Wednesday - April 20th
Scripture to Read Today: Genesis 22:9-14
Jehovah-Jireh: The God Who Provides
The Names and Attributes of God
And my God will meet all
your needs according to the
riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Some of my earliest times of talking to the Lord and wrestling through what my daily relationship with Him would look like took place on a school bus. I had become a follower of Christ a few years earlier as a child. Now, I was in middle school and had dedicated my life to the Lord and to walk with Him daily.
Not knowing exactly what that looked like or meant, I simply read a few verses in the Bible every day and then talked to Him in prayer. The first part of my bus ride from home to school picked up kids who lived reasonably far apart. Since it was so early, we spread out all over the bus and wouldn't be anywhere near each other. We had 15 to 20 minutes to ourselves before the bus started getting crowded as we made our way to classes for the day.
It became my habit just to think about my current life, my day, and even my future. That often meant I looked out the school bus window with my forehead on the glass, talking in my mind or under my breath to God. There is probably some guy in his early fifties that I rode the bus with me back then telling someone a story about the skinny, odd kid on the bus who mumbled to himself.
Staring out the school bus rehearsing before the Lord became a special moment for me each day. I remember one Monday morning when I told God I needed $10 to go to a youth group bowling and pizza party at our church that Friday. When I asked my Dad if I could go, he said I could, but he didn't have the money that week. He gave me one of his speeches about how I should get a job at 14 years of age and make enough money for stuff like that. That Monday morning on the bus, I told God I needed the $10 if I was going to go to the bowling party.
My prayer was relatively short and straightforward. "God, I want to go to that youth group party with my friends from church. Could you help me find a way to get the money before Friday night?" No money-making opportunities came on Monday. So I prayed that simple prayer again Tuesday morning while leaning my forehead on the bus window's glass. I prayed it every morning on the way to school that week.
After I got home from school that Thursday, my Aunt Gail called me and out of the blue asked me if I could watch her three young boys for a couple of hours that night. She had never asked me to do that before. When she and my Uncle Mark got back from their meeting that night, she gave me a $10 bill for babysitting. Yep, $10! Exactly what I needed.
The next morning on the school bus, I thanked God for that call and opportunity. I knew that this was not some magical, genie relationship that God and I shared. The good teaching of my parents and church during my childhood had taught me better than that. I knew this was a relationship between God and me. He would not always provide what I wanted in the timing I needed, but He would always provide what was best for me when it was best for me. I might not always agree or like His way of providing, but I knew He would provide.
There were many moments throughout that year and until I could drive myself to school where God and I talked about my needs and His provision. As a college student, then a seminary student, a pastor, a husband, and a father, God has always provided faithfully for me. It has not always been on my terms. And, the same God, as Job said, Who gives also takes away. Throughout my life, as I have walked with the Lord, He has been Jehovah-Jireh, the God Who provides. He has gotten sweeter to me as the days have come and gone.
While I no longer talked to him at 6:15 in the morning with my head resting on a bus window, we still chat the same way we did on those bus rides to school. A lot has changed in my life, but my God has remained my provider. There have been many times God provided just what I needed exactly when I needed it - like the $10 for the bowling party. Most of His provision in my life has come through wages and my salary. He is a good and gracious God.
Abraham discovered that God was Jehovah-Jireh when God provided a ram to be sacrificed rather than Abraham's son, Isaac. Abraham demonstrated his obedience and faithfulness to God, and the Lord provided just what Abraham needed at precisely the moment he needed it. God will do the same for us today!
Have you recognized God's provision in your life? Can you call Him Jehovah-Jireh, the God Who provides? The Lord promises that He "will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Just as God provided a ram for Abraham, He will meet all of your needs. He is the God Who provides!