Christmas, Community, Trusting God

Provide: How God Provides

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It has been said there’s nothing new under the sun. Things people dream up, actions carried out, sins committed, heroics undertaken—all have been done before

In all of history, one person faced something no one else would ever experience . . . Mary. She alone was gifted with the privilege and the heartache of being mother to the Son of God. And with unique opportunities to see God’s provision.

Photo provided by Jennifer Kolb

What must Mary have thought when she learned God wanted her to give birth to the Messiah? When did the reality of the imminent difficulties of this calling absorb into her thoughts, her heart?

Mary endured ridicule and ostracism from people who had watched her grow from infancy to womanhood. Whispers of gossip floated around her. People gave her “the look” as she filled her water jugs at the well—all because she yielded her will to the Lord’s. Isolation would always be her companion.

When our pastor taught on the book of Luke, chapter one, he mentioned Mary had a strong faith. She had to if she was going to be a piece of God’s plan for salvation. God provided her with courage when she needed it.

He also provided Mary with another who encouraged and ministered to her as she walked a path of shame.

How amazing for this young lady to discover her older, barren cousin was also expecting! Mary’s time with wise Elizabeth must have heartened the young mother-to-be, confirmed her resolve to fulfill God’s mission. Elizabeth’s first words would have been a balm for Mary’s dampened spirit.

“And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” ~Luke 1:42-45

What words of affirmation for a weary heart! Perhaps Mary returned home, strengthened to live out God’s plan well.

At some point in a believer’s life, God presents a difficult choice. It may arrive on our heart’s doorstep in the form of a calling, or maybe a request to surrender some aspect of ourselves to Him. It may require us to walk through a season harder than we’ve ever known. How will we respond?

Will we trust God in that moment and yield our will to His? Will we remember His faithfulness from times past and believe that He’ll be faithful again?

When the Lord asks us to do something, He also equips us. We seldom experience the equipping before the moment, but always in the moment of our need. Striving in our own strength to accomplish for Jesus leaves us worn out. We must have His strength to fulfill what He asks of us.

God provides friends who speak truth when we need to hear it. He offers us assurances in His perfect way, and the Lord encourages through His word.

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, maybe we should take time to search our hearts. Maybe we can ask Him to show us if we’re looking in the wrong places for provision.

As our Father provided for Mary in the form of an encourager, He will provide for us, if we let Him. When we yield to His plan, we can be assured God will supply our needs.

What about you? Are you in a moment of decision? How have you seen God’s provision in those decision times? Who is your favorite person from the Christmas story?

And I leave you with one of my favorite-est Christmas songs—Ever. “Breath of Heaven” shares of Mary’s journey and her struggle. It speaks deeply to my heart.

Click to Tweet: When the Lord asks us to do something, He also equips us.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth

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30 thoughts on “Provide: How God Provides”

  1. Love this, Jeanne, and “Breath Of Heaven” is a perfect musical choice.

    My feeling is that courage is like manna; we have it when we need it, but it can’t be hoarded. Those who try usually fail at the worst of moments.

    have to admit that when I first read the title, I red, “How God Provokes”; and He does that to me sometimes. Today I had planned to add some extra pushups to my workout, but it hurt too darned much, and as I decided to skip them, I distinctly heard God going, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, I KNEW you were a wuss!” (He didn’t say wus; He said something stronger.)

    So I did them. And it hurt. And God, bless His heart, stayed quiet.

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    1. I like your visual of courage being like manna, Andrew. I think you’re spot on. God gives us what we need when we need it. We trust Him to provide, and He does, at the perfect time. I grinned at how you first read the title of today’s post. 😉 And for the record, there is nothing about you that cries out, “Wuss!” 😉

      Praying for you, friend.

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  2. It is comforting that God equips us with all that we need when he calls us to something. I know I usually want to know how it will all work out in advance so it is important to remember that his provision is usually as we need it.
    I love the song! I played in an orchestral version of it in a concert at the weekend and I had been meaning to look it up to listen to it properly!

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    1. I agree, Lesley. It is comforting that God equips us when He calls us to something. He has this knack for calling us to things that are way bigger than we are. And we have to learn to depend on Him to provide what we need at the proper time, don’t we?

      I can imagine the orchestral version of “Breath of Heaven,” must be amazingly beautiful!

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  3. Jeanne,
    Love this song by Amy Grant! I love how God equips us in the moment of our need. I look at Mary’s situation and think, I could never have endured that, but I’m not Mary, at the time of Christ’s birth, with God’s grace washing over me and the encouragement of a good friend beside me. God promises to give us what we need in the exact moment that we need it….not in our imagining. There are many things I’ve endured that I probably would have said, “Oh, I could never endure that.” But given God’s grace, mercy, and equipping and voices of encouragement, I did endure. It’s amazing what we can go through when God is on our side and we turn to Him for our strength. Lovely post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, “Breath of Heaven” still draws tears to my eyes when I listen. It’s such a powerful song!

      It is interesting to think, “I could never make it though THAT!” Only to have God allow us into THAT situation and show His sufficiency as we walk through that very trial. He makes us able, doesn’t He?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, friend!

