Have you ever noticed how sometimes God seems to show up just in the nick of time?
For example, take the nation of Israel as they are escaping 400 years of slavery in Egypt – they are backed up against the Red Sea with the army of Pharaoh pressing in from behind – then, just in the nick of time, God parts the sea so they can walk through on dry ground (Exodus 14). In Joshua 3 it is “same thing, different place” when the Jews are finally ready to cross the Jordan River at flood stage – it wasn’t until the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant touched the water that God backed up the river for them.
Similarly, have you ever noticed how sometimes God provides just enough?
The Apostle Paul boldly proclaims that God “will provide for all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Understand meeting my needs; but what about my wants? Jesus Himself told us to ask the Father to “give us this day our daily bread” – but don’t you really long for cupboards full of food?
Just in the nick of time with just enough. That sounds amazing – except…
I had an intriguing session with a lady who spent 30 minutes recounting the multitude of financial situations in the last months that God had, in her words, “miraculously shown up at the last moment with exactly what was needed.” It was a wonderful time of praise! However, having shared all those incredible things, she then looked at me, told me how guilty she felt, and subsequently started crying. She launched into a tearful explanation that having the Lord show up “in the nick of time with just enough” had her feeling like He didn’t care about her enough to lavish her with more than she needed far in advance of when it was needed. She was torn – part of her was amazed at Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides; but another part of her felt like He was holding out and preferred others over her.
Thankfully, the Lord helped us sort that out for her. As we explored the negative feelings she recalled the painful emotions she had experienced as a child when her earthly father lavished time, gifts and love on her younger, sickly sister while she got the minimum she needed. While she appreciated that she always had food, shelter and clothing, she also began to fundamentally believe that she was not worth have good things lavished on her.
The Lord was gracious to reveal to her in a manner she had never experienced before that He values her so very much and lavishes His love on her in an unceasing way. Her eyes had been focused on the checkbook and the bills as the means to validate how much value she had to God – that day she was invited to lift her eyes off the material and discover “how great is the love the Father has lavished on [her] that [she] should be called a child of God” – and so she is!