“Jireh” in the Old Testament literally means to “see.” In this case it is actually referring to how God “foresees” the future. The word “see” signifies provision. While looking up the definition for “provision” I came across an interesting description of the word.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary provision can be described as:
“the fact or state of being prepared beforehand.”
How often we remember that God will supply our needs, but we fail to trust that He’s got everything under control. There is a plan to what we are going through. It’s not by chance. Our days and circumstances aren’t just haphazard events that God’s just trying to rush to throw into place to keep up with our lives. There is purpose. There are intricate details that have been masterfully planned out before time began. God isn’t just providing for us now, but He always has been and He always will be providing just what we need. He is using even the smallest details in your life right now to mold you into the person He desires you to be.
Just as the definition from the Merriam Webster dictionary states, we are being prepared beforehand for a future purpose. The things we are experiencing now may feel like we’re lacking something pretty important in our lives, but God is preparing us for something amazing. Either God’s lack of provision or the fulfillment of provision in your life is preparing you for the future. The things you are experiencing right now in this season of your life and the things you have gone through up until now have all been preparing you for what lies ahead – the rest of your life here on earth and your eternal home as well.
Sometimes when reading God’s promises to fulfill all our needs in Scripture makes me question why He is still withholding things from my life. Why has He gifted others with the very things I’ve been seeking and praying that He would provide me with? Why do they acquire them so easily when I have to work so hard to attain them? Why does He answer prayers regarding other menial day-to-day things but fails to answer or provide any direction with the prayers I’ve been praying about for years? Why is He silent regarding certain areas of my life but involved with the areas I am already content in? Why are the things that are most burdened on my heart the things that fail to be provided?
I’ve really struggled with these thoughts over the past year and questioned what God was doing in my life. I had circumstances placed in my lap that I had dreamed and desired for years, and now they were becoming reality, but certain things were bothering my heart. Something just didn’t seem right. I had to make a decision. God’s will or mine? Something I desired and sought after for so long was right in my lap, but I didn’t feel God in it. It was a hard choice, but I knew the answer. Of course it wasn’t the answer I wanted, but God is more important to me than the happiness this earth could provide. And I knew that if God wasn’t in this situation I wouldn’t be happy long-term. Through this hard season of my life and letting go of the past I questioned God’s current provision in my life. I chose to put Him first with this situation, but now I felt so alone and didn’t know how to move on from the past. I doubted how I could find happiness and know God was providing for me after it felt like I lost everything.
Through struggling and hard times it’s easy to question how God is providing for our needs when we feel like we’re missing big chunks of necessities in our life. We look around and see others with large homes, luxury cars, a gazillion friends, the latest clothes, a flawless appearance, the perfect spouse, living their dream job and we grow discouraged in why God is withholding the things we desire the very most from our lives. We begin to think the “if only” questions, that “if only” I had that, then I would be happy. How many times in my life I’ve thought that once I reached a certain stage of my life I would be happy, but whenever I reached that stage, it brought along it’s own struggles and problems. And even when things were going well, I’d find myself wanting more. Isn’t it strange that when we reach where we thought we’d be happy we still find ourselves not feeling as content as we once thought we would. We still desire more.
Maybe you’ve done all you know to do and you’ve prayed every prayer there is to pray and God still feels silent. It’s easy to question God’s sovereignty and His provision when we don’t see Him working. When you feel like God is blessing others with the very things you’ve been seeking Him about it causes discouragement in His faithfulness to you. Let me tell you though that He is teaching you and strengthening you by withholding the very desires you crave the most in order to test your faith. He wants you to place Him first above the things you desire most. When we’ve done all we know to do, we don’t have to “do” anything else but have enough trust in God to give Him the control and rest assured the He knows what He is doing by leaving the rest up to Him. Continue to keep pressing into God and seeking after Him. Wait in prayer. Trust in His Word. Remember His promises. Give Him complete control. He will provide exactly what you need in His timing.
