The God Who Provides
In order to experience God fully at work in our lives, we need to trust that He’ll live up to His name, Jehovah-Jireh, the One who provides. Sadly I’ve often been afraid of failure rather than full of faith. But if we trust God, we’ll discover He’s able to do more than we hoped or imagined because God’s stronger than our challenges and bigger than our fears.
Years ago, while homeschooling our three children, I came across an example of God’s amazing provision for His people while I was reading a passage of Scripture aloud to my two young sons and daughter. We started each school day off with a short bible study and prayer. But before I share those bible verses with you, I want to tell you about how God provided inner power for me during those early home school years.
(If you prefer to hear this post as a podcast, you may click on the link here or on the one listed at the end of this page.)
My husband and I felt drawn to teach our children at home after having heard about it on a Focus on the Family radio program, after having read about it in their magazine, and after having witnessed how calm, mature, and loving our home-schooled babysitter was our towards our children. She exemplified everything I desired my kids to be when they became young adults. But there was one problem holding me back from taking the jump into the journey: I was afraid.
After many prayers and much research the nudge to home school grew into a shove when my husband said the magic words, “I think we should do it.”
So with fear and trembling I telephoned a friend who home schooled her family and asked her for advice about how to go forward with my decision. She sensed my fear and trepidation and suggested I may not have the constitution for such a huge undertaking.
And it was at that moment I realized I needed to stop looking inward or outward for strength; I needed to look up. Up to the Father. Up to the One who seemed to have initiated this whole crazy idea in the first place. If God was asking us to home school, He would help us do it—and do it according to His particular plan for our little clan.
Where was my friend’s faith, where was mine? The Holy Bible says we can do everything in Christ Jesus.
Now let’s get back to the Bible passage I was referring to earlier:
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. John 21:3 NIV
( Jesus said) “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net because of the large number of fish. John 21:6 NIV
Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. John 21:11 NIV.
I’m not sure if you caught all of what’s in these verses. But I’d like to explain my catch of the day. Even though I’d read this story what seemed like a zillion times before, when I read it aloud to my children, something in it spoke huge hope into my heart.
Simon Peter deciding to go out fishing wasn’t a big deal. It was just a fishing trip. One of many I assume he took. He was simply returning to what he thought he did best as he felt he had failed at being a disciple when he three times over denied he knew Jesus. Even the other disciples wanting to go with Peter was no biggie, since I doubt there are many men who would pass up an opportunity to go fishing.
So they all boarded the boat together.
Yet, they didn’t catch a single solitary fish. Skunked. They got royally skunked.
It must have been disappointing to end up with an empty net after an exhausting night of casting and retrieving it over and over again. Peter must have scolded himself for having the idea in the first place, and it would have been doubly disappointing to drag the guys along with him through a dark void night. Maybe he also pondered his deeper failures that were punctuated by the crows of a rooster. Peter’s faith and his fishing were nothing but empty nets.
So after they’d most likely abandoned hope in themselves, in each other, and in their equipment, Jesus shows up and directs them to a specific spot to cast their net. I imagine that choosing the right side or left side of the boat shouldn’t have made much difference, but it was the Lord speaking (though they didn’t know that yet), so He would know what’s best. And of course Jesus’ wisdom is proved correct and their nets are so full, so heavy, that they can barely budge them.
It’s what happened next that intrigued and captured my imagination and heart. Peter dragged the fish-laden net to land and noticed it was undamaged. It didn’t break. It didn’t rip apart.
This speaks care and provision to me. If God is directing and leading, we won’t break. If He fills our net beyond our logical capacity to carry it, then we can trust He, too, will sustain the cords that bind it together, that bind us together, and that bind us to Him. Peter’s denials didn’t unravel Christ’s plan for him. God filled this fearful disciple’s former emptiness with the boldness of the Holy Spirit and worked mightily through him.
So whatever the endeavor, commit it to God and ask for His leading and guidance. If He says go—then go for it. If He says cast to the right or to the left—then trust and obey.
commit it to God
whatever the endeavor
And as I’m sharing this with you I’m again reminded I don’t need to worry about falling apart if I’m in God’s will for me. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. Blessings to you as you follow Him in everything.
I’ve also shared this post as a podcast on HopeStreamRadio here: The God of Provision
Jehovah-Jireh Blessings ~ Wendy