Observations of Provision and Timing
I’ve had lots of little prayers answered in my lifetime. It happened again this morning as I sat down to have my devotional. I prayed for rest and to experience the goodness of God. With an anxious heart and busy schedule I really needed those today. As I flipped through the lectionary readings I was drawn to the psalm, curious not knowing what it was going to have for me. I began to skim it to see if it was what I wanted to focus on and was struck by the very first verse. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell in it.” This had been exactly the phrase which came to me yesterday while driving and had given me inspiration and affirmation to serve whenever, wherever I am—sort of a “community chaplain”, if you will. I had no idea where this verse was in the Bible, apparently Psalm 24, v. 1!
These little things may not sound like much, but in my life they make a big difference. They reveal God is continually meeting me even in the smallest of ways. I am reminded of something a professor once said in one of her sermons which stuck with me, “We are not to wait for miracles, but to watch for signs.” This is what the gospels convey and also bears greater hope and expectation God will do something. God is active.
It then struck me that these immediate answers I get for minor requests are like little sign posts God’s presence and continual work in my life. They are encounters I can hold onto and recollect to remind myself not only that God is at work, but how God works. And, what God does reflects who God is and vice versa. These simple provisions reassure me God is the same way with the big concerns and desires of life. However, and here was the big epiphany, sometimes those bigger things just take longer to recognize God’s hand in. They take longer because there are more pieces involved and more preparation needs to be done. So often only in retrospect do I see God was with me through some tumultuous, long process. But, I want to start watching more for the little signs of God’s provision along that process so I can know greater peace the long way through and celebrate God throughout the journey. I think God would love this, too.
Realizing this gives me peace about entrusting myself and my needs to God. From the littlest, but important things, like receiving rest and God’s goodness today, to the greatest, like discovering a job and a life-partner…
I believe God works and is revealed in different ways to different people. As we grow in our relationship with God we recognize God more clearly and quickly. Much like with any person.
What patterns have you observed of God’s activity in your life? What ways and in what places does God “speak” most clearly to you?