In the Old Testament God used a woman to show His provision. Hannah was one of two wives married to Elkanah (yeah, I totally don’t agree with him having two wives, but I’d like to focus on another part of this story). Hannah’s husband loved her very much, but Hannah often felt undervalued in comparison to his other wife, Peninnah, since Hannah wasn’t able to have children. Peninnah knew just the right words to say to Hannah to wound her heart and cause the hurt to run even deeper into her soul, causing her to feel unqualified and unworthy to her husband. Hannah remained strong and still sought after God even amidst the cruel treatment of Peninnah. Hannah’s unwavering trust that God would provide her with a child is such a great example of God’s provision. God saw her longing heart and unwavering faith and heard her prayer. Although it wasn’t an immediate answer and Hannah still experienced the struggle of waiting and preserving through Penniah’s criticism, she remained faithful. God saw her dedication and He did answer her prayer. Even after God gave Hannah her son, she remained close with Him and gave him the name of Samuel, meaning “God has heard.” After Hannah had her child she could have turned from God and thought it was happenstance that she was able to have a child, but Hannah remained close to God and glorified Him because she knew He provided. Not only did Hannah have one child, she had many to follow.
God’s timing for others is not always the same timing for us. We are all have different lives to lead, which means we all have different times in which God chooses to bless us with things. What may be time for one person, may not be time for you. What God chooses to bless someone else with, may not be what God chooses to bless you with. God blesses us with so much every day but sometimes we are so caught up in what we want and focused on the things we’re missing that we totally miss how much He is involved and providing for us in our lives.
As we can see through this story of Hannah and Penniah, Hannah’s faith in God grew and was strengthened in seeking Him for provision of a child while Penniah’s faith was shallow and non-existent. When God withholds things from us it isn’t to hurt us, but grow our faith. He is teaching and strengthening you through this time of suffering in your life. He wants you to grow in wisdom and knowledge about the very things you’ve been seeking Him in prayer about. He is allowing you to grow in a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him while others are having their needs being met through temporal satisfactions. He is withholding the things that could maybe steal your attention and allow you to seek and grow closer to Him for a more satisfying reward. He is opening your eyes and revealing to you that He is all you will ever need. He’s the source you can tap into and find joy and contentment in when the world around you is ever-changing. Once we realize He is the source to all we have and He is all we ever will need, He may choose to bless you with what your heart desires because you chose to put Him first.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
While we all may know that God is our provider and He is providing for our needs, it takes more than just knowledge to know that He is providing. It involves faith. A deep faith that remains even when we feel like we are being deprived of the very things we need. A faith that doesn’t doubt even when we feel like God’s taken the very thing from us that we don’t know how to live without. He is supplying everything we possibly need to fulfill His purpose for our lives. He knows our hearts. He knows our desires. He knows the anguish it inflicts on us when we feel like the things we value most are withheld or taken from us. When everything feels like it is taken from you, God is teaching you and leading you to that quiet place with Him to remind you that He will always be there for you. He cares so deeply about your life. If we can’t trust God with the things we currently have and give them up to Him, how will we see Him provide and bless us with more?
Through Life’s Seasons
When things are withheld or taken from you, He is protecting you. He’s seeking your best. He wants to teach you something through the desolate seasons of life so you can better appreciate the seasons when you see Him working. Even through winter, the most bleak of seasons, when all looks dead from the outside, yet underneath all of nature is still alive. It is just waiting for the appointed time to bloom. Same with us, God is using the bleak times to prepare us for the time we were meant to bloom. It may look like nothing is growing during this current season. It may feel like a lull or you’re stuck in a rut. It may feel like nothing is happening. Just wait. Spring is coming. For everything there is a season. For everything there is an appointed time God has established that it should occur. God’s timing isn’t our timing. We were meant for more than the struggles we’re facing here. We were meant to lead a life for Christ and show the world His love. Not to find happiness and contentment in the things we can get from this world, but what we can use with what God has instilled within us to display and inspire others; leading them towards God and ever-growing in our relationship with Him.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
Lord, right now my life feels like it’s in a rut. I can’t see You working. I don’t know what You’re doing, but give me the strength and faith to keep trusting that You are up to something. Remind me that I can’t trust my feelings and emotions. Use this time that I’m in. Prepare me for the future. Strengthen and restore me. Remind me that when I feel like I’m missing big pieces of my life that I feel are vital for my existence, that You have provided all I need. Help me to use what You’ve given me to glorify You and deepen my relationship with You. Use this time for growth. Even when I don’t see You working, help me to know You are near. You hear my prayers and You are working for my best. When my prayers aren’t answered the way I wanted, remind me that You are protecting me. Help me to trust in your perfect timing and not rush ahead. Allow me to be content and joyful during this time. When I’m trusting and seeking after You I can rest knowing You are working and it’s in Your hands. You have the control that I no longer need.