This evening, some friends gathered around the fireplace. We opened our Bibles together and talked about how God provided abundantly for Ruth through Boaz. She was the poor, hungry, foreigner who received loads of grain, enthusiastic acceptance into the Israelite community, and an inheritance that resulted in eternal salvation. Amazing!
That’s just God’s style, isn’t it? When He provides, He provides abundantly!
He “opens the windows of heaven” and “pours down a blessing until there is no more need”, He gives us “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38). He is Providence.
That’s what Scripture says.
But it doesn’t always feel this way.
I’m writing from personal experience. We’re heading into the one-year-marker of a significant financial need that we’ve brought before the Lord many times. Please help us, Lord! Please meet our need! The burden is incredibly stressful to us, and it’d be so easy for the Lord to fix. At this point, circumstances have not changed and our financial belt is pulled tightly. When I log into our budget every week, there doesn’t appear to be much “good measure” and there certainly isn’t any running over.
Where is the God of Ruth?
Doesn’t He still provide for His people?
Then one of my friends spoke up and said that when her husband was laid off for the third time, they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for the third time and they, too, were wondering about God’s promises to provide.
That’s when they suddenly realized that they were expecting God to pour material blessings out of Heaven – as if money were the end-all be-all of abundance.
Instead, God was working through their financial poverty to lavish them with the gifts of walking by faith, living with discipline and wisdom, while letting go of the American dream. As they reflected on their personal growth, they saw how very rich they had become as God showered blessing upon blessing on them, providing precisely what they needed.
I needed to hear this tonight. I know better than to expect cars, insurance policies, new clothes, and a hefty savings account to tumble out of Heaven into my lap. I know that these things don’t even compare to my true needs for things like faith, hope, and love. I know better. But, I forgot.
My prayers had become so short-sighted, so worldly.
Tonight, I needed to sit back and recognize that God has been providing for me, lavishly.
My cup is running over with marvelous gifts like these…
* family unity in the midst of hardship,
* a new-found freedom from impulsivity,
* heartfelt gratitude for every simple comfort,
* an increase in financial wisdom,
* more love for Christ, and
* a heart that seeks His Kingdom more today than yesterday.
Oh, how full I am! How rich!
It’s not a question of whether or not God is providing abundantly for His children, but rather a question of whether or not His children are expecting and receiving the gifts He gives.
They’re the best gifts.
Let’s ask for more.