Will God Really Provide What I Need?

provide need+

 

We just moved.

Our beautiful new home was carefully designed to be wheelchair accessible. Every detail was considered. Every decision thoroughly researched.

As I look around, I know I should be overflowing with gratitude at God’s provision. But to my shame, I am not.

I don’t want a wheelchair accessible house. I don’t want a wheelchair. I don’t want the life God is putting before me, even though he is graciously showing me how he will provide.

This isn’t the kind of provision I want. I want healing and wholeness. A body that doesn’t tire easily and the ability to do whatever I choose. I want freedom and independence. But God has something else in mind.

While I continue to pray for a miracle, God is calling me to plan with the information I have. And so building the house was bittersweet, as I had to anticipate the worst. What would I need in the future? What could I do? What potential weaknesses should I account for?

One thing I hadn’t accounted for was how emotionally difficult moving would be. I couldn’t pack a single box by myself and I couldn’t unpack anything either. This meant I needed to rely on friends to help me. To take things out of the boxes. To figure out where they went in the new house. To organize my belongings so that I could use them.

I was so grateful for the help, for my friends who sacrificially came over to serve me. It was a huge gift, from God and from them. At the same time, I often cried when they left because I so wanted to do things myself. I wanted to organize my own kitchen and closets, figuring out what worked best for me.

I was also ashamed to have others see how disorganized I was in some areas – the things that I held on to, the little mementos that I kept. They may have wondered why I have five long-sleeved white shirts (a fashion staple), or six boxes of storage bags (they were a bargain), or a can of bug spray in every room (doesn’t everyone have that?)

I wanted to present my best self, but as people packed and unpacked every single thing in my life, I had no secrets. There was not a single box that I could say, “leave that. I’ll do it myself.” My life was laid bare.

In addition to that, I don’t like asking for help.  Not because of anything noble, but mostly because of my pride. Asking for help from anyone is hard for me. Having to depend on people makes me feel needy. I wish I could do everything myself.

While this struggle feels intensely personal and unique to me, I know it is not. Not everyone struggles with physical limitations, but everyone has limitations.

A dear friend who is struggling financially is growing tired of accepting help. She longs to provide for herself and her children without involving other people. It’s humbling. She’s tired of telling her children “no” when they want to eat out, or even want a new pair of shoes. “Everyone else does that,” is the refrain she hears constantly. But she needs to remind them, and herself, that it doesn’t matter what everyone else can do.

It doesn’t matter what everyone else can do. God is providing all that I need.

That sounds good, but do I really believe that?

Some days I do. Some days I am confident that no matter where I go, God will take care of me. He promises that. But other days, when I am faced with new unexpected weakness or pain, I doubt. As I look at a future that is headed in a seemingly irreversible direction, I wonder if God will truly give me all that I need.

Besides, providing today is one thing, but what about tomorrow? How will I make it tomorrow, when my arms are failing even more than today? How will I dress myself, feed myself, go where I want to go? What will I have to live without and how much will I have to depend on others? The questions seem endless.

As I spiral downward, increasingly agitated about what the future will bring, borrowing trouble from tomorrow, God ever so gently reminds me of the truth. His word speaks directly to each of my fears.

 

My fear: My arms will grow so weak that I can’t feed myself. If I don’t anticipate my future needs, who will?

God’s response: “Do not be anxious about your life… Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.” (Luke 12) “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4)

 

My fear: My life will be depressing and I won’t have fun or enjoy life.

God’s response: David says to the Lord, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16)

 

My fear: People will think less of me when they see my weaknesses and hidden bad habits.

God’s response: “Nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known.” (Matt 10:26) “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” (Proverbs 29:25 MSG).

 

This is truth. By faith, I must trust God’s unchangeable word rather than rely on my fears and feelings.

Through this word, I know that God is for me. (Psalm 56) That nothing can separate me from his love. (Rom 8) That God will work all things together for my good. (Rom 8) That God will never leave me or forsake me. (Heb 13). That God will provide all that I need. (Phil 4)

When I anchor my life on those truths, I am filled with faith. Faith in what I know to be true, despite what I see before me. There is no need to despair. God loves me extravagantly. One day I will see how he used all my circumstances for my good and his glory. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because God is with me.

I look around my house with new eyes. It is God’s abundant provision for me. No matter what the future holds, God will go with me. I will never be alone. He is all that I need and I will lack no good thing.

