Provision. It’s a concept that we talk about a lot in Christian circles… it’s something that we actually hear a lot about. We hear amazing stories about how God provided someone with $8,000 just when they asked for it. Or how someone was on the brink of financial ruin… about to lose their house, their car, their dog, and their underwear and the Lord provided just in the nick of time. Or the missionary using her last penny to buy someone else food, and not knowing how they were going to survive and a check comes in the mail that day. Or someone who asked for a very specific item and received it, down to the color and size. We here it, but we don’t experience it. At least I don’t… or thought I didn’t.
More than a year and a half ago, my hard working, bread winning, primary providing husband lost his job. This put us in a tail spin. We have lived pay check to pay check since we decided that I would stay home. We were ok with it… we felt the Lord was leading us down this path… and we made it every month. After he lost his job, we went almost 8 weeks with NO pay whatsoever. It was tough, but our church blessed us with a little cash to pay for gas and some groceries. Since that day 19 months ago, it has been rough. But we still have our home, we still have groceries in the pantry, gas in our car, and toilet paper in the bathroom.
Our monthly income is a good bit less than our actual necessary expenses… and we have cut back all we can. Yet, by the skin of our teeth, we make it.
It’s almost never those massive amazing stories of huge provision exactly how we asked. Its creative subtle things that we almost never ask for. For instance:
-This is the second year in a row that Madi’s ballet tuition was free… without us ever asking!
-Just when we thought I was going to have to give up my photography business and take a job with a fast food joint or something, our friends asked us to home school their kids.
-I entered Madi into a contest to win $50 at a consignment shop, desperately hoping to win because she has grown out of all her summer clothes… she didn’t win, but someone I have never even met sent me a $50 gift card to Walmart to buy her clothing, and a family member gave us $100 to go where we want to buy her clothing.
-My phone was going to completely give up the ghost, with no upgrade available, and I was able to get a brand new replacement phone for $5!
-My mother is constantly bringing us toiletries… that toilet paper I mentioned… she ALWAYS brings us a pack… not to mention the plastic baggies and tissues.
-When I had bronchitis, my aunt paid for my meds.
-My in-laws brought me meds when I was sick, also bring us TP (we must use a lot of TP), and bless us with fresh eggs from time to time.
-Bags of clothing for Madi just when she needed it most.
-A $500 cash gift just in time to pay the electric bill that was CRAZY high this winter.
-Madi being healed of her gluten intolerance, making our grocery bill lower!
-Me winning some random contest just by sending in my photo to be the “Face of PCOS”.
I could go on for ever… and most of these have been recent!!
I don’t fully understand God’s plans… and I still don’t think all this makes sense (you would think that ONE of those 543 jobs my husband applied for would have hired him)… but as I look back, I realized that we have been blessed. Realllllly blessed.
It would be so easy to overlook those blessings… I happened to submit one of the nicest photos for my contest, or my mom is just being nice, or the bags of clothing arriving at the right moment were a nice gesture from a friend. It would be so easy to dismiss those things as God’s hand. Or even to just not think about it as God’s provision.
Provision isn’t just this big things. Provision is the bags of hand-me-downs, it’s the winning ticket, it’s the extra couple of bucks from dog-sitting, or the favor with the bank. It’s the small things. The insignificant things. The things we overlook.
Look back… how has God blessed you lately? A new friend? A warm ray of sunshine when you need a smile? A hug from a kid when you are down? A card in the mail? A $20 bill on the ground? A bill a little cheaper than you expected? A favorite item at the grocery store on sale?
Blessings are everywhere… you just have to find them. Find them, and remember them.