Devotional: Allowing for Provision

This week, we take a look at Jesus’ feeding of 5,000 and how that relates to our lives.

We live in a world where, for the most part, we can personally attain the things necessary for our survival and the survival of our dependents. We work jobs to earn money to buy things like food and shelter and to afford the things we take part in such as hobbies, activities and other endeavors.

But there comes a point where even the most affluent cannot personally achieve or possess something they desire. Maybe it’s the feeling of peace or the absence of fear or even something many of us aren’t familiar with — one of those basic necessities like warm clothes in the winter.

The good news I’m here to remind us of is we serve a God who is more than capable of delivering to us the exact thing we desire. This is a wonderful realization and it should bring us joy and satisfaction. We should respond by giving God glory for His provision.

But there’s an issue.

In Matthew 14:13–21, a passage I’m sure most of us are familiar with, Jesus takes but a few fish and loaves of bread and is able to feed 5,000 of His followers with them while even leaving plenty of leftovers. This is an age-old tale of His ability as a provider, but it’s important to really examine what’s at work here so we don’t miss anything.

The issue is this: We’re all too welcoming of the gifts God places in our lives, but do we even fully comprehend the nature of One who does this? Can we actually fathom and completely process this sort of benevolence? I find that often, we don’t truly know how to let God be God — in this case, a provider.

It’s not easy, that’s for certain. It’s not very often that we see someone feed thousands off of food for a small few. But, then again, we don’t know someone like Jesus.

What He did for those people is the exact same thing He can do for us — but often, we’re too certain of our own abilities to provide for ourselves that we don’t let the One who can provide — perfectly provide — actually do so.

The hardest thing for humans to do, especially those in an affluent country like the United States, is to humble ourselves enough to admit that “hey, maybe there is something in my life that I should let Jesus provide me with. Maybe there is something within my world that I’m lacking that God would love to give to me so that I may see His goodness.”

It’s not easy, but, what’s the negative in doing this? Besides maybe having an enormous surplus of fish and loaves of bread, we can only gain by seeing God’s capability as a provider and then letting Him actually be our provision.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Luke 12:22–25

In one of the clearest analogies I know of, Jesus tells his disciples that the Earth and its creatures are a living testament to the provision of God. The water cycle, the seasons, the placement of the Earth in relation to the sun — all of these point to God’s provision. He’s created a universe that allows for our thriving if we simply put our faith in Him and His ability to do the thing he’s done since — literally — the beginning of time.

This week, I challenge you to look at the parts of your life that you struggle to find fulfillment in and ask yourself if it’s something that you should look to God’s provision for instead.