 

  • September 28, 2017 - 5:49 pm

    Lisa Appelo - Vaneetha, you had me at the title. But this part is really sticking with me: “This isn’t the kind of provision I want.” That’s it, isn’t it? I don’t want God to meet my needs; I want Him to meet my wants. Every bit is a chiseling. I’m grateful for your reminder today that God is always abundantly faithful.ReplyCancel

    • September 28, 2017 - 6:55 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks for writing! I totally agree with you, Lisa. I’m preoccupied with my wants- but in my mind they have become needs! God is working on me…ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 5:49 pm

    Emily J. M. - I can only imagine how hard it must be. I have not suffered physically myself but have watched and am watching those I love do so – and often I want to ask – how much more will you take away Lord? But for everything he takes away he becomes enough… enough for my fear and pride. Thankyoufor sharing. I think coupling specific verses with specific fears as you did is helpful and something I should do more 🙂ReplyCancel

    • September 28, 2017 - 6:57 pm

      Vaneetha - Yes this- “But for everything he takes away he becomes enough…” A lesson that is only learned as we walk through it. So glad this was helpful- tying in specific verses always helps me to really “get it.”ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 7:48 pm

    Carolyn Daily - Beautiful ! Thank you for shariing your struggle and fears so truthfully! I am battling with Parkinson’s and it’s not what I want . I don’t want to have to depend on others , I want to help them ! It was a blessing and encouragement I so needed to read .ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:48 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks for writing, Carolyn. I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with – but I can so relate to your feelings “I don’t want to have to depend on others, I want to help them!” Praying that all of us will find that when we are weak, we are strong in Him.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 8:19 pm

    Jill - I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty because I feel a lot of these things and think much the same about my life “right now.” I also want Him to meet my “wants” and often repent for not being content with His provisions, protection, etc. It’s quite hard when you feel much has been stolen from you and you don’t know if it will ever be restored in this life.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:50 pm

      Vaneetha - I so understand desiring God to meet my “wants.” Praying that all of us will learn, like Paul, the secret to being content in all circumstances. Its a challenge!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 10:15 am

    Margot Starbuck - So honest and beautiful. Thank you for this.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 10:54 am

    John B - I understand your frustration though I don’t know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Circumstances in your life have changed more than once but one thing has remained constant – your ability to help others. This post speaks to and is helpful to things in my life right now so thank you.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:51 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad this post was helpful, John. Thank you for writing.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 12:19 pm

    Cindy Brown - Another lovely and very timely post. Because of being abandoned by my now-ex-husband, the fear of financial ruin is an unwelcome companion and has been for over four years. The Lord has proven Himself time and time again to be my most perfect Provider and yet I stumble and fall at every new attack by from my ex and his attorney. As if the Lord will ever forsake me. I am ashamed at the jezebel of unbelief in my life. Vaneetha, please know that you are a blessing to me.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:53 pm

      Vaneetha - Its amazing how quickly we doubt, isn’t it? Like you,”The Lord has proven Himself time and time again to be my most perfect Provider and yet I stumble and fall at every new attack…” I’m so thankful the Lord is ever patient with us!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 1:10 pm

    Trudy - I’m so sorry your health keeps deteriorating, Vaneetha. I pray God will give you daily strength and peace. I can’t begin to understand the struggles you have. I do understand that “I don’t want it this way” struggle as I deal with chronic illness and its limitations and past abuse memory triggers and resulting fears. That Philemon verse has often grounded me – “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” He knows what I NEED better than I do, and His ways are higher than mine. Thank you for this timely reminder, for honestly sharing struggles that make us feel less alone, and for passing on the same comfort God has given you. Love and hugs!ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:55 pm

      Vaneetha - Love this: “He knows what I NEED better than I do, and His ways are higher than mine.” So agree, Trudy. Thanks for writing.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 1:13 pm

    Jeannine - I don’t have a website but I would love to able to read these blogs.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:45 pm

      Vaneetha - You can go to my website at danceintherain.com and follow the link to subscribe and they will go into your email inbox.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2017 - 10:50 pm

    Mike R - Thank you, Vaneetha. This came just when I needed it. Your thoughts were exactly what I have been struggling with recently. I don’t like this disability. I’m tired of being tired. And I constantly wonder how I will get by. It is very humbling to have to invite people into my cluttered and confused life as I seek their help.

    Your answers are the ones they should be. Your article was a bit like a psalm–crying out to God and then recognizing his great provision.

    My wife and I had to make a trip to our old property in the mountains to turn off the water for the winter. It was a place where I used to spend half of my life, earning money, working in the open air and able to do the physical things that are necessary. I struggle to do just a few hours of activities. I was surrounded by things that must be repaired, and I cannot repair them. The place is falling apart.

    When we were driving back my wife, who is also limited by health, was in a bright mood. She shared with my that she had been praying while I worked. It occurred to her how wonderfully God had blessed us with a day in the mountains in the clean air. And how blessed we were to have the opportunity, as God clearly was caring for us.

