jobs that consumed most of my time and ended in frustration for both me and my family with very little monetary gain in the end.
I remember about a month after being laid off I woke up with an old song in my head “Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me…”. I hadn’t heard this song in well over 15 years, and I knew it was a reminder from God that He is Jehovah Jireh (the LORD will provide), and that He would provide my needs and the needs of my family. Oh, how short-sighted I was though. I became so laser-beam focused on my request for God to provide in the area of my finances that I almost missed out on His real provision for me and my family.
While God has sustained our family in the area of finances and has shown provision in specific areas of our finances…our financial state remains more or less the same. I no longer feel desperate though. I’m no longer trying to fit square pegs in round holes. I’m able to rest in knowing God is providing and will provide. However, His provision in answer to my prayer looked NOTHING like what I was focusing on, and I’m so glad for that.
While I was waiting on God to “fix this money conundrum”, He began to give me precious glimpses of what He was really providing for me and my family. He began to greatly increase my desire for Him and my ability to walk in obedience to Him. He began to overwhelm me with His affections for me. He began to answer long standing prayers in my marriage and in my family. I began to see their hearts being turned more fully toward Him. He gave my soul the ability to rest and trust and know the goodness of God in all circumstances.
As we moved into the Advent season, I continued to think about God’s provision in sending Jesus to a broken earth and a presumptuous people. I’ve been thinking about and relating to the Israelites who believed that the Messiah was indeed coming. They knew the prophecies, they believed them! They were certain that He was coming to end their slavery, to end their suffering as a people group. He was coming to redeem them and make right all of the wrongs done at the hands of their oppressors. They believed their Messiah would be born into a position of power, one that would overthrow Roman rule, return them to a nation of their own. They believed they would have a Messiah who ruled from David’s throne! They believed these things would come to pass, but the way in which their Messiah would provide proved to be very different from their presumptions. They wanted a military leader, an earthly king, someone born into authority and influence….they most certainly were not expecting a baby born to a poor, young virgin.
Many who awaited the Messiah were so consumed by their version of what provision would look like that they missed the Messiah completely.
May we recognize God’s provision in the arrival of our Messiah on that first Christmas, in the gift of His manifest presence and in the grace of glimpses into His goodness and sovereignty while we await His return.