Within the past 8 days, both my cars have gone the way of all cars. Two Sundays ago, driving home from Philadelphia, our van’s transmission had a stroke, but we were able to continue driving. That is, until the engine had a heart attack and we ground to a halt on the shoulder of the turnpike. Next day, diagnostic tests revealed that something had gone very wrong in the engine’s bowels and it was cooked.
Then, this past Sunday, a median strip suddenly bolted from its assigned place in this world, and jumped in front of one of my kids driving our other vehicle. Praise God, my son’s ok, but the car isn’t. Since it’s an older car, we bought no collision insurance for it, and it will probably cost more to repair than it’s worth. Another one bites the dust.
Whether it’s a minor inconvenience like losing a couple cars, or a serious trial, like being laid off in your 50’s (recently happened to a friend), we can be tempted to anxiety. We can start trying to figure out how in the world we’ll ever meet our needs. “Let’s see, I could take a second job in the evenings, and skip church on Sundays to sell magazines door to door. I can auction off my Elvis paintings, or if I get desperate, one of my children…”
But Jesus can provide for us in unexpected ways, from sources we’d never imagine. When pressed to pay the temple tax he tells Peter,
“Go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” (MT 17.27)
Peter doesn’t say, “You know, that was my first thought too - go throw an empty hook into the sea and catch a carp chewing a coin.”
Jesus can supply your needs in unpredictable ways. The One who fed thousands from a few loaves and fishes will feed you. The One who commanded ravens to bring bread and meat to Elijah morning and evening (1 KI 17) will meet your needs. The One who showered manna on Israel for 40 years in the desert will give you your daily bread. The One who revealed a log to Moses to sweeten brackish waters (EX 15) can surprisingly sweeten your bitter trials.
The One who provided salvation from out of the blue, hiding his glory in flesh, to live and die as a Substitute for rebels will surely care for you.
So trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding, and watch God come through for you.
photo by Extra Medium