Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. – Proverbs 30:7-9 ESV
Proverbs 30:7-9 shows us the troubles of both not having our needs meet and having too much stuff in our lives. On the one side, not having enough tempts us to get what we need in whatever way we can. The flip of that is that we tend to trust in ourselves and our stuff when we have more than what we need.
The desire of the author is to be content with what he has, saying, “Feed me with the food that is needful for me.” In order to be satisfied with what we have, we have to know and believe one thing, what we have is what we need. Or, perhaps, we will have what we need.
So many things in our lives distract us from what is truly needed in our life. I’m not saying that, since we can live on bread and water, we should never have more than that. I personally don’t call that living. But I also know that I cling to things that I think are valuable or important but that in the end, have no lasting value.
In addition, I base my decisions and sense of comfort and stability on some underlying idea of what happened yesterday will happen today and will continue on in the future. We all do this; it’s a part of staying sane in this world. In and of itself, I don’t think it’s a wrong way to think. The problem comes in when we limit our future to what we know and can see. The future is a big unknown and trying to mold it and manipulate it into our way of thinking only ends in disappointment.
God holds our days and knows our steps (Job 14:5). We can fully rely on and trust Him to provide for whatever is coming our way. In fact, fighting Him about what we need or don’t need only ends with us having to learn the hard way that He knew what He was doing the whole time.
I recently read a fantastic example of this on Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. Her son had some difficult health issues recently and she talks in her entry about the struggle and pain, but also joy and growth that comes through that.
God knew this would happen. He knows what will happen and knows the length and quality of Ann’s son’s life. He isn’t surprised or disappointed by the diagnosis her son received. Ann says this, “Grieving how plans change — is part of the plan to change us.” Just because tomorrow brings unexpected news to us doesn’t mean God won’t be there every step of the way. He will provide what is needful for us today, tomorrow and forever.