No God-fearing Christian would ever purposely claim to put God in a box with the definitive statements that sums up God’s action in a precise word. I never thought that I would be that person, only to find out that this is exactly what I’ve done – put God in a box. The Provision-This-Way Box.
I had read in Matthew “Don’t worry… His eye is on the sparrow.” I remembered Psalms “He will give you the desires of your heart.” I knew in my heart that God would “provide for all my needs according to his glorious riches!” And so naturally, this looked like a new car.
I have faithfully used my little car, 22 years old, 220,000+ miles. After the stereo got jacked it was never replaced, so lots of silence and prayers and singing in that little grey Foxy Box as I lovingly deemed it. It had held stuff and hosted strangers, cradled kids and carted students. We’d coaxed our first Christmas tree to sit in the backseat and stick out the side window! It had been bashed in with a baseball bat, been broken into and backed into. Religiously it carried our bikes and camping gear, made the 16 hour roadtrip to visit family in WA. This was a solid, sturdy and reliable little Foxy Box. But alas, all good things come to an end.
Recently it was crippled when the front axle cracked, it wheezed and overheated in a moment and the AC collapsed. The poor engine leaked fluids, the fan was stuck on high, and it took several minutes to get up to speed on the freeway. Other vehicles would impatiently honk and speed around us and annoyingly peer over to see who would move so slow on a freeway – always surprised by not seeing Grandma in the front seat, and yet Foxy Box really was like a little old lady hobbling along with a walker.
Surely I had paid my dues and lived contently with my Grandma. Loved and cared for her, allowed her to serve as long as possible, but it was time for a mechanic to take over and for us to find “Mr. Flashy Pizzazz” I had been thinking about Flashy Pizzazz- maybe a full 8 seated SUV to carry extra kids, a stereo for the first time since college. Flashy Pizzazz would have a smooth interior and fully electronic features. Surely, even just Pizzazz is God’s will – we are of course in full-time ministry! Of course it is to further HIS work!! I had thought that surely I had patiently racked up enough merit points by now.
But Flashy Pizzazz didn’t show up. We couldn’t risk a heart-attack and take Grandma, we needed to travel to Pleasant Valley State Prison and visit inmates. Of all things, surely this would speak the language of Provision, like a secret code whispered in the ear of God to where he would deem this was a worthy cause, and ‘WA-LA’ Flashy Pizzazz would appear! But again, even Pizazz didn’t show up.
I didn’t understand why God hadn’t provided for us.. Humbly and nervously I went to plant B. Dear friends, may I borrow your car? Within an hour, I had 3 perfectly good vehicles offered to me to use on a Saturday all day. No questions asked. I shook my head, huh? Really? So open-handed? No ‘what-ifs’? I sighed in relief that my needs were met. I sucked in a breath and marveled at how painless that had been. Then, I started at the creative provision of God!
I really had been asking God to meet my needs my way. I had sat him down and talked to him straight to his face demanding what I wanted. A new Car. But The Lord never promised to meet our needs according to our wants. He meets us with His provision, and in this case, He needed to open my eyes to see the Provision of God in all of the ungrateful ways I’d ignored. God’s provision for a vehicle in our life right now, is the provision of a rich and open-handed community. God’s provision for transportation is generous friends who value simple living, sharing, Biblical Community, meeting one another’s needs! They are not tight-fisted, they are not more concerned over getting scratches on the vehicle, and they are not concerned that they will be inconvenienced. I have a generous community intent on being the giving Body of Christ and becoming the demonstration of God’s provision in my life.
I still drive the Foxy Box and I humbly take 5 minutes to accelerate to free-way speed. But I am not wanting. I am so rich. I am totally under the Provision of God, and He is Good.