God Will Provide For You

This article continues our study on the book, “Walking With God on the Road You Never Wanted to Travel“.  We will look at part of chapter 6 entitled “Trust God to Meet Your Needs” right now, and then we will finish the chapter in two weeks from now.  For those who have been asking about how to get a copy of this book, please read my article “Good Christian Resources” and it will lead you to a site to help you.

To appreciate what Mark Atteberry says in his #6 Strategy, trusting God to meet our needs, we must remember two things.  First of all, Atteberry is talking in his book to people who are experiencing very difficult trials in life.  They have found themselves walking on a hard-road journey.  It is at this point that some people find it most difficult to trust God, believing that He has abandoned them and will not help.

Secondly, Atteberry has chosen the history of the children of Israel and their 40 year period of wilderness wanderings as the key biblical backdrop to unearth many spiritual principles for people to learn how to go though difficult periods in their lives.  I hope that we will never rebel like they did and so end up under the disciplining hand of God, but at the same time, learning from their experiences will be helpful to us when we do experience tough times.  That being said, let’s see what we learn from chapter six, and from the Bible.

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Exodus 16:14 – 18 says:

When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.  This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.  And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

Atteberry suggests three main truths that we learn about how God takes care of His people. First of all with regards to the daily provision of this manna, the “bread from Heaven”, he says, “The manna was never too early and never too late.”  When we look ahead into verse 21, it says that the manna came with the dew every morning, but then melted away with the rising of the sun.  God knew that the people would be hungry every day, and He made sure that the provision of food was there exactly when the people needed it.

This may be one of the hardest lessons for believers to truly learn.  Namely, that we cannot rush God to provide something for us before we actually need it.  And also that we should not worry about the idea that we will not have what we need when the time arrives, like an unexpected bill for something.  No, God always seems to come through in the eleventh hour.  And that is because He waits until the right time, never early, but never late.

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The second principle that Atteberry points out to us in this passage is “the manna was never too much and never too little“.  Each person was able to gather sufficient manna to feed his or her family.  Their plates were full, and since the remaining manna melted away with the sun, there was never any need or worry about what to do with the leftovers or where to store it.

This has been so true for me and my wife.  We have been married for 27 years now, and if you were to look at our savings and the little we have for retirement, you might ask, “What happened?”  But the truth of the matter is that God always gave us what we needed, and often that was all.  I can remember many times that we would get a bill for something, and we would wonder how we would pay for it.  And then just as we had to pay it, a surprise donation or an extra salary bonus came and would be just enough to pay the bill.  (Thank you Lord.)

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And then the last principle that Atteberry brings out from this passage is this, “The manna was never too hard and never too easy.” As our loving Father, God is always aware of the difficulties we face, and He will provide what we need to overcome the challenges of our situation.  But also because He loves us, He will not just give us a quick handout.  He does want us to do our part in pleasing Him, and doing His will, and in turn, not because of our efforts, but because He loves us, He will then provide us His blessings and His provisions.

Atteberry puts it this way on page 76:

He knows that when we work together with Him, we grow into a deeper relationship with Him.  And that, ultimately is what He wants.  Yes, your physical welfare is a concern to Him, but your spiritual welfare is an even higher priority.  In other words, yes, He wants to keep you going.  But even more, He wants to keep you growing.  He desperately wants to bond with you and develop a relationship that will last far beyond the end of your hard road.

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