“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25 NRSV
It happened again today. I should say I am used to it. But, I cannot. This last two years have been an experience in learning how to trust that the Lord provides. What I can say for certain is that once you allow yourself to give in and accept his provision that you will begin to see miracles.
Two years ago my husband became burned out. He had worked in Corrections for 16 ½ years, the last 5 ½ being a sergeant in segregation. The environment of corrections is not an easy occupation. I worked 7 ½ years as an administrative assistant so I saw the job from the inside. I remember my first two weeks as I walked past the high walls and waited for sliders, I thanked the Good Lord each day that I could go freely to my home.
We had prepared some for his retirement and had hoped he would work for at least another four years. While we had planned ahead, it became abundantly clear that he could not last any longer in segregation or in his words, other places in the facility. It was too late for the move that came. He could simply not do it any longer.
And while we had prepared, while we knew it was coming; the time still fell short of being totally financially prepared.
In the past I have said, “God will provide.” Or, I may have said the very common thing that is known as Christianese, “God provided.”
I'm here to tell you I have changed my way of thinking and wording. I now say, “He provides.” Simply, there is no future tense or past tense. There is only present tense. He provides. It is true he provided for us all along but I didn't live for the day to day miracles of provision.
Larry's early retirement has taught me the divine pleasure of seeing how God provides again, and again, and again.
The first time came two months after his last day at work. He had chosen to exhaust his sick time and retain his annual leave. At that time he didn't know if he would go back to work. Time and again, I asked, “Do you want to go back?” And always, his answer was no.
So the time came when the accumulated time ran out. And my first thought was, “This ship is going to sink fast.”
I almost started to type guess what? Well, you already know; there's no need to even ask the question. Three days after I had that dismal thought, a windfall came. The amount paid every one of our bills that month, plus medical insurance. That money could have come as early as two years before and I truly had no clue it was in the mail. It arrived at the exact time we needed it most and provided for all our needs that month.
It was then that a decision had to be made. Larry wanted to retire. And, as all couples must do, we made adjustments giving up this or that to learn to live within our new means. I had decided to semi-retire from the prison facility two years before Larry's retirement due to health concerns.
I still continue to work and that's another area of provision. Jobs just seem to come freely. I enjoy what I do. My husband was not able to work for a year and then he began to do handyman work which led to his starting a business.
Ten years ago, I would have worried, fretted, and prayed. Not so any longer. I don't have to even doubt or consider that the provision is not coming. It always does. The Lord has shown me he is faithful for even the smallest need.
Just today I knew there was a need and I always ask the Lord to help. Today, I received some money that came from the kindness of the Lord and the goodness of a heart. It was a long road for me to get here, and I'm so glad I finally gave in to the abundance of God's goodness. He never intends us to walk alone on any road or need. He provides. Simply, he provides.
Prayer: Just today, Lord, we thank you for providing our daily bread. Teach us to trust in your provision and goodness. Amen.
ABW Colorado, President