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  4. Thought provoking post Jeanne, I believe God’s provision is directly related to His will. Jesus tells us that we don’t have to worry because we have a sovereign Father in heaven who provides for us. Just look at the birds, and the lilies of the field.

    Matthew 6:33 tells us, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Here is where it gets confusing, what are “All these things”? What is He providing for?

    I believe Romans 8:35 -39 indicates that we will face hardships, (famine and nakedness, etc.) but God will equip us with practical needs, not so that we will be successful or even comfortable in this world, but rather that we will be successful in glorifying God and accomplishing His will.

    I think about Genesis 22:8 where Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the burnt offering would come from. Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” That pointed to God’s provision for our eternal lives, by which to accomplish meant He wouldn’t even spare His one and only Son.

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    1. Gene, you bring a whole new aspect to the idea of God providing. I so appreciate you adding depth to what was shared int he post. You’re right. Ultimately, God is looking to our eternal lives. I can’t add to what you’ve shared. I can only say, thank you!

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      1. It’s always fun when God puts something on our hearts, and then He helps us cement (or at least better understand) an understanding for us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes putting thoughts to words helps me better grasp what God’s trying to show me. 🙂

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  5. This is a beautiful testimony of God’s provision, Jeanne. I love this encouraging truth – “When the Lord asks us to do something, He also equips us. We seldom experience the equipping before the moment, but always in the moment of our need.” I need to remember that more often. Thank you, too, for reminding me of that song. May the Breath of Heaven hold us together and light up our darkness! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Trudy, God has His ways of helping us, including equipping us when He asks us to do something, doesn’t He? I’m thankful He never calls us to something without giving us what we need when we need it. 🙂 I love that song too, and I’ll say Amen to your prayer! Sending love and hugs back!

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  6. Dear Jeanne … thanks for the gentle reminder that when God calls us, He always makes away, equips, provides, and opens doors. All that’s left for us is to say ‘yes, yes’ and ‘thank You so very much.’

    He’s got it all under control. And that’s something I continue to remind myself of daily. Never late, always on time, with full view of the future in mind. He is faithful.

    I’m so grateful …

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    1. Yes, Linda. God has it all under control. How many times have I had to loosen my proverbial fingers as they gripped a situation? I’m so thankful that our Father is never late and always on time. And that He not only sees our present but our future. Thanks for your words here today, friend!

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  7. Lately the heroes journey has been on my thoughts. Mine can come in the form of excuses to not take the next steps on the journey. I see them as valid, but realizing they are just a hiding place! But like Jonah, God pulls us out of our hiding places, doesn’t he? And reminds He’s got the details, provides and equips! So far I haven’t been sent into a whale and hope that doesn’t happen! lol!

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    1. Lynn, I’ve used excuses to cover over the fear that tries to prevent me from taking the next steps in a journey. We have to choose to trust God when He does pull us from our hiding places, yes. 🙂 I’m glad He’s got the details and that He holds us in the palm of His hand. 🙂

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  8. I love the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. How encouraging it must have been for them to have each other during this season. You ask some very thought-provoking questions here and I’m going to continue reflecting on these this evening. Thank you for sharing and joining us.

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    1. Abby, this relationship is one of my favorites to read about in the Bible. I sometimes wonder about the gentle wisdom Elizabeth shared with Mary, perhaps from a standpoint that Mary’s mother may not have been able to share. You know? I so appreciate you stopping by, Abby. thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  9. Elizabeth is actually one of my favorite “characters” in the Christmas story, Jeanne. Her life is such a good example of how our prayers don’t have an expiration date, isn’t it? I’m sure she and Zechariah had long given up the idea of a child because she was too old. But the angel said God had heard their prayer and was now answering! (God always has purpose behind His timing, doesn’t He?) And this is such a comforting thought: “We seldom experience the equipping before the moment, but always in the moment of our need.” I needed to read this very statement this morning, my friend.

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    1. Lois, I love what you said about our prayers not having an expiration date. Our good God works on His own time frame, and it’s almost always different from our own. I so appreciate you stopping by, my friend!

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  10. A wonderful post. I don’t have a favorite person in the Christmas story, but Christmas is one of my favorite stories–Emmanuel, God with us. Thanks for a great post. God bless! Merry Christmas!

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  11. Dear Jeanne

    Thank you for your blog post “Provide: How God Provides”.

    Yes, the situation of Mary must be said to be unique.

    It must have been a lot of gossip around her.

    I wonder where she found the strength to go through this process.

    Your pastor is right. Mary must have been an active woman of faith.

    It was a good reminder to ask God where to look for provision.

    You asked your readers in this blog post if we are in a moment of decision?

    Yes, I’m – but it’s the small day-to-day decision.

    Last year I took several big decision, now it’s more following up on the path I’ve begun walking.

    Cordially
    Edna Davidsen

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    1. Edna, I too have thought there was gossip that surrounded Mary. I can picture the other women whispering to each other behind their hands as she walked to market or to fill a water pitcher. I think about her family too and some of what they may have experienced. I imagine that as Mary turned over her feelings and uncertainties to God, He gave her what she needed to walk this unusual, difficult journey. He’s always good that way, isn’t He? I’m praying for you today as you pray over your decision. I’m thankful for you!

      Have a great Christmas!

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