“Yet the Lord says, ‘During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.’” Deut. 29:5
Imagine not having to go shopping for clothes or shoes, let alone food (remember the manna from heaven). I know, that might take the fun out of life for some people! But in the wilderness, with no supermarkets, no malls, and too remote for Amazon to deliver, the Israelites had to depend on God for provision.
Actually, we all have to depend on God for provision. We just don’t recognize it sometimes. The good news is we can depend on Him, and He provides in many creative ways.
First, there’s the “make it last longer” method, described above. Does the Lord still do stuff like that today? Yes! For example, I still have a pair of athletic shoes that have trod with me in many a hike, mountain-climb, and daily walk these last thirteen years, and still haven’t worn out. I call them my “Moses moccasins” J
A second, similar, way, is making sure something doesn’t run out-- the “Feeding of the 5000-plus” approach-- in the time-honored tradition of making one day’s worth of oil last for eight so the holy light in the Temple never burnt out. The Jews commemorate and celebrate this yearly in the eight days of Hanukkah. As with the first, this way is always a delight to behold and testify about.
Such as the time my husband Tom had to paint our fence, and with only a quart of paint left, finished the last 100 meters of fence. Or the time we celebrated Passover with our church and the people assigned to make “haroset” (the apple-nut mixture) either didn’t understand or forgot. I made enough for 20 servings and 87 people showed up for the ceremonial meal. Two youth girls began to distribute it on each plate— with plenty more always left in the bowl, until everyone had a good portion, with some left over!
A third way involves “getting it when we need it”. This reminds me of when Tom and I first went to seminary in the late ‘80s. With no money and no income, we had asked the Lord (not our pocketbook) if He wanted us there to train for ministry. He did, and we enrolled with full assurance of something a YWAM leader had told us—“Where God’s finger points, His hand will make a way.” Which happened. After we ran out of savings, we didn’t doubt that we would eat, because we knew we were doing His will. Then, for a whole semester, once a week, in our mailbox, we’d find a $20 bill, which in those days could buy enough healthy groceries for a week. Daily manna from heaven for Israelites, raven catering service for Elijah, and weekly mailbox money for us!
Other stories abound around the world, and in our lives. If we didn’t have to depend on God to provide our needs, we wouldn’t have these testimonies to relate and relive the joy of watching it happen! We also wouldn’t have much faith in Him, due to lack of exercising it. Trust and dependence on Him lead to more trust the next time we face a need for provision, which leads to closer relationship with the One we trust.
What we receive from His hand should lead us to seek His face. Ultimately, relationship with Him is the greatest provision of all, which never wears out, for all eternity.