God provides in abundance: do we believe that? We read about it as the Israelites wander the dessert, as David ran for his life, and in the miracles Jesus performed on earth. And yet, we still think we have to earn His help; that we have to be good enough or worthy enough for….
The truth is, His love doesn’t have to be earned! It was never meant to be. It was given as a gift, it pours out of Him not because He chooses for it to but because it is who He is. He desires our good, He has come after us, we are His and there is no other way He can respond except in love.
But, in our understanding of love we have confusing definitions. It is so many things. It is not often that we receive undeserved love and when we do we question if it is real. This love that is given to us freely, forgiveness that is offered, grace that is bestowed is a glimpse of what God has given us in abundance. So, we should expect His provision, protection, and love.
We should expect abundance from a Father who sent Jesus to earth. He is not a minimalist God. I cry out for big things from Him and then slowly over the days that follow my prayers shrink. My requests become steeped in logic. I hear the whispers tell me that what I am asking for is too good, my ideas are impossible, life isn’t a movie made on a studio lot. But, isn’t God a God of miracles? Exodus 15:11 says “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in wondrous deeds, doing wonders?”
When prayers are answered, I often find that I am shocked. I didn’t expect it. As if I assumed He forgot I was asking or worst of all didn’t care. These thoughts and beliefs creep in consistently building hedges around the truth so we forget it. When we are asking God for things desired or needed He hears it and He cares.
But, we need to not see that He cares after the gift and the answer has been received. We need to trust that He is unwaivering before we have been answered. He doesn’t give up like I do and He has more in store than I dreamed to pray for. I cried for years over schools and community and the city I didn’t want to live in. I cried for God to change it and take me home to where I was raised. The picture was beautiful to me (it still is). When He provided and answered my prayers it was not the details I wanted but it met the deep longing desires of my heart that I wasn’t fully aware of. He gave a gift that was bigger than my prayers.
We pray too circumstantially. We pray for what we think will fix our problem instead of for the problem. I kept praying God would move us to a city that I thought had everything instead of praying for my heart’s desire which was to feel known and cared for and have common purpose with the people I lived with. Truthfully, I am not sure I ever sat still and understood what I really needed or wanted.
Jennie Allen, in her book Nothing to Prove says, "We want miracles in our lives. But we want them our way, on our time, in our strength and for our glory." This strikes a chord with me. Why did I want those specific circumstances I was praying for? They were impossible for me to make happen, I knew God could do it. But, do I believe He can give me my heart’s desire to be known in a new place? Our prayers reveal a lot of the fears that control our lives. But what if we went back to the Bible and let it’s truth fight a lot of the lies we believe?
I think if we did we would find a God who is to be trusted, who is good and who, fully knowing us, truly can provide in abundance for what feels impossible to us!