Recently I heard a sermon on Mark 2:1-12, The Paralytic Man. This man is carried through the crowded streets by four of his friends ON a stretcher, UP a ladder to a rooftop and then lowered to a room below, jammed with people all huddling around Jesus. These friends knew the stories going around about Jesus, that he could heal and that was exactly what they hoped for their friend, HEALING. Upon seeing the man Jesus announces that his sins are forgiven.
Imagine your the man or even one of those tired friends who had spent a whole day to get your paralyzed friend to the feet of Jesus, for what? Some sins to be forgiven? That wasn't what they prayed for! That wasn't what they had worked for! Yet Jesus in his perfect wisdom knew exaclty what that man's greatest need was; to be clean on the inside, free from the bondage of sin and the crippling effects it has.
Those present that day huffed and scrutinized Jesus for even daring to presume he had the power to do such a thing! HOW DARE HE?! What is more amazing, that He can heal our bodies, or that He can heal our souls? Without one the other is not much good. In the end Jesus does indeed heal the man's body to show those who doubted that He IS God. Still many of them doubted, today we too doubt. Perhaps because what we have prayed for, the provision that we seek, we have not seen.
When I got looking at the term provision and the meaning "to make preparation to meet a need" I could not help but think that God so often is behind the scenes making preparation on a need of mine even before I know that I need it. Does that speak to any of you? Have you prayed for provision and then seen later how God had been laying the foundations of the answer? In James 1:17 it says "Every good and perfect gift is from God" and His timing is perfect as well.
Clearly our family is praying for provision for our adoption. We seek God's mercy in meeting this need and we call on the body of Christ to help us meet this need. It is perhaps one of the most humbling things I've ever had to do. From the day I was born I have been an independant creature, never wanting help, usually waiting till I was desperate to call in for reinforcements. However, over the last year God has been laying a foundation and teaching me how to ask and to recieve help of various kinds. Even as I was preparing to send out our letter announcing our adoption God was showing me his perfect provision. It may sound like a silly coincidence, but I just happened to have the exact number of stamps for the number of envelopes with adresses. I mean EXACTLY! Again, with our house, our mortgage lender told us it was a slim chance we would be able to save two months of payments during the refiance. Wednesday we close on the loan of which we ARE saving two months AND it is the day before our payment is due for our homestudy, PERFECT PROVISION!
It isn't the kind of provision that makes you feel at ease weeks or months before an event. It isn't the kind that leaves a lot of room for cushion or error. It is the kind that leaves you knowing it is God alone who provides, it is God alone who carries you.
So I ask, my friend, what are you asking God for today? What provision do you seek? Rest assured God's provision IS perfect and always on time!