“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” (Matthew 6:26 MSG)
What is provision to you?
We thank God for our families, our jobs, the food on our tables, the roofs over our heads. We regularly pray for God to provide the things we need. There is a comfort in raising up those petitions as if in the voicing of those needs (wants), actualization will follow. But, He gives freely. Does He not? And really, who best knows our needs even before we do? Therefore we should not worry. We are “in the care of God”. We count far more than birds so we may rest and trust that He will provide all that we need just as He does for the birds.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV)
…And as I write, a sweet hummingbird just buzzed across my window. Ha! I love it.
Back to the birds in this painting: On a hike one day, big gusts of wind kicked up and the birds in the canyon took to the air. They glided through the air so freely with ease, doing what they were made to do. The windy conditions were not a hindrance to them at all but they delighted in being up there because they knew how to navigate the wind. I wished I could do that!
Some people have the ability to organize chaos and count and corral numbers with accuracy. There are people who can figure out how to piece together all the working parts of an engine… And they do these things in accordance with their innate giftings. Those skills are just a natural part of their God given personalities.
We all have things we know how to do that no one else on earth could do in the exact same way that we can. There are skills we have been developing from when we were little children playing and learning. We all have our very own DNA and our very own set of experiences that shape who we are.
I want to nudge our view of provision slightly upward from the physical context to a heavenly perspective. Can I do that? Look at provision differently? As in, the tools and skills we need to fulfill our purpose here on earth together.
“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:1, 8-11 NIV)
Watching those birds gliding through that canyon, I was struck by how God had provided the skills they needed to be up there doing their thing.
How often I have been blessed by one of God’s people who embraced the things God made them good at? I have some amazing friends who pray in Jesus’ name and I’ve received healing. I have experienced kindness from friends who are so generous with their talents that it has changed my life. I have talked with friends who are great teachers and gained wisdom that only they could have imparted to me at just the right moment. I know people who’s life work is traveling the world to all nations teaching about God’s kingdom. There are others who go out in public and share the Gospel so boldly and naturally. I see these friends and marvel at how awesome God made them! I am inspired by how easy it looks to do what they do and I remember it is because of the gifts God has given them and their own willingness to step into their callings that they are able to do what they do. I get inspired to dream the dreams God has placed in my heart and set my attention to the things God has planned for me to accomplish here on earth… Only with His help and provision can I do anything of value.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)