"Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (ASV)
Not only does God know about our needs, but He has pledged to grant them to us if we follow Him. In fact, one of the names of God found in the Bible is Jehovah-jireh (in Genesis 22:14). This literally translates to God provides. Pretty amazing promise, if you ask me.
Now then, does that mean that all you have to do is pray to God and you'll have that Prada dress you've been drooling over? Absolutely not. Designer names are not "needs". Trendy things also don't fall into this category. In my experience, God doesn't spend much time worrying about what's currently popular or fashionable. He's more concerned with substance than appearance.
Does it mean that I can just quit my job and sit around and expect God to pay my bills and make sure there's food in the fridge? Again, a resounding no. Although this was His original plan for us, the fall of man pretty much put an end to that. Now we live under the curse -- we have to work for what we have.
So, that pretty much makes that promise void, doesn't it? Not at all! When Jesus spoke these words in the sermon on the mount, He was already very much aware of the fall of man and the curse it had brought. He wasn't telling us we could be lazy and foolish. Instead he was telling us that we are loved and cared for. We shouldn't be stressed out, worrying about how we're going to feed our family tomorrow.
In my own life I have seen this in a very real and tangible way. A few years ago, my husband and I were going through a rough spot financially. It got so bad that one week we didn't even have the money to buy groceries. One morning, while driving to work, I was reminded of God's provision for us and prayed, asking him to provide a way for us to eat for that week.
I went into my office and worked my regular shift, and left at six as usual. When I got back out to my car, I saw something tucked under the windshield wipers. Looking closer, I found it to be money -- forty dollars to be exact. Forgetting my prayers that morning, I assumed the worst. Someone had probably hit the car in the parking lot and instead of leaving their insurance information had simply left whatever cash they had on hand. I called a friend over to help me look for damage.
We spent about ten minutes looking over the car. Finally we decided that nothing had happened to the car, but I couldn't for the life of me fathom where the cash had come from. Since we were on the later shift, most of the parking lot was empty by this time, so there was no one there to ask.
I drove home and told my husband about what had happened. He too went out to look the car over and found no damage. We talked it over and couldn't think of any reason for this money to have been there. No one owed us anything, and we hadn't told anyone about our current financial difficulties. We decided to wait and see what would happen.
I held on to the money for two days, expecting someone in the office to put out a memo saying they had lost it, but nothing happened. Finally, when the fridge was completely empty, I took the $40 and went to the grocery store and got what we needed for the rest of the week.
I still don't know exactly who put the money there on my car. It was never reported missing, and no one ever claimed it. I just know that if it hadn't been there I didn't know where we were going to find the means to buy food for the rest of the week.
These days, anytime I feel myself beginning to worry about food or bills or what have you, I re-read my blog entry from that day and remember that God has always provided for us.
"I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread." (Psalm 37:25 ASV)