I just want to provide for my family. I keep telling myself this again and again. I think and pray it, go to bed and wake up to this, and dwell on it throughout the day. I probably dream about it, too. As a Christian, I know ultimately, every need will be met by the God who made me and gave me a family. All the same, I just want to provide for my family. If I have worries, they do not include how many vacations I will be able to take my family on this year or if we’ll be able to buy the latest high end computer. I don’t care about those things. I just want to provide for my family. I’m not crazy about taking one verse of Scripture to emphasize my own point, but I do find solace in this passage from Paul’s epistle to the church in Philippi: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, ESV).
Although this was in Paul’s benediction, the theme of God’s providence is a common theme in Scripture. Whether it be of common needs such as clothes or food, or of our greater need of God supplying atonement for sin through Christ, man’s neediness is always shown in the stark contrast of God’s all-sufficiency. He created not because he had to, but because he wanted to. Scripture just flat out breathes these things. I find it profound that in the beginning of the Old and New Testaments, man is shown to be lacking, with God as the remedy. From original sin to the incarnation of God, his lordship over his creation is displayed so beautifully.
Again, I find solace now in my need, the needs of my family; the pattern of needs and their consummation is repeated throughout Scripture, redemptive history, and on a very personal level, in my own life. Food for hunger, water for thirst. Justice for those who have sinned. Pardon for those who have not deserved it. Funny how being able to pay for rent, insurance, groceries, a tank of gasoline, or clothes is an ever-present past-time for us humans- all relevant things for responsible folks to concern themselves with (especially when they are responsible for other people). I find that my needs help point me back again and again to the God who made me.
The desire for one’s family to be clothed, fed and taken care of isn’t some defect imbedded within us. It is only natural. In fact, it’s another part of the realm of nature which paints a picture of the gospel. A man who has a wife and family, and loves them, will go to every length to supply them with care and love.God, who wished to display his glory, displays love toward his people in Christ (see Romans 5:8 and pretty much that whole chapter, OK, the whole book). I realize there are more theological ramifications to consider here, but in the context of need, I cannot think of anything greater than the reconciliation between us, rebellious creatures that we are, and the Creator who made us.
In light of such liberal grace, I am confidant that this man’s prayer for his family’s well being will not be ignored by the God he trusts in. I just want the desire to provide for my family to bring glory to God. Vacations and computers are somewhere way down the line.