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Just Enough & Just in Time

Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so. 
–J. Hudson Taylor China Inland Mission

God is revealed in Scriptures as “Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who provides.”    We have heard the messages on tithing, and we know that we can never out-give God.  But how does God provide?  The answer is simple.

Practically.

The very first miracle that Jesus performed happened at a wedding, where He turned water into wine.  Why?  Because that was what they were lacking!  He could have miraculously provided a feast; fruits and sumptuous dishes to fill tables and stomachs.  But that wasn’t the need.  What they needed was wine.  So Jesus provided wine.  

A Little Fish. A Little Bread.

Of course, we are also familiar with the story of the little boy with the five loaves and two fishes.  A great multitude had gathered to hear Jesus speak, and they were getting hungry…very hungry.  Consider this:  What if Jesus had supernaturally provided shoes for all of those people instead of food?  They probably would have been grateful for the shoes, but what they really needed was food!  Jesus knew that…so what did He provide?  He provided food.  He really knew how to “stretch a meal!”  

How sensible our God is!  That has always been His way.  A concise study of American history reveals God’s practical provision again and again.  The Pilgrims made it through one barren winter with only five kernels of corn per day (per person!)  That’s truly amazing!  Of course the winter passed, crops were planted, and life went on.  Most of us would have forgotten God’s sustenance.  But not these faithful ones.  In remembrance of how God had sustained them, the Pilgrims did an unusual thing the following Thanksgiving.  Before anyone could partake of the feast they gave thanks in a significant way.  On the table in front of each person sat a plate.  On each plate – five kernels of corn.  They had not forgotten God’s provision.  

A Modern Saint

Corrie Ten Boom, (a modern saint by all counts), shared the story of how God supernaturally provided vitamins for her sister while they were held prisoner in a German-occupied concentration camp.  Amazingly, the vitamin tablets continued to appear in the bottle, day after day, week after week, month after month.  Her sister was quite ill, and needed the nutrition that the vitamins supplied.  God made provision.  

God provides what we need when we need it.  However, He doesn’t always do it the way we expect Him to.  Missionary and Pastor Jim Hester shared the following story at an annual Missions Conference in Houston some years ago.  He and his wife were preparing to leave for Russia, where they were going to take in 25,000 Bibles.  Unfortunately, the time of their departure was coming quickly, and they had not raised enough funds to purchase all of the Bibles.  Each Russian Bible would cost fifty cents, and they were $7,000 short.  That’s 14,000 Bibles short!  

God spoke to Jim and told him to give $1,000 to a particular ministry.  Jim delayed.  He knew that, in the natural, to give away $1,000 would take away from his ability to purchase more Bibles.  But God had spoken.  After some more time had passed, Jim finally obeyed the voice of the Lord.  As a result, God supernaturally opened a door, and God provided 110,000 Russian Bibles absolutely free!  Can you imagine what might have happened if Jim had not listened to the voice of God?  Obedience is always the key to God’s provision.

A Personal Story

Several years ago God provided for our family in a miraculous, supernatural way.  We were going through a tough time financially, and were getting behind on our mortgage payments.  Even purchasing groceries was difficult.  Arriving at Church one Wednesday evening, the church secretary handed me an envelope containing $300 dollars in cash.  Only two people knew of our need, and they both assured me that they had not spoken to anyone about it.  To this day I do not know who gave that money.  I did hear, however, that whoever it was told the following story:  Apparently, at 6:00 that morning God had awakened him and had shown him my face and said, “Give this woman $300.”  He obeyed, and we were all blessed!

Consequently, my faith grew.  I knew that God was looking out for us, and would always provide just what we needed when we needed it.  What if I had opened that envelopes and found tickets to a Christian concert inside?  I would have been blessed, of course, but it would not have met my need.  What I needed was money – and God provided money!

A good friend recently shared the following remarkable story with us.  Several years ago she and her husband had a daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia.  The child was in the hospital for a considerable length of time, and the bills were piling up.  Our friends were new Christians at the time.  They were just beginning to learn the lesson of God’s supernatural provision.   An interesting thing happened one evening as this family attended church.  Another family in the congregation had a child who was very ill, and they too had accumulated multiple hospital bills.  A special offering was being taken for the family.  

Now, our friends didn’t have much to give, but as the offering basket was passed they dropped in a twenty dollar bill.  It was a definite sacrifice, but God knew their need.  He had already provided a solution to their problem.  In a very short period of time a children’s organization “intervened” and covered all of their daughter’s medical bills – past and present.  They never again had another bill for their daughter’s care.  

Their offering that evening was a “seed” planted, and the harvest was reaped shortly thereafter.  Now, this family didn’t give out of “greed.”  They certainly didn’t give to get.  They gave only because they were prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so.  To give in the natural might have seemed foolish.  A “wise” man might have looked at their situation and said they were crazy to give any money away.  

How interesting that God so often uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise…and in the middle of it He blesses His children.   Our practical God gives what we need when we need it.   What an awesome God we serve!

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