    Of course, I was a stricken by our different attitudes. I was limping and hardly able to move. She was grateful and thanking God. Needless to say, I was appropriately rebuked and encouraged to see the truth of God’s love for his own.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:56 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks again for writing, Mike. I can so relate to what you said!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2017 - 12:14 am

    Jann C - How timely this was! I, too, suffer from post-polio and am losing ground with a deteriorating spine and joints and strength. I’ve been blessed for many years able to do as I wanted pretty much and able to walk unaided, but things have changed greatly in the last few years. I’m trying to live in trust as I look for a new place to live that is more ADA complaint in the apartment realm, but choices have been limited or too $$$. Your article parallels my experience closely. Thanks for being so transparent and willing to share—it was an encouragement to me today! May we know our Savior in more intimate relationship as we continue this life’s journey.ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 12:59 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad this was encouraging, Jann. This is my prayer too: “May we know our Savior in more intimate relationship as we continue this life’s journey.” Thanks for writing!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2017 - 8:53 am

    Mavis Melton - Thank you again for your raw honesty and how you help bring people to freedom in Jesus Christ and the Word of truth through it! Your writing is like modern day Psalms. You say what you are really thinking and feeling and then you reign it in under the truth and promises we have as children of God. I do pray for you and have shared your writing with so many people that are hurting to help show them (and me) that it takes work to focus on the Truth instead of being at the mercy of our fears and feelings, but it is so worth it!!!ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2017 - 1:01 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks for writing, Mavis. So glad the Lord used this to encourage you. Love this: “it takes work to focus on the Truth instead of being at the mercy of our fears and feelings, but it is so worth it!!!” AMEN.ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2017 - 12:35 pm

    Crystal - Awesome reminder that although we might not get all that we want in this (earthly) life, God still offers us daily provision as well as His presence and His love forever and for always.ReplyCancel

  • October 3, 2017 - 2:39 pm

    Jimmy Manser - Dear Vaneetha – Thank you for your authentic expression of faith in God’s goodness. It’s so true how God repeatedly meets us where we are, sometimes “just in time”. The lessons to trust in Jesus Christ continues along life’s journey. Like yourself, I blog to share, in hopes that my struggles reveal a light to encourage others. Sometimes I know the title of my blog, and the contents usually follow shortly after. But, not for my September blog, which has past. I’m daunted by the title, postponing the writing ’cause it’s SO BIG, doubting that I’m “good enough” to compose the message adequately. What I do know is that the title is in alignment with God’s truth. Your blog has led me to start writing. “Embrace Everything with Love and Gratitude”. You are a Christ Warrior, Vaneetha. Fight on!ReplyCancel

    • October 5, 2017 - 3:55 pm

      Vaneetha - Glad my blog spurred you on to start writing your next post, Jimmy. I like the title!ReplyCancel

  • October 5, 2017 - 9:46 am

    H Nani - The Message translation may be unsuitable for serious personal reflection, theology.
    One example to verify this is the rendition of the Lord’s Prayer:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Message_(Bible)#Lord.27s_Prayer_.28Matthew_6:9-13.29
    … I don’t want to be one of “those” people; i hope you don’t mind the info in a negative way (or haven’t heard it a million times before),ReplyCancel

    • October 5, 2017 - 3:53 pm

      Vaneetha - I agree, though it can be helpful in illuminating a passage in a different light.ReplyCancel

  • October 18, 2017 - 3:03 pm

    Connected Carole - Your post sounded like I could have written it! We did a major house remodel and had to plan for what we hoped we’d never need: wheelchair wide doors and accessibility. What you experience could have been my words. Then I read your About and saw why. I have PPS (started severely at age 31) plus Dystonia which interacts badly with PPS. Thanks for the encouraging words.ReplyCancel

    • October 19, 2017 - 9:45 am

      Vaneetha - I’m glad this was encouraging though I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. I’m sure dystonia with PPS is quite challenging to say the least…ReplyCancel

  • October 24, 2017 - 9:26 am

    Clint - What a fount of faith you are and how human your frailties are while your blog gives such testimony as to the sovereign blessings of the Lord and the possibilities of the different ways God will provide for us regardless of health and provisional circumstances. To God be the glory that you move me to deepen my faith and trust yet again as I am able to receive your sharing and others’ sharing and realize how much we all ultimately have in common.ReplyCancel

    • October 24, 2017 - 6:26 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Clint. I too am so thankful for “the different ways God will provide for us regardless of health and provisional circumstances.” So glad this post encouraged you.ReplyCancel

Tweet|Share to Facebook|Subscribe