Provision for all things
Change is in the air. I feel it here in the tiny town that I live in. The summer crowds are gone, and there is a noticeable stillness in the air. Less people make their way down the sidewalks. Even the sea looks a bit more calm. And though I know it's been coming, the change also feels drastic.
Sometimes, change just hits you out of nowhere.
Monday was one of those days for me. I just felt it. Change. Maybe as a people-person, it's the sudden lack of people around. Maybe it's because I have just come off of a event-filled weekend into markedly slower days. Maybe it's because I've just turned a year older. Or perhaps it's something else. I don't necessarily discern everything that is going on, but what I do know is that the season is changing--the Father is inviting me into a season of newness. And there seems to be this same invitation in many lives around me in varying capacities.
It's been on my heart for some weeks now--I feel like many of us are heading into a new season. Change is marking our lives. Transition is taking place. And between the place we are at now and where God is taking us, often there arises some sort of need, some notable areas where we are seeking God's provision.
It struck me this week that often, when we think of provision, we think of some sort of tangible need. And where it's true that oftentimes change presents some sort of tangible need, more often than not, there's a heart-level need that needs meeting as well. But sometimes, we don't readily acknowledge these areas, or better yet, I wonder if we really consider these prominent needs? However, the more I journey with God through changes in my life, the more I recognize that the heart needs seem often to be the most pressing and important needs--needs that only the Father can fill. He cares deeply about them. And I've been feeling this week that God is encouraging us that He desires to provide for these heart needs as well--mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically--not just the tangible.
What do I mean by this? Well, I often find that when we are stepping into new areas in our lives, a whole bunch of emotions, feelings, and thoughts can start bubbling up, and their severity and substance can run the gamut. Perhaps some of us are feeling excitement, yet at the same time, there is apprehension at the unknown. Maybe some of us are doubting our decisions. Maybe some of us are even wrestling with fear. But God is calling out to us, desiring to provide for us in these areas too, to be the exact thing that we need at this moment. He wants to give us courage. He desires to impart faith; to fill us with confidence; to remove unsettledness and replace it with peace, and all the other things we need Him to be for us. He desires to still racing thoughts. He desires to cause our spirit to be at rest. He desires to give us strength where we feel weak. We may think that once the tangible needs get met, our hearts will be ok, but I believe God first wants to meet us in the heart-place and give us confidence, because this is what He cares for the most.
One of my favorite verses in the past year has become Romans 8:32:
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (NASB)
This verse is a serious comfort to my heart and one I look to when my heart needs filling. It serves as a reminder to me that the Father knows my every need, and nothing is beyond being provided for, nor will He withhold any of it from me. Just like this verse declares, all things He will provide for. But what I love most about this verse is that not only will our needs be met by the Father, but along with it and even more so, we are given Christ, and ultimately, His presence is the greatest fulfillment of every need we may experience. Because instead of just giving us strength, peace, joy and the like as if it were a force that He imparts, it's really His presence, He Himself, that is these things--the presence of Christ Himself being manifested in our hearts.
During one morning this week as I read Ephesians 1:3, God met me. He reminded me that we are so empowered by Christ, for every situation in life we walk into. We are not in lack.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3, NIV)
David declares in Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing." (NIV) We are not forsaken nor orphaned by God. We are His children, and as Ephesians 1:3 declares, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. We are so cared for. We can live this life as empowered people. It has already been done. Jesus desires to fill us. We just need to ask. "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." (1 John 5:14)
And so this serves as an encouragement to my heart, and I pray for yours too. Whatever heart need we have at this moment, God wants to fill it. Whereas the enemy would want us to feel shame in any weakness we may be experiencing, Jesus is saying, "I desire to be these things for you. Let me be your strength." We can stop trying to conjure up in our own strength what only God can do in us. This is the rest that Jesus desires us to have--to trust in Him to provide every good thing as we position our hearts in trust and choose to think upon, choose to believe, choose to reach for the fruit of His Spirit, and posture our hearts and minds in our identity as children of God and receive from Him. It's partnership. It's our position to say yes, but it's ultimately Him that produces the results.
Be blessed as you transition. God is going to blow your mind, providing not only for your tangible needs, but for your emotions, mind, spirit, and physical wellbeing too. :)
"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB)
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (Isaiah 26:3, NLT)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)