Numb with shock, I listened as my tax preparer told me what I still owed on my small amount of self-employment income. The estimated tax payments I’d made hadn’t been nearly enough.
For the next several hours, I struggled against fear, bitterness, and self-pity. How was I ever going to live? Could I take on more hours somewhere? Apply for food stamps or government-sponsored health insurance? God was already calling me into ministry as a writer where my expenses would be covered by financial gifts. Could I really trust God for that when I felt so unsettled now?
That evening I opened a list of Scripture verses I’d once compiled on God’s provision. My eyes stopped on Psalms 78:19-21 NASB: “Then (Israel) spoke against God. They said, ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, and streams were overflowing; can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?’” There response inflamed God’s wrath.
Yikes! I didn’t want to offend God by complaining and questioning his ability to provide. I desperately wanted the gift of godly contentment Paul spoke about in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 where simply having food and clothing is enough.
It can be hard to trust an unseen God with our very visible needs and not take things into our own hands. Satan is always ready to tempt us to doubt God’s care and his ability to provide. He did so with Adam and Eve, causing them to question God’s goodness in regards to the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1-4). That doubt led them to eat from the tree in an attempt to provide for themselves rather than trusting God’s best for them.
When we find ourselves at a loss regarding a need, we can respond with grumbling and unbelief, or do as 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6 say and cast all our cares on the Lord, praying about everything and thanking him for all he has done.
PRAYER: Father God, you are just, kind, and loving. Help me to trust you for provision and do so with a thankful heart. AMEN