God Our Father is Our Provider
“Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;” “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;” Psalms 37:16, 21
Thomas has been coming for weeks to CCDC and has shared his need for a bike to get to work. Many people in the city do not have the means for owning a car. Like Thomas, many do not have the money for a car or even for a bike. After some efforts to seek out a bike for him, Chris Painchaud was able to provide a refurbished bike for him.
Thomas’s face lit up when we brought out the bike that we had for him. It was like we presented him a brand new Ferrari. He kept saying over and over how much he loved his new bike. He couldn’t believe how nice it was. We are really happy to help Thomas with a much-needed bike. We also are hopeful that we are helping him to believe how much God cares for him and wants to provide for him.
There is nothing that we have in this world except what is provided by the gracious power of God. We are plainly told in Psalm 37 that God’s people are upheld by him. I have found that people living in poverty know this and truly live by this truth. They know this biblical truth far better than those who live well financially. The poor often appreciate the little they have much more than those who live comfortably.
A mother who is home-schooling seven children came for the first time to Westminster when I was handing out sack lunches. This mother had taken her children out on a lunch break, and she and children were so excited to see me handing out sack lunches. Perfect timing! I was delighted to see the appreciation they all had. The mother made sure each child said “Thank you.”
I wish we all could be as thankful for “our daily bread.” We need to be persuaded by a sincere faith that God seeks to provide for our needs like a father or mother for their children. If we are not filled with gratitude, we will be prone to either worry we won’t have enough, or become arrogant that we have achieved our own wealth.
Whatever we need for our lives and for our ability to give generously to those in need, comes from God’s blessings. John Calvin, my favorite theologian, wrote, “Whatever we need… comes to us neither from the heavens nor from the earth, but only from the favor and blessing of God; and if he once withdrew his grace, the abundance of the whole world would not satisfy us.”
In our growing secularization of our culture, we have forgotten to be thankful every day to God for what we have been given. We celebrate Earth Day not only as a day to remember to care for the earth, as we should, but unfortunately we are led to believe wrongly in Mother Earth being our provider. The earth has no power. The earth cannot love us.
True wisdom is found in recognizing God the Father being our provider and sustainer. We need to peel back the deceptive varnish of secularism’s sophistry and reveal its spiritual emptiness. People like Thomas and this mother and children stand as a witness to us in how to live with a grateful heart for what we have been given.
Our CCDC volunteers come each week with grateful hearts and with their willingness to show others the love of God who provides for us all. We experience such gratitude from those we serve. It means so much to be able to give of our time and effort to others. To accomplish this effort we need your support and prayers. Please give or volunteer to further our ministry.
May God’s peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley